Book Review: Rice and Rocks by Sandra L. Richards; ill. by Megan Kayleigh Sullivan

“Disclaimer: I was provided a copy of this book from the author to facilitate this review. As always, all opinions are my own and are not influenced in any way.”

I want to start by saying that this book is so cool! I volunteered to do a review on this book because the story idea is something that is very near and dear to my heart. Because I grew up in a home where my parents were from a different country than the U.S., our customs were different. The food we ate, the music we listened to, it was all different from my friends. I did not know this until 3rd grade (because as a youngster you believe that everyone’s household is the same as yours); but I had a friend who asked me if my mom was from Africa? I was like

“no, why are you asking that?”,

she replied “because she sounds different”

Needless to say I was kinda embarrassed and confused. Embarrassed because as a child you never want to hear the words “different”, and confused because my mom sounded just the same as any other mom. That’s when I became aware of who I was, and that this was something to embrace (kinda…lol…it took me years to finally be proud of my Belizean roots), but that was the start. (For those of you who don’t know Belize is located in Central America). This is the flag! Belizean Pride!!

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(ok let me get back to the review) LOL

Sometimes I feel like it is so cliche to talk about culture and can feel redundant, but I feel like it still definitely needs to be addressed and it can always be done in a fun way. That is why I love the book Rice and Rocks

It speaks about culture in a way that is very interesting, from the characters to the images. It’s BEAUTIFUL. Well first let me tell you a little about the book: Rice and Rocks is about a little boy by the name of Giovanni whose family is Jamaican, (whose tradition is to eat rice and beans on Sunday’s), but he is having friends over and is quite embarrassed of the rice and beans (and calls it rice and rocks). But it takes us on a journey to be exposed to his friends traditional foods, while he comes to realize that he is not the only one who eats rice and rocks…ooops..rice and beans :).

As I was reading it to the kids, they were amazed at the fact that someone else ate rice and beans like them (it’s a tradition for us also, even though I don’t get to have it every Sunday, that would be cool). But I believe that reading it to them opened their eyes, and gave them some sort of pride that they share unique traditions. Reading Rice and Rocks definitely encouraged me continue sharing experiences with my kids, and I work with kids also, so it makes it even more relevant to my surroundings.

Here are a couple of my favorite pics from the book:

 

I hope that you enjoyed reading this review and encourage you to get the book, ENJOY READING!

Hope you enjoyed the review, you know my motto:

“Never get too comfortable, always keep God first”

Sincerely,

Keisha

Brightly: Mad Libs :)

“Disclaimer: I was provided a copy of this book from the author to facilitate this review. As always, all opinions are my own and are not influenced in any way.”

MAD LIBS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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I love me some Mad Libs!! Can you tell??

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I must say that it is old school! But thats what I love about it!!! I remember doing this as kid. And now I get to share it with my kids, and expose the funny stories to the kids at work. I think it’s a good way to teach the kids about nouns, pro nouns, adjectives, and so forth. And don’t let me start on how funny it is when you are done and ready to read your story…you are either looking like this because you don’t want to laugh too hard (especially if you put someone’s name in there)

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or like this because you cannot contain yourself of the funniness of it all

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I had the opportunity to receive a pack of Mad Libs from Brightly. This is a great resource not only for parents, but educators also.

Check them out at:

http://www.readbrightly.com/ download/mad-libs-pack/?ref= PRHBDEE923C90&aid= randohouseinc23874-20&linkid= PRHBDEE923C90

 

http://www.readbrightly.com/? ref=PRHC151CB4B0E&aid= randohouseinc23876-20&linkid= PRHC151CB4B0E

Book Review: Meet McKenzie Mason (McKenzie’s New School Blues) By: Chauncey Citchens; Ill by: Chris Winfield

“Disclaimer: I was provided a copy of this book from the author to facilitate this review. As always, all opinions are my own and are not influenced in any way.”

Before I even get into this book, you all know how I feel while I am writing this, if not…this is me right now…

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So lets get into the book! McKenzie’s New School Blues was AMAZABLE! I know it’s not really a word, but it’s the best word that I can use to come up with my view on the book.

I volunteered to do a book review for this book because I wanted to do a chapter book, the name of the character is the same name as my daughter, and she kinda looks like her…what do ya think?

McKenzie's New School Blues (Meet McKenzie Mason Book 1) by [Citchens, Chauncey]

Anyway, I had my 9 yr old read us a chapter a night

She was in LOVE with it. The story is about McKenzie Mason who is in a new performing arts school, and like anyone who goes to a new place is nervous. She meets new friends and embarks in her new journey. There are so many things that I enjoyed about the story, here are a few…

  1. It spoke on the Egyptian history. Even though some of the words were hard for her to say, she was very intrigued with it (I took it as a little history lesson 🙂
  2. There was a girl with a little bit of an attitude  and McKenzie handled herself very well in the story (this is important to me because I am a big self-esteem, girl power person)
  3. It was very relatable and interesting to my girls, with a lot of laughs. We all loved it and it will go on my fav’s list.

So if you are looking for a great chapter book to read, this is a great one! The author did a great job with the story line.

Thank you for taking the time to read the review, if you get the book don’t forget to let us know how you liked it!

