Book Reviews and Awards
One of the simple and most powerful joys in life is knowing that my books make readers feel "heard and seen". The next best thing is being recognized for it. Some of the many recognitions are listed below... and I'm just getting started!
A 'Wishing Shelf' Book Review
A colourfully illustrated picturebook with a strong message that being different should be celebrated.
Faith’s Freckles by authors Shermaine Perry-Knights and Baylei Hinds-Perry is an empowering picture book for children that are self-conscious about their unique looks. In this story, Faith has freckles that no one else in her school seems to have, but the message applies to all physical differences that children are often picked on about. This story shows how much it hurts children when they are teased, emphasizing that comments about others’ looks are not funny or a game.
This children’s book teaches the messages of self-love and self-acceptance. Aimed at young elementary students, this is a critical time in their lives to learn self-esteem. That makes this book ideal for classrooms and libraries. It would be a wonderful gift for a child with freckles who is afraid of being teased and made fun of. It is a heartwarming picture book that teaches children social and emotional awareness and acceptance for those that look different from themselves.
We’re all different. Some of our differences are visible; other differences are hidden deep inside. Sadly, the visible differences sometimes make us stand out a little more and these differences cause others to make fun of us. And it hurts. It makes us feel ugly, imperfect, unhappy and rejected. Faith has lots of freckles on her face. Her classmates constantly make fun of her and tell her she has a dirty face. Her best friend, McKenzie, thinks differently. She has one freckle which she calls a beauty mark; she wishes she had a face full of freckles like Faith does – fifty-five, to be exact; Faith counted them. When McKenzie invites all the girls from school to her birthday party, Faith doesn’t want to go, but she knows she has to go for McKenzie. As expected, the other girls are mean, but McKenzie quickly eases the pain so the two girls can feel beautiful together.
Shermaine Perry-Knights and Baylei Hinds-Perry have put together a remarkable picture book story in Faith’s Freckles. This sweet story is told with care and compassion and addresses some key issues that young girls everywhere must face, particularly the art of feeling good about themselves and feeling beautiful within. Self-esteem and self-empowerment are difficult attributes to adopt, especially when one is constantly harassed and bullied for their differences. Young people (and people of all ages) need to learn to accept each other, especially for their differences. After all, “the things that make you different, make you extra special.” The story is told in the first person narrative, from Faith’s point of view. This is a clever ploy to really let young readers feel Faith’s struggle to accept herself as she is, accept her freckles, and stand up to the pain inflicted by others. Beautifully told and with spectacular illustrations. Loved it!
This heartwarming story shows how moving can become an adventure. It talks about how challenging life as a military kid can be and shows how amazing the experiences are. The artwork in this picture book has vivid colors, and the detailed work really adds to the story.
I Move A Lot and That’s Okay: Axel’s Story is a phenomenal picture book for children dealing with a move. While centered on military families, it can apply to many situations, the concerns, fears, and joys.
Shermaine Perry-Knights grew up in a military family. Although many non-military people refer to military kids as “military brats,” she does not like the term “brat.” Using her childhood experiences, Shermaine has authored a helpful and encouraging book for military children. She uses language that will be easy for children to identify with.
Having Axel (the star of the book) be honest with his emotions and then say he is okay with the changes is a great way to encourage children. Discussing the upcoming changes will be easier using this book as an introduction. The reader can sense Shermaine’s compassion. Her words will easily stick with children and help them navigate any changes. Parents will enjoy I Move a Lot and That’s Okay! just as much as their children.
Self Publishing Review
Author Shermaine Perry-Knights puts her lived experience as a military kid to beautiful use in I Move A Lot and That’s Okay. Utilizing affirming and confident language about the positive elements of a transient lifestyle, the book will help particular young readers adjust to the implicit challenges of relocation.
Addressing everything from cultural shifts and unwarranted fears to challenging goodbyes and the potential pleasures of change, this charming story subtly touches on a myriad of psychological and emotional obstacles for military kids. The digital illustrations are colorful and engaging, and the small formatting splashes of color keep the prose dynamic. Written with humor, understanding, and compassion, this is a comforting and educational book for both military parents and their children.
I found the subject very interesting because many children go through similar experiences. I like the fact that the book teaches that feelings of conflict are normal and that it's okay to be able to express them in order to accept them. In I Move A Lot and That's Okay you learn to see relocation in a positive way. Grace knows it's difficult, but she must support her father in the same way as her mother does.
Family unity is a clear message within the story. The characters help each other, they look for the best options for themselves and for others, and all of this is positive. While it is aimed at children, this book has a very authentic perspective that I greatly admired, along with Shermaine Perry-Knights' writing.