Written by Lauren Muskovitz Ranalli (2018)
Illustrated by Emily Sivek
The Great Latke Cookoff is a fun story of an extended family competing at making latke. Narrated by the grandson, he tells the story of the cookoff between his family members, how they decided the rules, prepared the latkes, and chose the winner. While reading the story, children will learn about Jewish traditions such as the menorah and Chanukah, about various cooking terms such as gourmet, recipe, cookware, and more importantly what latkes are made of. It is a great story with a message of “Do not fix what’s not broken!” and nice illustrations. Overall, well written, clever, entertaining family story.
Lauren Simone Pubs had the honor of reviewing two books written by the talented Belinda Mays. Check out what Olivia and Dr. John had to say!
Seven Days with Daddy by Belinda N. Mays
This is a fun way to learn the days of the week and to count from 1 to 7. In the book, a little girl spends a week hanging out with just her dad, while her mom is away. Read to find out all the fun things daddy has planned to help his daughter deal with mom being away for so long. Olivia and I liked the book for its fun storytelling and bright beautiful illustrations. The book has captivating and colorful illustrations and is perfect for little brown skinned girls who love their daddies. Best of all, they include age diversity by showing not just young adults, but my including granny. We think it is important for children to have strong positive relationships with different generations. We recommend this book for 2 to 6 year olds.
My Amazing Dad by Belinda N. Mays
This book was hilarious!!! My daughter and I really enjoyed reading about the amazing dad. We were not a fan of the illustrations immediately. However, the story was so good that we overlooked them. In fact, because of the hilarious nature of the story, the illustrations actually worked out quite perfectly. We loved the ending. We recommend this book for 5- 9 year olds because of the metaphors and similes used.
Belinda Mays resides in Houston, Texas with her husband, Dr. Anthony Mays and their two daughters and son. Her books inspired by her father, Berkins Booker, Jr., an Air Force mechanic. Her first book was "My Amazing Dad". Belinda is currently working on her third book entitled "I Am, God's Affirmations for Little Girls".
Bubby’s Puddle Pond: A Tortuga's Tale of the Desert
Written by: Carol Hageman (2017)
Illustrated by Nathaniel P. Jensen
Edited by Conrad J. Storad
Carol Hageman, the author of Bubby’s Puddle Pond, is a lover of wildlife and outdoors. She was inspired to share her observations of animals in the story of a tortoise. Bubby is a desert tortoise from the Sonoran desert in Arizona. He meets many animal friends in his new habitat. Join Bubby on his adventures in his puddle pond. In this story, children will learn what foods desert tortoises eat, new vocabulary words such as burrow, habitat, and hibernate, and learn about the adoption process. The end of the story is followed by very informative material that teaches children even more about desert tortoises and adoption. There is also a glossary, a curriculum guide for teachers and homeschool parents, and hands on activities. I recommend this book to parents with children who love animals and preschool teachers to use during their habitat portion of the curriculum.
Check it Out on Amazon: http://a.co/aogpI99
Written by D. Lovelitt (2018)
Illustrated by Yasu Matsuoka
Amina Arnae and Her Poofy Hair is the debut book in The Adventures of Amina Arnae series, written by D. Lovelitt.
Wonderfully illustrated, in this book, we meet a beautiful, chocolate skinned girl with big poofy hair. The pictures in the story are bright, beautiful, and captivating.
A couple of encounters with nature and children from school cause Amina to not be too confident about her poofy hair. Feeling sad and discouraged, she comes up with a number of solutions to solve her problem. In the end, she doesn’t change her the texture or shape of her hair, but learns how to take proper care of it and sees herself as beautiful. Amina Arnae and her poofy hair is an inspiring and empowering story. In this book, girls of color are taught to love themselves as they are as well as how to take care of themselves. Subtly in the illustrations are sulfate free shampoos, silicone free conditioners, leave in conditioners, shea butter moisturizers. The story also cover other topics outside of beauty and self-esteem, but recognize youth challenges such as childhood teasing, overcoming fears, friendship and the importance of active, caring, and nurturing family members.
The story begins with a note to parents to help in increasing their children’s self-esteem and ends with a detailed hair routine for children with thick, natural, curly hair. It was a pleasure to read this book and I recommend to parents and teachers of children age 2 to 6.
On Saturday, August 11, 2018, Imani attended an event at Jack and Allie’s. The bookstore owner, Barbara, welcomed Imani Ariana to host a Space Adventure!
Imani read her book, Disco Balls of the Universe to toddlers and school aged children.
On April 27, 2018, Olivia Lauren and I, Melissa-Sue John met this awesome mother daughter duo at Pitkin Elementary’s Vendor Fair, where the mission of the school was to fundraise for an accessible playground. Karen Opper and her 19-year-old daughter, Belle Opper were getting ready to open a bookstore and informed us they would be delighted to carry our books. Their dream fully materialized on July 15th when they opened their brick and mortar store located at 446 Silas Deane Highway in Wethersfield, CT. We are so happy for them. All of this is #motherdaughterbosses #womenpreneurs #womenempowerment has us feeling very hopeful, confident, and assured that hard work and passion do pay off. We are inviting our readers to support this business. Our youth need to read more and see the power of a dream realized. Their website carries all the books if you are unable to attend in person.
We know one thing that Black people love or love to hate is their hair. This is evidenced by the varying hairstyles from twists, locs, cornrows, braids, wigs, and weaves to the abundance of children books on the topic.
On Instagram, Lauren Simone Pubs follows other African American authors and independent book publishers. For some time, we have been following @theholidayboys because we have noticed a certain book series called the Holiday Boys. Not having boy children, while I was curious, I did not hasten to purchase any of their books.
While Olivia Lauren and I were in Atlanta with a host of African American Authors, Imani Ariana and her mom were busy in Connecticut sharing with lots of kids at the Vernon Public Library about space.
Every summer Imani looks forward to joining in on the local library fun. This summer, not only did she join in, but she was invited as a guest of the reading hour program. The Rockville public library hosts a one hour reading and craft program on Wednesdays for children ages 2 to 4. This program is carefully organized by Mrs. Shalah Z, the Child Librarian at Rockville Public Libray, and Miss Stephanie Grant, Site Specialist- Vernon Family Resource Center.
On July 14, 2018, Lauren Simone Publishing House was in Atlanta representing youth authors: Imani Ariana Grant, Elijah Bishop, Olivia Lauren, and Alyssa Simone; and adult authors, Sabrena Bishop and Melissa-Sue John. We were honored to have the great experience of participating at the first Atlanta African American Book Festival. Founded by the youngest book festival organizer to date, Farai Caldwell, it was held at the Georgia State University and hosted over 80 African American authors and publishers. Talk about a huge success!!!