Book Review: Pinky Promise by: Alicia J. Turner; Ill by Justin Richburg

“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 start off with this book review, I would like to inform you that this is a VERY sensitive subject. I must admit that I that I was a little hesitant to do a review on the book, but after thinking about it I decided that I NEEDED to spread the word, ANY way that I can. I want to be part of the solution and not the problem! What’s the problem you ask? Well as we dig into the book review I hope that you will clearly see. I will speak my opinion: “Part of this problem is that we do not speak about and educate our young children on this subject, therefore leaving it to be taboo, then when something happens, we are shocked, mad, and surprised.” Anyway that was just my little ole’ opinion

Image result for attitude gif

I am not trying to lighten the situation, but like I said it is my opinion, so lets get into it:

Pinky Promise is a book about the taboo subject about childhood sexual abuse. YES!! That you read that correctly.

Image result for Paying attention gif

Even though this may be uncomfortable to talk about, it’s definitely a subject that needs to be addressed. I have 3 children and I want to be very intentional about every area of parenting to my kids. Being a single mom is especially something that has heightened my senses, and I want to be very careful about who and what I expose my children to. The thing that I loved about the book is that it gives the children different scenarios about possible situations that can happen.

From the very beginning of the book, the author gave us a way to start the conversation with our kids, it started with a Pinky Promise (and she goes on to describe it), it gives you the opportunity to start the conversation and allows you to be able to let them know that you are there to protect them.

*me and my girls pledging the pinky promise

As we were reading the book we had the opportunity to be able to start conversations, ask questions, and create dialogue about all of the scenerios.

There were a few scenarios from the baby sitter not paying attention, to the classic stranger asking if you want candy, to the coach paying extra special attention. But one of the scenerios that really got to me, is a mom not paying attention to her “friend” paying extra attention to her daughter. The reason that this magnified to me was because as mothers we have a duty to protect our children and allowing someone to have access to your child like that without proper discernment really gets to me. I have not started dating yet, but I already told the kids that if ANYONE ever makes them feel uncomfortable LET ME KNOW RIGHT AWAY. But then again being a child of GOD I am not perfect, but He has definatley given me the gift of discernment and I am using it to my full advantage especially to protect my children.

Image result for dont mess with me gif

I want to use this opportunity to encourage you to speak to your kids about these issues, so that they can be aware of what’s out there, and not allow a predator of any kind to steal their innocence. As I stated before I know this is a sensitive subject, but let’s take action by educating them. There is a pledge certificate at the end of the book, it’s worth it to take the Pinky Promise.

I hope and pray that you take action!

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

Sincerely,

Keisha

 

Book Review: Zachary Goes to School By E. Danielle Butler; Ill by Jonathan Barnhill

“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.”

Here goes another cool book review! Zachary Goes to School by E. Danielle Butler.

Image result for thats so cute gif

Zachary goes to school is about a little boy named Zachary that is starting school and a little nervous about it, but he is being guided by his family and the school to ease his mind.

This book is geared towards younger kids, I did read it to my girls (that are 8 and 9 yrs olds) and they thought it was cute.

This is Makenzie reading the book, and this was personally my favorite page. It said: “During their walk to the bus stop, Daddy reminded Zachary of the expectations:

Stay focused

Make good choices; and

Do your best

I LOVED THIS! It’s a good example of what I believe that we should instill into our kids. Letting them know our expectations from the very beginning. I know this probably sounds cliché, but I believe if we communicate our expectations from the very beginning then they would learn how to have expectations of themselves, and learn how to be respectful to others.

I work in an afterschool program where we provide care for children ages 4.9 yrs all the way up to 12 yrs. While working with the kindergarteners I decided to read this book to them; they are scheduled to be with us in the morning then we take them off to school, so right before they were going off to school, I read them Zachary goes to school…and while reading it we had discussions about:

  • How they felt about going to school (were they nervous? excited?), it gave us a chance to talk about feelings
  • We talked about expectations (I explained what that word meant, and had them come up with some expectations in the center)
  • It gave us an opportunity to speak about family (in the book Zachary hung out with his family), so we talked about different family units.

I loved the book and definitely recommend it to others, especially if you work with kids. There are so many different activities and lesson plans that can take place from the book.

Well I hope you enjoyed the book review, if you decide to get the book let me know how you like it.

Remember my motto: Never get to comfortable always keep God first.

Sincerely,

Keisha

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!!

Image result for proud gif

Image result for drawings of the belizean flag

Image result for concentrate gif

(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!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Image result for excited gif

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

Image result for old school gif

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)

Image result for laughing gif

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

Image result for laughing gif

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…

Image result for excited gif

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