As soon as I saw A New Alphabet For Humanity by Leesa McGregor, I knew I had to feature it on my blog!
This sweet little picture book introduces children to 26 alphabet lessons inspiring them to be compassionate, kind, and respectful to both people and our planet.
My very favorite books for my little one’s library are always the ones that teach me a little along the way, and A New Alphabet For Humanity definitely did. Reading this book, I couldn’t help but tell myself that I could benefit from keeping a few of these lessons a little closer to my heart (Anyone else struggle with forgiveness sometimes, or is that just me?).
This book is the perfect introduction to all the values we strive to instill in our children. Rereads offer the reminder (for children and adults alike) that we can always improve on this qualities as we grow.
In the back of the book, there are some great talking points and empowering questions to encourage continued conversation around demonstrating compassion, empathy, gratitude, kindness, and respect.
I love that the adorable illustrations by Daniela Sosa accurately depict the diversity in the world around us, so everyone can see themselves in A New Alphabet for Humanity.
I think my favorite part about this book, though, has to be that it practices what it preaches! For every book purchased, one tree is planted. It is also printed on recycled paper, using non-toxic soy inks.
You can grab your own copy of A New Alphabet for Humanity at Bookshop.org, Amazon, or directly from the Alphabet From Humanity Team at AlphabetForHumanity.com. (Please note: Some of these these links are affiliate links. I will receive a small commission from purchases made using affiliate links at no additional cost to you. This commission will be used to maintain this website and continue to bring content to you.)
I would like to thank the Alphabet For Humanity Team for providing me with a review copy of this fantastic book! I know I will be reading this one to my little boy for years to come.
Teen author Zoe Yu hopes to inspire young girls and relay the message that women of all colors can achieve what they put their minds to. I think she has done just that with her debut Our Era Is Now.
As the title implies, Our Era is Now is a wonderful collection of mini-biographies of 14 remarkable women who “rewrote history”, paired with fun portraits of those women. Written and self-published by teen author Zoe Yu, I couldn’t help but feeling like I was reading the words of a remarkable woman in the making.
Though she’s only sixteen-years-old, Zoe saw a need for a diverse collection of strong female protagonists, so she decided to write one herself.
I have read quite a few of these feminist/girl power biography collections, but I have never seen one that provides such a diverse collection of women. From scientists and doctors to artists and singers, Zoe has highlighted powerful female stories from women across the board.
If you’re looking for a book to inspire young readers, I would definitely recommend this one. You can pick up your own copy of Our Era Is Now on Amazon. (Please note: This is an affiliate link, from which I will receive a small commission. This commission allows me to maintain this website and continue to bring content to you on a regular basis.)
Thank you to Zoe Yu for reaching out and providing me with a copy to review this book. I look forward to seeing what she writes next!
Today, I want to talk to you all about an adorable story of alligators and proclamations.
AAAlligator by Judith Henderson tells the story of a boy who finds an alligator in need of help in the woods near his home. The boy decides to feed the alligator, so naturally, they become good friends. When the boy takes the alligator into town, the Mayor declares there can be no alligators. The boy explains that the alligator is hungry and he could eat the townspeople’s leftovers, but the mayor is adamant. However, the community comes to their own conclusions. I don’t want to give away the ending, but I will say that our story has a happy one (well, for almost everyone anyway).
Paired with amazing illustrations by Andrea Stegmaier, this book gives us the perfect opportunity to discuss civil disobedience, which can be an extremely effective way to address injustices in our communities. I don’t know about you, but I intend for my child to question the rules around him. Asking questions is the key to critical thinking, and critical thinking is an invaluable life skill. I plan to encourage it very early.
I want to teach him to question before he decides where he stands on an issue. Does this rule exist to keep the town safe? Or is it someone’s bias written into a proclamation? If this community can come together to feed an alligator AND eliminate their food waste, why shouldn’t they?
However, because it is Thanksgiving week in the US and we are currently living in the midst of a global pandemic, I will address the elephant (or alligator) in the room. I couldn’t help but think of COVID deniers and anti-maskers during my second reading.
While I wholeheartedly believe that civil disobedience is a necessity for positive change in our world, I believe we have a duty to participate responsibly. I really appreciate books like this one because it gives us the opportunity to encourage our children (and ourselves) to ask the difficult questions. Are we defending someone’s humanity? Are we making our community a better place? Are we fighting for the little guy? Are we being responsible? Or are we upset because we have to miss a holiday and wear cloth on our faces to keep our communities safe? Are we willing to put aside the health of our neighbors, friends, and family members so we don’t have to follow rules we don’t agree with?
I highly recommend AAAlligator if you would like to start these conversations with your children. You can purchase it at my Bookshop page or just about anywhere books are sold. (Please note: these are affiliate links, and I will receive a small commission on purchases made through these links. This commission allows me to maintain this website and provide you with more content.)
I would also like to thank Kids Can Press and the Hachette Book Group for providing me with a review copy of this book. I have a feeling it will spark plenty of conversations with the young readers in my life.
I’m sure many of you are familiar with Ruby Bridges. She is a civil rights activist who made history when she was just six years old. In 1960, she was the first Black child to attend an all white school in New Orleans, inciting protests from the white communities. This is Your Time is her most recent book.
In this book, Mrs. Bridges writes a letter to her readers, recounting her experience and encouraging young readers to participate in the fight for racial equality. She poignantly compares the unrest in our country now to the unrest in our country then.
Every other page features a black and white photo perfectly paired with the message. For example, on one page, Mrs. Bridges speaks about parents protesting and removing their children from school, while the opposite page features a picture of parents laughing while holding up a coffin with a black baby doll in it. Many things have changed in 60 years, but it is still critical that we teach our children the importance of equality.
With the news of our new President Elect, I have begun to notice an uptick in conversations (especially among white people) about unity and hope. While I absolutely support the idea of unity and hope, I worry we may already be becoming complacent. I worry we are already forgetting how hard-earned these victories have come. I worry we may not be acknowledging the communities who fought hardest to make change.
For me this book represents the kind of unity and hope we need as a nation. This book feels like an action. This book feel like a seed I can plant. This book tells every young person who reads it that they too can be like Ruby Bridges. They too can be brave and stand on the right side of history. I can’t think of a better way to bring our nation together than to teach our children to love and defend one another.
This is Your Time is being released today and would make the perfect gift for any young peacemaker in your life. It can be purchased just about anywhere books are sold, including at my Bookshop Page. (Please note this is an affiliate link, and I will receive a small commission of any purchases made using this link. This commission allows me to maintain this website and continue to bring reviews to you. Any support is greatly appreciated.)
I would like to thank Random House Kids for providing this review copy, and the hope it has brought me.