Andrea Lardner’s My Mom is a Girl: A Lesson of Equality (2019)

My Mom is a GirlMy Mom is a Girl: A Lesson of Equality is a recent Mascot Books publication written by Andrea Lardner and illustrated by Junica.

The book focuses on the relationship of a young boy named Taj and his mother. Mother and son both have light-brown skin, rosy cheeks, big brown eyes, and dark brown hair. The story opens with mother and son reading a bedtime story about equality. Continue reading

Sarah Hoffman and Ian Hoffman’s “Jacob” Books (2014; 2019)

Jacob's Room to ChooseJacob’s Room to Choose (2019), by Sarah Hoffman and Ian Hoffman, reintroduces readers to Jacob, the protagonist of their 2014 children’s picture book Jacob’s New Dress.

In Jacob’s New Dress the protagonist shares his desire to wear a dress with his parents. They take a little convincing but are quite supportive; in fact, Jacob’s mom helps him sew a dress. Jacob does deal with bullying when he wears his new dress to school, but his best friend Sophie, a supportive girl who reappears in Jacob’s Room to Choose, stands up for him. Continue reading

Jase Peeples’ Square Zair Pair (2015)

Cover ImageSquare Zair Pair (2015), written by Jase Peeples and illustrated by Christine Knopp, is a quirky picture book reminiscent of Dr. Seuss. The story takes place in Hanamandoo, a fantasy world inhabited by Zairs. Zairs hatch from eggs that grow from vines. Some are tall and square; others are short and round. Round and square Zairs always form a pair by attaching tails. Continue reading

Celano, Collins, and Hazzard’s Something Happened in Our Town: A Child’s Story about Racial Injustice

I really wanted to like Something Happened in Our Town: A Child’s Story about Racial Injustice. I really wanted to, but I didn’t. Several psychologists with a history of working together in Atlanta, Georgia (Marianne Celano, Marietta Collins, and Ann Hazzard) collaborated to write the book, which is nicely illustrated by Jennifer Zivoin. The synopsis, printed on the back of the book, states: “Something Happened in our Town follows two families – one White, one Black – as they discuss a police shooting of a Black man in their community. Continue reading

Maya Gonzalez’s When a Bully is President: Truth and Creativity in Oppressive Times

Maya Gonzalez’s necessary children’s picture book, When a Bully is President: Truth and Creativity in Oppressive Times (2017), sends a positive message to children about the power of creativity, awareness, self-care, and community engagement. When a Bully is President requires reflection and discussion, preferably with a knowledgeable person who can help children work through complex connections between the “big” and “small,” past and present, forms of bullying Gonzalez describes.

Continue reading