When I received the opportunity through Here Wee Read to review I'm A Big Sister by Crystal Swain-Bates, I immediately jumped on it.  As a mom of two kids, I remember vividly the days of awaiting the birth of my son and looking for stories to share with my daughter about becoming a big sister.  As we prepped for the new baby by decorating a nursery and buying new clothes, we also prepped our daughter for the changes she would experience.  There is no better way to open up such a discussion with a child, than by allowing the gift of stories to lead the way.  So when I saw the latest book by Crystal Swain-Bates, the nostalgia of those days came swinging back into my mind and I couldn't wait to read I'm A Big Sister.

     This charming story is written in a simple rhyming style and told through the eyes of an adorable little girl whose Mom and Dad has just returned home with a brand new addition to the family tree, therefore making her a new big sister.  As she settles into her new role, she discovers the fun, joy, and work of having a new baby in the home.  With all the work that goes into caring for a baby, she becomes a great helper to her parents and quickly embraces her big sister title.

     In addition to being a great story, I also enjoyed this book because it centers around an African American family.  As the mom of African American children, I am constantly on the look out for books where my children can see positive representations of characters that look and feel like them.  I'm A Big Sister is exactly the kind of literature I seek to give to my children to help promote positive esteem for themselves and their culture.

     But as much as this is a book about an African American family, I must also say that it is about any typical American family.  It is a universal story for any family that is going through the experience of expanding their brood.   I can see various families with little girls awaiting their new baby siblings, having many happy bedtime readings with this book.  I'm A Big Sister would make a great addition to the bookshelves of all big girls about to become big sisters.

     You can purchase I'm A Big Sister by Crystal Swain-Bates on or



Book Review: "A Taco for El Presidente"

When I was asked to review "A Taco For El Presidente," written by Seema Vora Bakhru and illustrated by Eduardo Rama, I was immediately intrigued by the title.  It is an obvious ode to the political climate we currently inhabit.  I was curious as to how a children’s book would tackle such a sensitive subject and explain it all to children in a manner that is truthful and respectful to all readers.

I sat down with book in hand and prepared myself for an interesting read.  Right away, I was won over with the charm of Max the taco who only wants to be the best taco he can be so that he can show the President that tacos are indeed great.  

As Max sets out to make himself into the best taco, he realizes that the best taco should include many different flavors.  He incorporates Mediterranean flavors, Korean flavors, and Indian flavors but is not met with positive reviews from his boss who runs the taco truck that Max works for. His boss would prefer Max to stick to the same typical flavors that everyone is used to.  

Even though Max is met with resistance from his boss, some enchanting and other delicious food friends encourage him to stay true to himself.  When the time comes to finally meet the President, Max is ready to pass his message along that having more than one flavor is what makes the taco truck great.  

This is a story that all ages and flavors can embrace.  In a time when issues of multiculturalism, diversity, and even being true to one’s identity are constantly debated, I must say that this story is needed.  With humor, creativity, and charm, it respectfully teaches the lessons of acceptance and understanding and being true to one’s self.  It is a story of coming together and embracing the best in all of us.  Not only do I recommend it for little ones who want a fun and funny read, but I also recommend it for parents who want to introduce their kids to new and different foods and cultures.  This would be great encouragement for them to try new things. But in addition, I suggest it to any adult who needs and wants to address the issues of diversity and our world with positivity, hope, and even a little humor.