I rarely feature books, especially children’s books; I’m usually excited over the latest interior tome, an art-inspired coffee table book, or a fabulous fashion publication. But now I’m excited since I do have a couple of darling authors in my life, so let bias precede me, as I bestow a little nod in their direction. The best stories are always created from the beautiful intensity of reality, and all three of these books share this same thread of commonality.
First off, I’ll start with Bunheads by Misty Copeland, and no, I don’t know Misty, but I’ve purchased this book to give to a young family member, who is, of course, a budding ballerina. A New York Times bestselling author, in this book, Misty captures the elegance of her younger self, as a young ballerina graciously accepting the role she performs in the ballet Coppélia. A story of goals, accomplishments and acceptance, Misty Copeland, clearly shares a moment that she experienced at a young age. Making history in 2015, Ms Copeland is the first black woman to achieve the position of principal dancer for the American Ballet Theatre, and this darling book is a gift of grace for any ballerina.
My dear friend, Marisa Howard, has two darling daughters, who are the inspiration for The Sissies Adventure Series. A series of three short stories, the travel-size books are available individually or packaged as a set in a gift box, and printed in kid-friendly materials. Each story is inspired by their family adventures, to Vero Beach in Florida, Aspen in Colorado and Cabo San Lucas in Mexico, and each appropriately titled, Sissies at the Sea, Sissies in the Mountains, and Sissies go to Mexico. Marisa’s stories represent the essence of sisterhood and the special relationship between siblings, and lovingly written through the eyes of her children. Marisa’s books offer young children a sweet sense of adventure during a time when travelling is so restricted. Follow on Instagram and visit Marisa Howard.
Lastly, but never least, from young Sissies to established sisters, the grand finale features my talented sister, Samantha Bertish, who’s been sharing tales about tails through her kids brand Zuma The Dog for years. Previously writing short stories about, The Adventures of Zuma the Dog, with titles such as Zuma The Dog: The Dinosaur Guy, and Zuma Likes to Dig, Sam now debuts her first children’s novel, Zuma and the Jack Pack.
Zuma, the much-loved family Jack Russell, which I could call my dog-nephew, is, of course, Sam’s inspiration. Set in Portugal, the backdrop of the storyline captures the locale of Guincho Beach, near where my sister previously lived, close to Lisbon. The character of Zuma, lovingly written as a sporting surf star, describes the adversities he encounters and challenges he overcomes. Sam addresses the concept of bullying between dog packs, and equality, teaching the reader about healthy relationships and encouraging self-esteem. Targeting a slightly older reader than the adventures series, the novel is best for children aged 8-years old and above. Follow on Instagram and visit Zuma the Dog.
From stories of fairy tales, travelling families and wagging tails, each of these books, offer authenticity inspired by real life. Adventures that teach young children about goals, courage, and accomplishments through positive relationships. Easy gifts for the festive season, and of course all available online at Amazon, or here: Bunheads, Sissies Adventures, Zuma and the Jack Pack. Happy Reading!