You want a revolution? I want a revelation…okay, I admit it. I might be watching and listening to way too much of Hamilton. It’s not just me, JustaBXgirl loves the soundtrack almost as much, if not more than I do. Something else that we have in common is our love of reading. Now that JustaBXgirl can regularly read on her own that means that this mama can curl up with a book of her own. As for revolution or revelation? I’m hoping that the list that I bring you this month has you itching for a bit of both!
Princeless Book 2: Get Over Yourself – I’ve shared this series on social media before. A teacher at JustaBXgirl’s school introduced it to her before the world closed down. She now has the first two books and is obsessed. She reads them each at least once a week. She loves that the lead character is a princess that isn’t into the pomp and circumstance. JustaBXgirl sees a kindred spirit in this warrior princess. I think that graphic novels and comic books are a great way to pull in the children transitioning from picture books to chapter books. I know sometimes JustaBXgirl gets frustrated when reading a book and there are no images so I think these are a great middle-ground, they meet her reading ability plus give her visualizations.
Raising The Resistance A Mother’s Guide to Practical Activism – I need to share that this book has made me feel so good about many of my parenting choices. Reading it feels like having a conversation. It feels like I have found my parenting people! This book for me that reminds us that activism begins right at home. We show our children to advocate for themselves, their beliefs, and others from the very beginning in the choices we make daily.
My Pet Slime – JustaBXgirl has a subscription to Epic through her school. She ate through this ten-book series about a girl, her pet slime Cosmo and quite the adventures they shared in no time. Cosmo is a creature made from slime and space dust. Cosmo is the ideal pet since Piper is allergic to all things furry and cute. The thing is, everyone doesn’t know that Cosmo is alive. Epic has so many fun titles for littles to discover.
Find The Helpers – Fred Guttenberg lived every parents worst nightmare on February 14, 2018. Jaime, his daughter, was killed in the Parkland School Shooting. He was already living through the grief of losing his brother, a 9/11 first responder, that lost a battle with pancreatic cancer a few months prior. Instead of shutting down and giving up, which I will admit, might have been my first reaction, Fred took his loss, his grief and channeled it into becoming one of the helpers in our world. Fred Rogers taught us to always look for the helpers and Fred Guttenberg is making sure that we know where to find them and why becoming one is so important.
Daniel’s Dreams: Monster Mountain – I LOVE this book. I mean, we love this book. Seriously though, JustaBXgirl enjoyed the book. She loved meeting the different monsters and could relate to using many of the coping mechanisms within the pages. This past year has really wreaked havoc on my anxiety threshold. I have always been one of those people that can easily go down the rabbit hole of worst-case scenarios. This past year though has had me at times feel crippled and paralyzed by what-ifs. I know this is a children’s book but reading about Daniel (and Shelley) helped me as well. I’m really looking forward to getting to know more monsters at Monster Mountain.
Black Man On The Titanic: The Story of Joseph Laroche – The story of Joseph Laroche is one I did not know that I needed to learn! Not only was he a second class passenger on the Titanic and an engineer that helped contribute to the construction of the Paris railways but he is also a descendant of the father of Haitian independence! He was survived by his wife and two daughters.
Flora & Ulysses – Are you a book before movie or movie before book person? I hadn’t heard about this book before I saw the trailer for Flora & Ulysses. Since seeing it, JustaBXgirl and I have been waiting for the movie to be released on Disney Plus (more about that in this month’s Movie Night post coming soon). I’m usually a movie before book person but JustaBXgirl is a book first girl!
The Book of Awesome Black Americans – It frustrates me that every year our littles learn about the same people in Black History Month. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and Harriet Tubman always seem to be elementary school favorites. And even the lessons around them are minimal in facts beyond the highlight reel. Books like these are critical to have in home libraries. Black History is American History and should be taught year round. Books like this make it easier for families and educators to do just that. You can read it from page one to page two hundred and twenty-four OR you can go through specific chapters learning about specific contributors to American History!
Music All Around – This book is an ideal addition to our home library. We have listened to the music all around most of JustaBXgirl’s life. I taught her from a young age to dance to the music that our city plays as we travel down the streets. This was a wonderful trip with Sofia to listen to the music surrounding her as she travels from the sea to the woods. It is also a wonderful way to introduce some music vocabulary to a littles world.
Raising Confident Black Kids – This book had me at “The Talk.” When you hear about “the talk” on tv, it’s usually for early teens about sex. When you are raising a child of Color, the talk comes a lot earlier and is about something entirely different. I remember one of the first talks I had with JustaBXgirl. It was when she was two or three and we were on a playdate in NYC’s Financial District. Her friends on the playdate were running through the halls of the little girl hosting’s building. I grabbed her back and explained that while their parents felt comfortable with them running free, her mama felt differently. When we left the playdate and took the train back uptown to the Bronx, I went into “the talk” more. I used age appropriate language to convey my concerns with my Black child running through the halls of someone’s Manhattan high rise. This book helps identify ways to keep “The Talk” age appropriate while not shying away from the need to have these conversations. It delivers resources and straight help on how to navigate raising Black children. I’ll be adding this book to my baby shower gift list.
A Delicious Taste of Mozzarella! : Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky – JustaBXgirl was thrilled to find out that this book is about a real person. It took her a moment to get that Uncle Petya is the same person that composed The Nutckracker but when she did, she was awed. She wanted to read it again. And after we read it (twice), she rushed off to listen to it on the enclosed CD!