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Baby Worries

When a baby is born, everyone who visits has thoughts on who the baby looks like and what they will grow up to look like. This humorous picture book is written from the perspective of a new baby as the extended family all come to visit him. With each new visitor, the baby gets a sometimes frightful thought of what he may look like as he gets bigger.

Baby Worries, written by Frances Mackay and illustrated by Dotti Colvin, is a delightful children’s book that imagines what a baby would think when friends and family visit and comment on their looks. With bright colorful images, readers will be entertained as they follow the story along. I loved that the multigenerational family is also inclusive of different cultures.

In addition to providing a funny story to young children, this picture book is a great opener for families and teachers to talk to kids about how to express their feelings, especially the feeling of worry. Learning to talk about their feelings in a way that is not scary is an amazing tool that will help children as they grow.

Baby Worries is a delightful and educational children’s book that any family or classroom would find a wonderful addition to their library. This is definitely a book I can see being read over and over again for entertainment, and don’t forget to look for the ginger cat!

Pages: 32 | ASIN : B0BTCFZ94F

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What Are Mondays Good For, Anyway? 

Who likes Mondays? Monday morning means the fun from the weekend is over, and it is time to return to school. Bennie hates Mondays and dreads them each week. This Monday starts off with stinky green socks coming out of his favorite cereal box. At first, Bennie is irritated, but a small smile creeps across his face as he sees the humor in the situation. As his day continues, all the things he thinks he dreads about the day end up offering a glimpse of amusement. Can Mondays actually be good for something?

What are Mondays good for, anyway? by Nicole Frankel is a humorous picture book that teaches children to find the positive in things. Each situation that Bennie encounters could have been a disaster and made him grumpy all day. Instead, he finds something to smile or laugh about with each situation and, by the end of the day, realizes he has actually enjoyed his Monday. This story is a good reminder that just because something unexpected happens, it is not automatically a bad thing. It helps teach children to see things in a different light and look closer at situations. For example, Bennie could have been mad when he fell but instead saw the smile the fallen cereal made. Finding the good in all circumstances is a skill set that children need to learn early in life to help them through the more challenging areas as they grow.

I feel that one of the most important messages in this picture book is that we need to find a reason to laugh every day. Laughter can be healing, and smiling is contagious. What are Mondays good for, anyway? Is a wonderful children’s book with children and adults laughing and relating to little Bennie. The reminder to find joy and laughter in situations will benefit readers, young and old.

Pages: 35 | ASIN : B0BVWL596S

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Shrieks and Sounds and Things Abound

Young Julien is excited for the end of the school day; he has finished all his work and is now ready to settle in and read the latest comic starring his favorite superhero, Bluebullet! Just as he gets to the book’s exciting parts, a dapper crow hops up and starts squawking. Julien tries to shush him unsuccessfully. Returning to his story, he is interrupted again, this time by sneezing bees! Alas, this is not the end of the distractions. At one point, Julien losses his temper with the creatures around him, and suddenly out of the sky, appears none other than his hero, Bluebullet. Can his hero help him sort out his mess and finish reading his comic?

Shrieks and Sounds and Things Abound: The Quiet Wants of Julien J. is a fantastically well-written children’s book about dealing with tough emotions. Author Dr. Drew Palacio has written a story that many children will relate to. The frustrations of trying to concentrate on something, be it reading, building a lego set, or doing school work, sounds, and other activities, can be extremely distracting. This especially reminded me of my son, who is on the spectrum, and all distractions can trigger reactions like Julien has in this book. The advice that Bluebullet gives Julien is perfect and written in a way that elementary-level children can comprehend and put into practice.

Shrieks and Sounds and Things Abound is a wonderful children’s book on dealing with strong emotions and learning an appropriate way to respond to things. This imaginative story is perfect for teachers and families to help children learn how to control their feelings without lashing out and teach them skills that will last them a lifetime.

Pages: 32 | ISBN : 1953021506

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Tommy Turtle

Tommy Turtle is a young shy land turtle. He wants to play with the other turtles at the park, but fear keeps him inside his shell, away from the others. Tommy watches from his hiding place in a hollow tree stump as the others splash in mud puddles and has a good time. Soon another turtle named Jerry walks over and introduces himself to Tommy. He convinces Tommy to give playing in the puddles a try but takes him to a less crowded area of the park. There Tommy opens up and starts to play and have fun until another turtle comes over. Once more, Tommy hides in his shell till she convinces him she won’t make fun of him. Together, the three go on to meet other turtles in the park and play.

