ABC I love me by Miriam Muhammad is a wonderfully told and artistically illustrated story of empowerment and self-love for young children. The story depicts two main characters who happen to be dripping in chocolate, "melanated" skin tones. The story is dedicated to the author’s son and every black and brown girl and boy. Starting with “A is for afro”, then “B is for beautiful” is a great place to start considering the strong connection persons of color have to their hair and the “Black is beautiful” movement. Besides encouraging children to have positive character traits such as “confident”, “fearlessness”, and “talented”, they author also encourages the youth to express emotions such as “joy,” recognize one’s “royalty,” and embrace wholesome values such as gratitude, creating healthy habits for eating and exercise, and being open to trying new things.
Title: My little ol grassy waters
Author: Rickeria Lendale
Publisher: Smashwords, 2017
Pages: 14 pages
Genre: Children’s picture book
Have you ever been to the South? More specifically, have you experienced grassy waters? Perhaps you have taken a swamp tour or swam in a lake? What images come to mind?
My little ol grassy waters is a children’s book where the main character reflects on life living near grassy waters. She recalls sugar cane, rabbits, alligators, dogs, children playing, and Southern charm. It is a sweet memoir of “home sweet home” and I love the melanin richness of the many characters in the story. If you are looking for books with African American characters, this one has plenty!
Although the author never states where this grassy water was located, it took me back to New Orleans. The language as seen in “little ol grass waters,” “my mind going back” and “Yes ma’am” reminds me of southern dialect. The main character yearns to be home. If you watch and enjoy Queen Sugar, I think you would enjoy reading this book to your children. It is short and to the point. She misses her grassy waters.
As a teacher I would have liked to see a lesson at the end of the book. Maybe the author could have describe locations where grassy waters are found. Or have a discussion about types of habitats with one being the wetlands. Or maybe a lesson on Southern charm. The story and the illustrations were beautiful but something felt missing. I give this book 4 stars.