The best books to bring the world’s children together in acceptance and kindness

Who am I?

I'm passionate about a world of kindness and inclusiveness. Growing up, I loved to write stories, but reading was hard. My eyes would go over the words but the meaning wouldn’t get to my brain. So I stopped writing. We must start with little children, making sure they believe in themselves, presenting issues of acceptance, diversity, and social justice. I've published two books on this theme and am working on two more. I talk to school classes and the media, and travel to Ethiopia, where I'm involved with their clean water project. I 'm involved in sustainable projects that improve health and education for children and young women. Please visit my website to learn more.


I wrote...

Book cover of The Purple Pail

What is my book about?

Ava, a little girl in the United States, loses her favorite Purple Pail when a wave takes it out to sea. As Purple Pail travels the world by ocean currents, it gets found by children in 10 different countries. Each child is delighted to put the pail to use, helping his or her family, from clam-digging in Portugal and bee-keeping in New Zealand to making chocolates in Mexico. At last, battered and dented, the pail makes its way back to the very beach where it went missing. Ava, now a mother herself, recognizes it and gives it to her little son.

The delightful illustrations by award-winning artist Niki Leonidou enhance the magic of this book.

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of Some Daddies

Christine Ieronimo Why did I love this book?

This is a very sweet book that celebrates fathers in a modern and inclusive way. The illustrations are happy and uplifting and do a beautiful job showing fathers of all sorts. All children will be able to find a Daddy similar to their own. It is always important for children to see themselves in the books that they read. Some Daddies embraces diversity allowing children to learn about the multicultural world we live in.

By Carol Gordon Ekster, Javiera Mac-Lean Álvarez (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Some Daddies as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

Every daddy is different--and that makes them even more special!

"Some daddies teach you about the world. Others attend tea parties. Some help turn blankets into forts. Others hold you steady while you pedal."

This rollicking showcase of daddies celebrates the incredible diversity of modern fathers. The inclusive cast of characters--including a two-dad family, a single dad, and a stay-at-home dad--highlights the bond between daddy and child as they play, learn, comfort, and laugh their way through everyday life. This open-hearted ode to fatherhood will give readers new appreciation for how their own fathers and father-figures shine in their own…


Book cover of Stellaluna

Christine Ieronimo Why did I love this book?

Stellaluna is about a little fruit bat who becomes friends with three young birds Pip, Flitter and Flap under the most unlikely circumstances. It is a story about unconditional acceptance and love. Stellaluna becomes separated from her mother and is taken in by the family of birds. The four friends discover many things that are different about bats and birds. Those differences only strengthen their bond. “How can we be so different and feel so much alike”. This story was a favorite of my children growing up. Stellaluna teaches empathy, kindness and the beauty of embracing our differences, not to mention that the illustrations are gorgeous. It is a book that should be on every child's bookshelf.

By Janell Cannon,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Stellaluna as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Knocked from her mother's safe embrace by an attacking owl, Stellaluna lands headfirst in a bird's nest. This adorable baby fruit bat's world is literally turned upside down when she is adopted by the occupants of the nest and adapts to their peculiar bird habits. Two pages of notes at the end of the story provide factual information about bats. "Delightful and informative but never didactic; a splendid debut." - Kirkus Reviews AGES: 4 to 7 AUTHOR: Janell Cannon's picture books have won many awards and are beloved around the world. She is the author and illustrator of Verdi, Crickwing,…


Book cover of Love Is Love

Christine Ieronimo Why did I love this book?

This is a book of inclusiveness about being a gay child. All children should be able to read books where they can recognize themselves in a positive light. I highly recommend all books by Little Pickle Press. They are dedicated to exactly what I believe in and why I write books. They publish picture books for little kids with meaningful stories, to help kids with awareness at a very young age. This is what we as parents and educators must do! 

By Michael Genhart, Ken Min (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Love Is Love as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

Open a dialogue with the children in your life about the importance of love and acceptance with this Silver Moonbeam Award Winner story celebrating open mindedness, diversity, and the LGBTQIA+ community. Perfect for your family library or a storytime read-aloud for any day of the year.
It's love that makes a family.
When a boy confides in his friend about bullies saying he doesn't have a real family, he discovers that his friend's parents-a mom and a dad-and his two dads are actually very much alike.
Dr. Michael Genhart's debut story is the perfect resource to gently discuss discrimination with…


Book cover of Trees Make Perfect Pets

Christine Ieronimo Why did I love this book?