Authors Mary and Michael Schmidt have created a heartwarming picture book for children to understand what shyness is and how to treat their peers that are shy. The storyline is well thought-out, giving kids an accurate representation of what shyness is and what the child that is shy is thinking and feeling. In addition, it explains how to approach and encourage children that are sky to make new friends and try new things in a child-appropriate way.

Tommy Turtle is a wonderful resource for schools to use in the education of emotional empathy and social skill development. Teachers, especially in kindergarten, can use this story to help children become comfortable with new situations and people as they learn to be in a classroom together for the first time. The emphasis on self-esteem and acceptance of others blends into this engaging story, and children will want to see Tommy make new friends while understanding why it is so hard for him. This children’s book is a must-have for families and schools.

Pages: 33 | ASIN : B09XNTKRDQ

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Dancing Deepa

Deepa is a fourth grader who loves to dance. One day the school announces there will be a talent show for anyone that wants to participate. Deepa is afraid that her style of dancing will not be received well and is afraid to show it because it is not like ballet or tap dancing. Deepa’s dance style is from India and is called Bharatanatyam. She is afraid that because she is different, people will not understand or make fun of her. So out of fear, she does not try out. On the day of the talent show, she is amazed by all the different things her classmates can do, and she regrets not sharing her style of dance with them. Her teacher realizes something is wrong, and together, they come up with a plan to share the beautiful dancing style of Bharatanatyam with the class.

Dancing Deepa, by author Suchi Sairam and illustrated by Vidya Vasudevan, is an educational and captivating picture book that is perfect for young children. Parents and teachers will love how different vocabulary words are explained and highlighted in the text. It is a motivational story about overcoming your fears of being different and sharing your culture.

This wonderful children’s book would be perfect for multicultural lessons in school and for lessons on different kinds of dance. The children in this well-written book all show acceptance and excitement when learning about Deepa’s dance style and culture. Dancing Deepa is a charming kids book that shows young readers how important it is to share their passion and culture with others.

Pages: 38 | ASIN : B0B2VC1GVP

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I Want Children To Know They Matter

Author Interview Naomi V. Dunsen-White

Why Am I Here? A Child’s Book About Purpose follows two children as they think about what the future can hold for them. What was the inspiration for your story?

I was inspired to write this story while watching the news one day. It was during the time of the protests and sometimes violent occurrences about police violence and brutality and race issues. I thought about how disturbing and hurtful it all was and I wondered, “If I am feeling this way, what must the children be feeling, especially children of Color?” That deeply bothered me and I began to ponder what I would want them to know. I wanted them to know that they mattered. I needed them to know that regardless of their background, skin color, zip code or even the ability of their bodies – they were all important and each had a purpose and a place in this life.

The art in this book is fantastic with all the bright colors and inspiring images. What was the art collaboration process like with illustrator Megan Rizzo?

Megan Rizzo is such a gifted artist! She was once an art therapist, so she truly has a gift for giving life to my words. Because of the serious message, but sensitive delivery, our goal was to evoke emotion through the illustrations, and Megan absolutely delivered! She truly understood my message, my heart, and she was just as committed as I was in reaching the children. Early on, we were in agreement that attention to specific features, body variety and skin tones would be crucial to our message. We were truly partners in expressing diversity, love and inclusion for all children. We wanted the beauty of the message to be received from looking at the pictures, whether or not the child could read the words. I believe we accomplished that.

What do you hope is one thing children take away from your story?

What I hope children take away from this story is that they each have a special purpose and a unique path to follow in life, made just for them. I want them to know they are each important and they each deserve a future that is bright. We need them, each one of them, in that future.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

I have a couple of exciting projects in the works. One is the sequel to my first children’s book, Johari The Great. I’ve received many requests for another adventure for Johari, and it’s coming. Also, after my recent trip to Tanzania, East Africa, I was inspired to write a fun children’s book that introduces them to the Swahili language. I’ve been taking lessons for several months now, and I am very excited to share. Megan will soon be enjoying the new joys of motherhood, so we will be working around her schedule, hoping for early next year. She’s illustrated both of my books and she’s so important to me. She’s worth the wait!