Always remember, never get too comfortable, always keep God first.

Sincerely,

Keisha M.

Book Review: I Just Kept Spinning by Destini Berry; Illustrated by April Foxx

As a woman whose passion is to educate girls/women on the importance of having a positive self-esteem this book goes on my A-list!

Before i get into my thoughts let me tell you what the book is about: It’s about a girl who is wants to dance so bad, she finally got the ok from her mom, so she goes to ballet class excited and she is told that she needs to change her hair!

I stopped right there. When my girls read this part they were speechless also. This part of the story made me so sad, and although the book is fiction, and a very easy read to the kids, the message is so great and impactful! Here a couple things that I got from the message:

  1. Be VERY careful what you say to kids, you can be the catalyst in their growth or lack there of.
  2. Listen and support your kids when they are hurt or something is bothering them.

I love the outcome of what happened, and how the mom went above and beyond to support her daughter.

I want to say something to my girls of color here. BE PROUD OF YOUR HAIR. Don’t ever let anyone make you feel anyway about how you look, if you want to wear an afro…go ahead…if you want to wear barrettes…go ahead…if you want to wear puffs…go ahead!! This is why it is important to pour into our girls because I Just Kept Spinning is a great example of what can/ will happen if we do not invest in them. One person can say something and it could make or break them.

Great book!! Michaela and Makenzie both said that they loved that “she never gave up”. GREAT MESSAGE!! TWO THUMBS UP!!

You know my motto: “Never get too comfortable always keep GOD first”.

Sincerely,

Keisha

 

Book Review: Muhiima’s Quest; by Rahma Rodaah; illustrated by: Daria Horb

So in my last book review I let you guys know how much I LOVE BOOKS

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This is literally me every time I get a new book!!! I am always reading, but lately I have been very intentional about what my children read, and am becoming very involved with their book choices; not only that I work in the child care field and I LOVE to read to the kids, I try to make the book as interesting as possible by making voices through the different characters, making sounds, and just trying to be more creative, because my mission is to get them to love books as much as I do (this is what I think they look like when I am reading a story)

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I don’t think all of them are that excited, but we will pretend they are! LOL

Anyway the book that I am going to review today is called Muhiima’s Quest

First I want to say that I am a BIG  visual person! So with that being said, I have to comment on the illustration, IT’S SOOOOOOOO CUTE

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I have to say it one more time “the illustration was so cute”. I do sometimes judge a book by it’s cover, and with this one it got my attention at first sight.

I actually had one of my daughters read the book to me, and she was so into it. I asked her what she liked about the story and she gave some answers that aligned with why I loved the book:

  • It was multicultural (she didn’t say this exact word, but this is what she meant) LOL…while she was reading it I noticed that she would stop to pause and look at the pictures ( you could tell she was mesmerized by it).
  • The names of the characters, the clothes that they wore, how they celebrated Muhiima was interesting, and admiring.
  • The way that the author has Muhiima going on a scavenger hunt type of journey with each stop being something of precious meaning to her and her family.

Overall I think that the book a is great book to read, as a parent will definitely entice conversation about culture, as a teacher I can get so many lesson ideas from Muhiima’s quest, I get so excited just thinking about it!

But don’t take my word from it, take a look at Makenzie reading it

Thank you for taking the time to read  Muhiima’s Quest book review.

Remember my motto: “Never get to comfortable, always put GOD first”

Sincerely,

Keisha

 

 

Book Review: When God Made You by Matthew Paul Turner

If I could only use one word to describe this book, it would be AWESOME!!!! As a woman who is an avid reader, loves books and everything they stand for I take every book I ready seriously

(This is me….seriously…LOL)

Anyway, so when I got the opportunity to and privilege to be able to do a book review I am always ready to oblige.

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The name of the book that I got to review is: When God Made you by: Matthew Paul Turner; illustrated by David Catrow

Before I even get into the book, lets take a look at the book cover, it’s beautiful!!! I read the book to my two daughters and that is the first thing that they noticed, their exact words was “look at the girl, she’s flying and her toes are so cute”. Besides that I think it’s a great representation for our girls of color (for kids in general), but to be honest that is what caught my eye. The other thing that caught my eye about the book before reading it is the title, you know as a woman of GOD I was IMMEDIATELY interested in the book based on the title alone.

I believe those were just small perks compared to the “meat of the book”, in the book the author makes it clear to the girl that when GOD made her, HE made her unique, special, incredible. That every piece of you was intentional with GOD…from your toes, your hands, your eyes, every part of you.

There are a couple of lines that I really fell in love with:

” Use your talents, and passions, those gifts that GOD fashioned. Think up ideas and then put them into action”

“You, you, when GOD dreams about you, GOD dreams about all that in you will be true”

This is just a little tidbit of what’s inside this book. As a believer in Christ and as a woman whose passion is to encourage young girls/women to have a positive self-esteem, this book gets my FULL attention, I just want to say how beautiful, encouraging, and once again AMAZING the book is.  And lets not forget my girls review: They loved the book and gave it 2 thumbs up!

You know my motto “Never get too comfortable, always keep GOD first”

Sincerely,

Keisha