Archives for January 19, 2024

Books of the Week!

Pairing rhymes with vivid illustrations, a new picture book A FOOT IS NOT A FISH! (Distributed by Simon & Schuster; February 13) helps parents show their children that it is not hard to see what is true and what is not. Cornelia Maude Spelman, MSW, is the acclaimed children’s book author of The Way I Feel series (over three million copies sold). 

This is a great way to teach children ages 5-8 how to tell the difference between what is true and what is not. I found it to be an interesting book and a great way to teach about fiction and fact.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Cornelia Maude Spelman, MSW, was a therapist with children and families before turning full-time to writing and art. She’s written eleven books for children that help them manage emotion and difficult life situations. Her The Way I Feel series of books for young children, described by reviewers as “sensitive” and “compassionate,” have sold over two million copies and been translated into Chinese, Korean, Spanish, Greek, Japanese, German, Arabic, Turkish, Danish, Russian, and Portuguese. She is also the author of the best-selling Your Body Belongs to You.

This is a tenderhearted middle grade novel about a young Pakistani American artist determined to manage her anxiety and forge her own creative path.

Deena’s never given a name to the familiar knot in her stomach that appears when her parents argue about money, when it’s time to go to school, or when she struggles to find the right words. She manages to make it through each day with the help of her friends and the art she loves to make.

While her parents’ money troubles cause more and more stress, Deena wonders if she can use her artistic talents to ease their burden. She creates a logo and social media account to promote her mom’s home-based business selling clothes from Pakistan to the local community. With her cousin and friends modeling the outfits and lending their social media know-how, business picks up.

But the success and attention make Deena’s cousin and best friend, Parisa, start to act funny. Suddenly Deena’s latest creative outlet becomes another thing that makes her feel nauseated and unsure of herself. After Deena reaches a breaking point, both she and her mother learn the importance of asking for help and that, with the right support, Deena can create something truly beautiful.

This truly is a beautiful book! I loved the characters and the overall message of the story!

Hena Khan (she/her/hers) is a Pakistani American writer and winner of the Asian/Pacific American Award for Children’s Literature. She is the author of the middle grade novels Amina’s VoiceAmina’s Song, More to the StoryDrawing Deena, and the Zara’s Rules series and picture books Golden Domes and Silver LanternsUnder My Hijab, and It’s Ramadan, Curious George, among others. Hena lives in her hometown of Rockville, Maryland, with her family. You can learn more about Hena and her books by visiting her website at or connecting with her @HenaKhanBooks.

The book’s official purchase link:

Self Disclosure: I received free copies of the above books to facilitate this post. Cover images were also provided.

Zukes, January 19 Pet of the Week

Zukes needs a forever home!

Zukes, a good boy with wacky eyes, came to our shelter at Long Beach Animal Care Services in May as an emaciated stray. Thanks to the work of his longtime foster, he’s learned to enjoy walks and road trips, be they brief or extended. He’s very smart—he’s crate trained and potty trained, and he’s acquired obedience skills. He loves to play! Best of all, he’s packed on the pounds and now weighs about 70 of them! His foster has given him all the prep-school education he’s needed to be a good house dog, and now, he’s ready to go home for real! Since Zukes is in foster and not in the shelter, visit, you can meet him by entering Zukes’ name in the required space, and follow directions. You can also email or, or call (562) 570-4925. and ask for ID#A698045 to meet Zukes. We’re over capacity, and everyone needs homes!