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

“Why am I Here? A Child’s Book About Purpose” is a beautiful, inspiring picture book that invites children to consider their unique path and place in this world, leading them into a future full of possibilities.
It features stunning, full-spread illustrations that truly bring the meaningful words to life. Readers follow two children who wonder about their place in life and where the future will lead them. As they consider possibilities, the answers to the question, “Why Am I Here?” go from whimsical to meaningful as they are guided into fun considerations and positive realizations. This book welcomes pondering, hoping and dreaming!
Stressing diversity, unity and inclusion as strengths to overcome obstacles in their way, “Why Am I Here? A Child’s Book About Purpose” reminds children that regardless of their situation or surroundings, the ability of their bodies or the color of their skin, they EACH have a purpose that is BEAUTIFUL and a future that is BRIGHT. Discussion questions in the back of the book enhance comprehension and promote family discussion about the important topics of purpose, diversity, self-awareness and self-discovery!

Why Am I Here?

Why Am I Here? A Child’s Book About Purpose is a beautifully written picture book about diversity, dreams, perseverance, and potential. Written by Naomi V. Dunsen-White and illustrated by Megan D. Rizzo, the story follows two children that are contemplating their purpose here in the world. They wonder what they can do in life and imagine all the different possibilities. Some of the things they dream up are funny and whimsical, while others are realistic and inspiring.

With each whimsical full-color page, the message of diversity is made clear. All the children are different. This book showcases different cultures, genders, desires, and abilities. This allows anyone reading this exceptional children’s book to see representations of themselves and their friends. The many differences in children shown happily dreaming of their future highlights any child can become anything they put their mind to. The message of overcoming obstacles and limitations placed by other people is taught in a gentle manner through the graphics and the rhyming lines.

The message of unity and fighting against racism, ableism, sexism, xenophobia, and bigotry is presented in a manner appropriate for kindergarten and young elementary-age children. They are shown it is ok to have confidence, dream big, and keep looking for the next accomplishment. Readers are encouraged that they are not limited by their race, culture, gender, their bodies, or where their families come from and that others not like themselves are also not limited by these invisible boundaries. This compassionate story confidently tells readers that we are all able to dream and belong to this world.

Why Am I Here? A Child’s Book About Purpose is an awe-inspiring picture book that will capture young readers’ attention with the bold, colorful graphics and the well-thought-out story. The message of diversity and inclusion will stay with them as they can see themselves represented in the pages of this magnificent work.

Pages: 33 | ASIN : B09PZB2CKY

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Know Your Hairitage: Zara’s Wash Day

Zara is frustrated by her weekly ritual of having her hair styled in traditional afro puffs, twists, and braids. She wants to have silky smooth hair instead. Zara’s mom then tells Zara the history of all the different hairstyles she puts her hair in, explaining the significance of each one and why Zara should be proud to have kinky curvy hair.

Author Zenda M. Walker is a licensed cosmetologist who turns her own memories of growing up and having wash day every Saturday with her own mom into this magnificent book. She recalls her father explaining how their hair is their connection to the Maroons of Jamaica that are descendants of their ancestors from West Africa. This history is brought to life in Know Your Hairitage: Zara’s Wash Day.

Walker gives readers a fascinating look at the different hairstyles and the meaning behind each of them. The historical relevance is a great topic of discussion for cultural diversity and teaching children of African descent to appreciate their unique hair. The stunning illustrations provided by Princess Karibo give this awe-inspiring picture book an edge to become an extraordinary experience for children. It is one thing to learn about hairstyles, but to learn the value and importance of your past and see it represented in literature is paramount for children of color.

Know Your Hairitage: Zara’s Wash Day is a must-read picture book for all children. The representation of culture, heritage, and diversity make this phenomenal book an excellent choice for teachers, parents, and anyone that has or works with young elementary-age children. This cultural journey will entertain and educate children of all diversities and show that just because someone’s hair is different, it does not make it strange or weird, rather it is rich in history and tells a story of its own. It will also help children struggling with their own kinky curvy hair understand that their hair has value and is part of who they are and where they came from.

Pages: 40 | ASIN : B0984H77V4

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