Ask Uncle Neil: Why is my hair curly? is an educational children’s book that explains why some people have curly hair and why some people have straight hair. Young Anthony is getting ready for a recital. When combing his hair he begins to wonder what would happen if he grew his hair long. His mother tells him that his hair would be harder to comb because it is curly. Anthony wonders why that is so and in the absence of answers they decide to call Uncle Neil who is a scientist.
I found this book to be wonderfully educational on several layers. I have always wondered why some people have curly hair while others have straight hair. The book presents several explanations and even explains why some people have oily hair and other people do not. All with bright and simple illustrations that any child will understand. I also enjoy the idea that, when in doubt, ask a scientist. This book teaches young kids about hair, but also teaches them a little bit about the scientific process by telling them what a ‘scientific consensus’ is.
All the art in the book is colorful hand drawn art that children will surely be able to relate to. This is a fantastic book to educate young readers and inspire them to find more answers through science. This is one of the best kids book I have read that sets up a question and then answers it in an straightforward and entertaining way while promoting diversity and science at the same time. Ask Uncle Neil: Why is my hair curly? is a fun picture book that will educate readers as it entertains them.
Pages: 30 | ASIN: B07GJX26XQ
Posted in Book Reviews
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The Colored Water Fountain is an intellectually and emotionally stirring children’s book that follows Asher and Adeline after a great flood has remade the world. Humans have no memory of the old world, but some remnants of that world remain, like a water fountain with a sign above it that says ‘colored’. Innocently they believe it means that the fountain will dispense colored water, but when it does not provide colored water they go off in search of the truth. What they find is a sad fact about the people that came before them.
This is quite a profound children’s book with a sophisticated backstory that sets up this story. I would recommend this story to more advanced young readers as there are some concepts in the book that require some thought, but all of the ideas expressed are very important and speak to humanities capacity to both love and hate, and how that choice is left up to us. This book provides a unique opportunity to view our actions from a different worldview, one that is naïve of our past transgressions against one another. How would we see ourselves from this point of view?
The Colored Water Fountain tells an important story with beautiful illustrations throughout and a Christian themed mythology that explores truth, kindness, friendship, hope and love in a one-of-a-kind way.
Pages: 42 | ASIN: B09F2Y37QG
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The D Word: 12 Steps to Diversity Recovery is a book that will make you appreciate everyone’s background, and understand that it is ok to be different. Susan McCuistion writes extensively about diversity, sharing her journey as a child of many cultures and writing about her experiences. The author did a lovely job telling her story. Many readers will enjoy and even relate to her tales. Susan McCuistion is a great narrator and one gets engrossed in the stories that she shares. When talking about diversity, the author ensures that the reader understands the importance of inclusivity and why working with people from different races, nationalities and ethnicities is a great thing.
Susan McCuistion is a great author not just because of how well she narrates her story, but also because of the solutions she gives when airing out issues. The 12 steps to diversity recovery shared in the book are what every adult needs to read in order to understand diversity better. The author breaks down diversity and goes deeper to share how it affects our daily living, each of the 12 steps is crucial in our growing and living. One of the biggest things that I took from the steps is that not many people admit when they are wrong. Society has conditioned us to group ourselves on the basis of us versus them, which takes a physical and emotional toll on many. Susan McCuistion writes on the dangers of grouping and gives effective solutions on how each situation should be handled.
The D Word: 12 Steps to Diversity Recovery is easy to understand, even when diving deep into topics. I also enjoyed this book because it gets one to be curious about different cultures and the ways of life of people that live in different parts of the globe.
The D Word: 12 Steps to Diversity Recovery provides readers with a candid examination and reevaluation of diversity and inclusion in the workplace and in our community. It provides actionable advice to implement real change and shows how that change will benefit us all in real and life changing ways.
Pages: 144 | ASIN: B0964CH26D
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The Rules of a Little Boss helps readers accept who they are and provides the tools needed to be self-confident and stand up to bully’s and peer pressure. This vivid children’s book shows kids in various situations that they normally face in school and in life. The book shares positive messages about being who you are and never being ashamed of it.
I really loved the diverse cast of characters in this book and how the story shows that that is why we’re all special. The lessons in the book range from building self-confidence, to being nice, to avoiding drugs. All the lessons are delivered with colorful graphic art and emotive characters that will certainly keep the attention of any children reading along.
Every page of the book shares a new message about self-love and being kind and gives readers simple but powerful messages that will help motivate them to implement these ideas in their own life. As the introduction to the book states “you have to be willing to do the work”. This book serves as a fantastic guide for children to follow, and is a great book for parents and teachers to use as talking points about self-esteem.
The Rules of a Little Boss shares important messages that can improve children’s lives for years to come. This is a beautifully written children’s picture book that deals with a variety of personal and social issues in an easy-to-understand manner and truly embraces the values of diversity and inclusion.
Pages: 25 | ASIN: B097193LWG
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Let’s Talk! Going to the Zoo is a wonderfully educational children’s picture book that provides several different valuable life lessons all in one lively story. Going to the Zoo follows two friends, Harper and Emma, that take their first trip to the zoo. They are so excited to go that they imagine what it would be like. When they actually go to the zoo, it it is better than they imagined, but there is a group of mean kids there that are making fun of Emma because she has autism. Harper must stand up to the mean kids and educate them, and readers, on autism and what it really means.
