I have recently been to the book launch of Sunshine Coast author Renee Irving Lee with The Strongest Boy, Lilly Pilly Publishing. There was a wonderful engaging audience of children responding to Bruce the cheeky bird in the story and Renee’s questions at the start. Held in the Coolum Beach Baptist Church in Coolum, Renee read aloud her picture story about Max who learns better ways of using strong words, his strong heart and a strong mind. What a resilient and valuable lesson for all of us today! Illustrator Goce Ilievski from Macedonia has quirky, cartoony bright pictures that appeal to the young.
Here is one little strong boy in the crowd. Rather than just physical strength, it’s better to use kindness strength. What child doesn’t like to push a car!!
A kindness wall was set up outside where the children could write messages and clip them onto the string. Face painting, colouring in sheets, photo booths and more were used cleverly to entertain the youngsters. Parents were involved and these activities worked well. The playgroup area venue was perfect for toddlers and noise. I really liked the strong heart worksheet that gave the children clues as to examples of having and showing a strong heart – inclusive play, help others, smile at others, give compliments and be grateful.
Renee is passionate about writing children’s books that promote life long learning, social inclusion and improve self esteem. She graduated with a Distinction in a Bachelor of Education ( Special Education). Her diverse background can be browsed and noted on her Facebook page.
On a very similar theme and message are the fantastic collection of glossy paged BIG books published by Enlighten Press. These exclusive books make up a well being tool kit that Author Melissa Reve and her daughter Ayla are designing. It’s a family business with Melissa leading the way in life long learning. These big books help to calm and connect children. Mostly designed for the educational community, the titles vary from Emotions, Family, Yoga, Friends, to multi-cultural themes about Festivals, Waterwise and Australia.
A closer look into the Emotions book shows impressive insight into what children feel and how to manage their emotions. From sadness, anger to joy and disappointment, author Melissa has communicated a powerful message of hope and resilience today.
The photographs are dynamic, relatable and colourful. They immediately engage their reader. Some are dream like and captivate an amazing quality that suits the topic.
As Melissa states,” these books are a direct result of conversations Ayla and I have together, sharing our opinions of how our perception creates our experience and the ways we can reframe our thoughts and choose our feelings to feel better.”
Kindness is a strong message in The Strong Boy and some of these Big books. Well being and mindfulness are relevant and current topics for everyone. That’s why I love these laminated and double sided big books, with big heart felt messages. Enlighten Press also produce teacher’s notes and posters for the classroom. Check out their website.
The posters are on ‘how to make a friend’ and ‘choose a greeting’. Above all, the books are designed to support teaching of the Australian curriculum. You can order online or by email and choose any combination of books and posters.
I believe if Renee were to meet Melissa, as parents and educators, they would smile at one another for the way their books empower children to be resilient, strong and emotionally shining. Thumbs up!
As a grandparent myself, I recommend these beautiful books. Why not tell your friends, local library or share these new books. What could be more important than improving self esteem, kindness and the ability to show compassion.