This story, with wonderful illustrations, is a different way to believe in yourself. A girl wants a pet for her birthday—a tree! Her parents reluctantly give in. She finds a little tree, names it Fido, puts it in a pot and takes it everywhere in her wagon. A neighbor kid says his cat is a real pet. When the tree is too big for her wagon, her dad helps her plant it in her yard. Now she has a tree she can climb, sit in and read books, surrounded by birds! She says, “A tree is everyone’s friend.” 

Like me, when he was a kid, Paul was told he couldn’t write. He got an F, with the note: “Get a tutor.”

By Paul Czajak, Cathy Gendron (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Trees Make Perfect Pets as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

"Takes tree-hugging-and standing up for yourself-to a new level." -Kirkus Reviews
An endearing and environmentally friendly story about a girl's unlikely best friend...a tree!
Abigail is determined to get the perfect pet.
So she chooses Fido. He keeps her cool from the sun, stays where she tells him, and even gives her air to breathe. That's because Fido is a tree!
But not everyone thinks having a tree as a pet is a good idea, though, especially when Fido starts to grow. Will Abigail be able to keep her perfect pet?
Trees Make Perfect Pets is a heartwarming story, perfect…


Book cover of Antiracist Baby

Christine Ieronimo Why did I love this book?

This is a must for all babies and their readers! Ibram Kendi is the director of Boston University’s Center for Antiracist Research. He was one of Time magazine’s Most Influential People, 2020. A New York Times bestseller, the book has sold more than half a million copies to date. Antiracist Baby includes nine steps for building world where everyone thrives. 

Illustrator Ashley Lukashevsky, born in Hawaii, uses her art to champion people’s rights, from Black Lives Matter to LGBTQ+ to immigrants.

By Ibram X. Kendi, Ashley Lukashevsky (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Antiracist Baby as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Take your first steps with Antiracist Baby! Or rather, follow Antiracist Baby's nine easy steps for building a more equitable world.

With bold art and thoughtful yet playful text, Antiracist Baby introduces the youngest readers and the grown-ups in their lives to the concept and power of antiracism. Providing the language necessary to begin critical conversations at the earliest age, Antiracist Baby is the perfect gift for readers of all ages dedicated to forming a just society.


You might also like...

The Deviant Prison: Philadelphia's Eastern State Penitentiary and the Origins of America's Modern Penal System, 1829-1913

By Ashley Rubin,

Book cover of The Deviant Prison: Philadelphia's Eastern State Penitentiary and the Origins of America's Modern Penal System, 1829-1913

Ashley Rubin Author Of The Deviant Prison: Philadelphia's Eastern State Penitentiary and the Origins of America's Modern Penal System, 1829-1913

New book alert!

Who am I?

I have been captivated by the study of prisons since my early college years. The fact that prisons are so new in human history still feels mind-blowing to me. I used to think that prisons have just always been around, but when you realize they are actually new, that has major implications. This is nowhere more clear than at the beginning: how hard it was to get to the point where prisons made sense to people, to agree on how prisons should be designed and managed, and to keep on the same path when prisons very quickly started to fail. It’s still puzzling to me.

Ashley's book list on the origins of American prisons

What is my book about?

What were America's first prisons like? How did penal reformers, prison administrators, and politicians deal with the challenges of confining human beings in long-term captivity as punishment--what they saw as a humane intervention?

The Deviant Prison centers on one early prison: Eastern State Penitentiary. Built in Philadelphia, one of the leading cities for penal reform, Eastern ultimately defied national norms and was the subject of intense international criticism.

The Deviant Prison traces the rise and fall of Eastern's unique "Pennsylvania System" of solitary confinement and explores how and why Eastern's administrators kept the system going, despite great personal cost to themselves. Anyone interested in history, prisons, and criminal justice will find something to enjoy in this book.

The Deviant Prison: Philadelphia's Eastern State Penitentiary and the Origins of America's Modern Penal System, 1829-1913

By Ashley Rubin,

What is this book about?

Early nineteenth-century American prisons followed one of two dominant models: the Auburn system, in which prisoners performed factory-style labor by day and were placed in solitary confinement at night, and the Pennsylvania system, where prisoners faced 24-hour solitary confinement for the duration of their sentences. By the close of the Civil War, the majority of prisons in the United States had adopted the Auburn system - the only exception was Philadelphia's Eastern State Penitentiary, making it the subject of much criticism and a fascinating outlier. Using the Eastern State Penitentiary as a case study, The Deviant Prison brings to light…


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