Author Lisa Jacovsky provides readers with another wonderful opportunity to learn about autism through a normal activity, like going to the zoo. This book will serve to educate children in two ways; what the zoo is and how fun it can be, and teach them about autism and how autistic people act. Switching between these two topics in the book created a uniquely enlightening experience. Standing up for your friends and being nice to one another are fantastic values that are shown throughout this story, and are accompanied by vibrant pastel graphic art on every other page.
Let’s Talk! Going to the Zoo promotes acceptance, inclusivity and diversity by being very open and honest about what is happening. This children’s book should be read along with an adult as some of the words are advanced, but the beautiful illustrations will surely keep children’s attention while reading.
Pages: 15 | ASIN: B092MXQ1B2
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All People Are Beautiful celebrates diversity and highlights the beauty of our differences. Why was this an important book for you to write?
I truly believe diversity is reality and that children need to know that our differences are what unite us, not divide us. I think this message is so important for kids to be exposed to until it becomes unconsciously integrated — until it becomes a truth they know deep down! I truly feel the conversation of diversity never gets old and can never be talked about too early. I feel our differences help this world be a really cool place to both live and love.
The art in this book is delightful and beautiful. What was the art collaboration process like with illustrator Cha Consul?
My partnership with Cha was kismet. Cha is an absolutely phenomenal illustrator. By the time we connected, I already had in my mind what I thought the illustrations would look like. Cha took my vision, added her creative flare and gave my words a face.
It was important to me that readers got to see bright colors, different skin tones, features, and faces of children from all over the world in this book. Cha helped me achieve that goal and I’m grateful. It was great to work with her because she loves diversity just as much as I do.
Interestingly enough, All People Are Beautiful was the first children’s book she ever illustrated, so I feel very special.
Because of COVID, locations, and our time difference, we did all the collaboration for All People Are Beautiful virtually from opposite sides of the world. Cha is based in the Philippines and I am based just outside Nashville, Tennessee, so there were lots of virtual video calls to make sure we aligned on the presentation.
I am forever grateful for her artistry and I am looking forward to working together again in the near future!
What do you hope is one thing readers take away from your book?
I want readers to take away that everyone is beautiful regardless of what you look like, where you’re from, your culture, your hobbies, or anything else that makes you different. I want readers to know we like different things and that’s OK. Our differences are what unite us, not divide us. I want kids to know that it’s cool to talk about our differences in fun and interactive ways.
Do you plan to write more children’s book on this or other topics?
So I’m a true ENFP and a Creative, so I’m always on the go! I’ve actually recently finished writing a few new stories.
I’ve written a really cool story about a group of animal friends that decide to switch places for a day and realize it’s no fun being someone else. This is definitely another diversity themed book. I’ve also written another book about beautiful rainbows and the things the colors remind us of.
Both are books for early readers so I’m looking forward to sharing these with children everywhere.
Posted in Interviews
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Mommy, Daddy Please Teach Me!, by Michael A. Brown, is an educational children’s story about appreciating what our parents have done for us. Through this book readers will learn to value the things their parents have taught them by exploring various real life examples such as learning to dress themselves and learning to love themselves. The story portrays diverse families in many different situations that children find themselves in on an average day. The author then uses this base to show some simple, but effective, examples of the numerous ways that parents help their children learn and grow.
It’s important to appreciate the things our parents have taught us. They have taught us a lot of things that have helped us become the people that we are today. Our parents have always been there to guide us through life and it is important to think about what we have learned from them. Michael A. Brown inspires this kind of thought and understanding in his exceptional picture book.
Along with the multiple examples given that show how parents educate children, this cute book also helps remind kids to cherish the lessons their parents give them. If the reader were to discover something in the story that they didn’t know about, such as the concept of money, then they’d have something new to discuss with their parents.
Mommy, Daddy Please Teach Me! is yet another brilliant book by Michael A. Brown that uses beautiful illustrations to capture children’s attention and then inserts a lesson while looking over all the beautiful imagery.
Pages: 34 | ASIN : B08K3QQNMG
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The modern-day history of America is filled with police brutality and racial injustice towards black, brown and indigenous people. The unjust murders of people of color by the hand of police officers continue. But we cannot tie the racism only with these murders. Racism is a deep-rooted social evil that exists in every bit of this country. People express their racial mindset rather proudly. It is often presented as a national pride. Every raising voice against this is branded as anti-national. But the more they oppress, the higher will be the voice. This anthology propels that voice beyond limits. Every line, every word is filed with the personal experiences. Every poem reflects the anger, pain and injustice.
White Folks be trippin’ is not a typical collection of prose and poems. While reading this striking collection of poetry, you will feel the intensity of the underlying emotions. They speak volumes. You will experience a sudden urge to express your emotions too. This is our inner voice and our expression against oppression. Suddenly, we will find a space to pen down our raising thoughts. J Mase III speaks to his readers through his passionate and emotive language. Because he knows every black, brown, indigenous, and queer person has gone through the same experiences at least once in their lifetime. If you can relate to the poetry you’ll find truth within the pages, if you cannot relate you’ll still be able to feel the authenticity in the words.
The feeling of sarcasm permeates some of the poetry. The author uncovers the contradictory nature of people and their weak efforts to create a liberal, empathetic, compassionate face for themselves. Although the author presents this true face with a touch of humor, these words can still pierce your heart. White Folks be trippin’ is an engaging and poignant collection of thought-provoking poetry.
Pages: 92 | ISBN: 1716758637