Foreword Reviews

6 Kids' Books Teach Social Consciousness

Children are intuitive. It’s certain that, as the adults in their lives drag about morosely this election season, they sense that something is amiss. Could literature be the antidote?

To get the family’s sense of hope and possibility back on track, we recommend these excellent, consciousness-awakening picture books from our Winter Issue. They are full of useful information on environmental features, on global injustice, on embracing diversity, and on how we can confront—one person, big or little, at a time—the things that scare us most. Change starts with us, and on page one.

Why Am I Here?

Book Cover
Constance Ørbeck-Nilssen
Akin Duzakin, illustrator
Eerdmans Books
Hardcover $16.00 (32pp)
Buy: Local Bookstore (IndieBound), Amazon

Why Am I Here? is a thought-provoking story about a young girl who ponders her place in the world and wonders what it would be like to live in a different climate or perhaps some far-off place ravaged by war or some natural disaster. The book is intended for ages five to nine and offers a valuable opportunity to explore empathy. Soft illustrations depict the girl’s imaginings of different lives and mute some of the harsh realities she considers. The layout includes plenty of white space, which seems to offer a place for each child to imagine other possibilities for their own lives.



Book Cover
Rebecca Pettiford
Hardcover $17.95 (24pp)
Buy: Local Bookstore (IndieBound), Amazon

Recycling is a wonderful early-nonfiction title for children ages six to nine. It discusses the importance of recycling, what kinds of materials can be recycled, and what those materials can be made into. Each page is accompanied by photographs that provide early readers with important clues to understanding the words on the page. In addition to the straightforward information presented in the text, there is another level of information offered in this book—all of the standard features of nonfiction are included, such as an index, chapters, sidebars, and a glossary. A great bonus for this age level.


Petit Pierre and the Floating Marsh

Book Cover
**Johnette Downing **
Heather Stanley, illustrator
Pelican Publishing Company
Hardcover $16.99 (32pp)
Buy: Local Bookstore (IndieBound), Amazon

Petit Pierre and the Floating Marsh is a fascinating book with two distinct strengths. The first is the story of Petit Pierre, a young pelican who must leave his mother’s nest and find a new home. The second is told across the bottom of each page through facts about the Louisiana wetlands and the animals that make their home there. The book includes vibrant, lovely illustrations that support both the story of Pierre and the information about the wetlands. Though written for children ages five to nine, this book is appropriate for anyone who would like to learn about this unique ecosystem.


Special You

Book Cover
Jonny Lambert
Tiger Tales
Hardcover $9.99 (20pp)
Buy: Local Bookstore (IndieBound), Amazon

Special You is about a little elephant named Little Why. As he travels with the other elephants to a watering hole, he meets several interesting animals and wishes that he had long legs, spiky horns, or a snappy snout like they do, but he soon learns that he is special just the way he is. The story is accompanied by vibrant collage illustrations of elephants, giraffes, a crocodile, and a wildebeest. Children ages two to four will learn the very important lesson that everyone is special, even a crocodile.


Octopus Escapes Again!

Book Cover
Laurie Angus
Dawn Publications
Softcover $8.95 (32pp)
Buy: Local Bookstore (IndieBound), Amazon

Octopus Escapes Again! is an interesting look at a day in the life of an octopus as it searches for food and tries to avoid becoming food itself. The amazing and numerous defense mechanisms the octopus utilizes are highlighted. Sumptuous, colorful collage illustrations capture the underwater world of the octopus and other animals it encounters. Additional information and suggested learning activities provided at the end of the book will help educators, caregivers, and children ages four to ten learn about this interesting sea animal.


The Flower Girl Wore Celery

Book Cover
Meryl G. Gordon
Holly Clifton-Brown, illustrator
Kar-Ben Publishing
Softcover $7.99 (32pp)
Buy: Local Bookstore (IndieBound), Amazon

The Flower Girl Wore Celery is a humorous story about Emma, who is asked to be a flower girl at her cousin Hannah’s wedding. Emma looks forward to dressing in a celery dress and meeting the ring bearer, and most of all to meeting Hannah’s groom, Alex, whom she cannot remember. When the big day arrives, Emma is surprised that things are not as she expected: Alex is another bride! Illustrations of Emma and her family support the text showing the silly things Emma imagines. The traditions of a Jewish wedding add another layer of interest to the story.


Michelle Anne Schingler

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