A Taste of Hunger * Truly Shows The Perfection Of The Culinary World

A power couple within the Danish gourmet scene run the popular restaurant Malus in Copenhagen.  The couple is willing to sacrifice everything to achieve their dream – getting the coveted Michelin star.  KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Nyara A. comments, “The captivating film, A Taste of Hunger by Christoffer Boe, truly shows the perfection of the culinary world. Each dish in this movie is carefully arranged and perfectly cooked. The acting portrays the deep desire that every chef has to create a dish that the customer would never forget.” See her full review below.

A Taste of Hunger

By Nyara Afshar, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

The captivating film, A Taste of Hunger by Christoffer Boe, truly shows the perfection of the culinary world. Each dish in this movie is carefully arranged and perfectly cooked. The acting portrays the deep desire that every chef has to create a dish that the customer would never forget. I can almost smell all of the delicious food, as if the scent of sautéed oyster, cooked octopus, and fermented lemons are wafting through the screen.

The storyline revolves around a Danish couple, both culinary experts. Maggi (Katrine Greis-Rosenthal) and Carsten (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) both dream of only one accomplishment, receiving the world’s most renowned culinary award, a Michelin star. Although their dream is big, they use every means of achieving it, even if it comes in the way of their relationship, and more importantly, their family. Will Maggi’s affair destroy their dream altogether, or will they push past this bump in the long road to a Michelin star?

The protagonist, played by Katrine Greis-Rosenthal, portrays her character with a sense of mystery. You never truly know what is going on inside of Maggi’s head. Nikolaj Coster-Waldau plays both a loving father and an uncompromising boss very realistically, giving the viewers mixed feelings of whether they should root for him or not. The food shown in this movie is designed to almost perfection, enhancing the quality of this film. My favorite part of the movie is the opening sequence. The beautifully presented food and the music create an enthralling introduction to the movie.

The message of this film is that working hard is the only way to achieve your dream. No matter how hard you try, there will always be setbacks and forks in the road, but to reach what you want, you have to get back up, no matter how many times you fall. This is an uplifting message to all those who have a big dream, no matter how hard it is to fulfill. The main age restriction of this movie is due to the sexual scenes. There are multiple scenes that would not be appropriate for ages 13 and under.

I give A Taste of Hunger 4 out of five stars and recommend it for ages 14 to 18, plus adults. It releases in theaters and on demand January 28, 2022.

The King’s Daughter * A Swashbuckling Adventure With A Royal Heroine, A Mystical Creature And A Fairytale Setting

Known as The Sun King, Louis XIV (Pierce Brosnan) is the most powerful and influential monarch on the planet. Obsessed with his own mortality and the future of France, Louis turns to his spiritual advisor, Père La Chaise (William Hurt), and the royal physician to help him obtain the key to immortality. Believing a mermaid (Fan Bingbing) contains a force that grants everlasting life, Louis commissions a young sea captain to search the seas and capture the mystical creature. Further complicating his plans is his orphaned daughter, Marie-Josèphe (Kaya Scodelario), who returns to court with an abundance of elegance and an inherent defiance of authority. With a rare solar eclipse approaching, Louis will discover where his daughter’s true loyalties lie as he races against time to extract the mermaid’s life-giving force. 

KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Selene W. comments, “If you’re looking for a swashbuckling adventure with a royal heroine and a mystical creature in a fairytale setting then The King’s Daughter is for you!  This movie showcases the beauty and majesty of Versailles with breathtaking cinematography that is truly the stuff of dreams.” Kyla C. adds, “The King’s Daughter combines historic and futuristic elements into one modern, fantastical film. The sets are absolutely beautiful and the acting is on point—and along with that, an intriguing storyline and deeply developed characters make it impossible to stop watching.” Makena P. wraps it up with, “I love The King’s Daughter because the story timeline creates suspense and is very intriguing. It guides the film in many different ways, with costumes, makeup, sets, setting, and how the characters are portrayed. The costumes really caught my eye—every single one is different.” See their full reviews below.

The King’s Daughter

By Kyla C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 12

The King’s Daughter combines historic and futuristic elements into one modern, fantastical film. The sets are absolutely beautiful and the acting is on point—and along with that, an intriguing storyline and deeply developed characters make it impossible to stop watching.

The fantasy story follows King Louis XIV (Pierce Brosnan) of France and his determination to gain immortality, no matter the cost. Even the death of a mermaid (Bingbing Fan) and the grief of his daughter, Marie-Josephe D’Alember (Kaya Scodelario), will not stop him. He proves his selfishness even further by forcing his daughter into a marriage to make allies with the Dutch, despite her love for the sailor Benoit (Paul Ireland). Will Marie learn of the King’s plans in time to save the mermaid? Or will lives be lost and love drained in King Louis’s path to eternal life?

The King’s Daughter has gorgeous sets. The palace is gigantic and golden, with intricate designs etched on the top of the points. Wide open fields with vibrant green grass, a fountain surrounding a magnificent statue and the seaside cliffs where Marie has to decide her fate are only a few of the breathtaking locations. The cave where the mermaid lives, however, rises above all. The gentle dimness sets the tone for the friendship that will be created and then jeopardized. With the ship towering over the water, the limited light reflects in the sea. These pretty sets create a perfect background for the wonderful acting. Pierce Brosnan as King Louis, Kaya Scodelario as Marie, and William Hurt as Pere La Chaise deliver some of the best performances. The actors drop clues as their characters’ motivations and secrets are slowly revealed to make the plot even more interesting.

The message of The King’s Daughter is to treasure loved ones and regard all lives as important, no matter their appearance or powers. This is shown through the themes of love and equal treatment of other species, symbolized by the mermaid. There are periods of violence, particularly at the end.

I give The King’s Daughter 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 9 to 18, plus adults. Get that popcorn ready—you can view The King’s Daughter in select theaters beginning January 21, 2022.

The King’s Daughter

By Selene W., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14 

If you’re looking for a swashbuckling adventure with a royal heroine and a mystical creature in a fairytale setting then The King’s Daughter is for you!  This movie showcases the beauty and majesty of Versailles with breathtaking cinematography that is truly the stuff of dreams. 

The King’s Daughter is based on the book The Moon and the Sun by Vonda N. McIntyre—a historical fantasy novel taking place during the reign of King Louis XIV of France (Pierce Brosnan).  King Louis, known as The Sun King, is the most powerful monarch of that time and obsessed with his own mortality and rule. While seeking the key to immortality, he has his estranged daughter, Marie-Josèphe (Kaya Scodelario) brought to court.  She was secretly raised in a convent and is unaware of her parentage but has a forthright character, intellect and beauty that draws him to reconsider his world and values.

The performances in this film really add to the haunting majesty of the storyline under the direction of Sean McNamara.  I really enjoyed the depth of the relationship between King Louis (Pierce Brosnan) and his spiritual advisor, Père La Chaise (William Hurt).  Naturally, my favorite character is our independent and strong heroine Marie-Josèphe (Kaya Scodelario), and she is a great role model in this film.  Interestingly, after playing the romantic roles in this movie, Kaya Scodelario and Benjamin Walker (Captain Yves De La Croix) fell in love in real life!  Another magical element is the narration by the incomparable Julie Andrews. 

In addition to the acting performances, the breathtaking setting of Versailles imbues its own magic as does the visual effects in this film.  Music is another key element which supports the story, and I enjoyed the scenes of Marie-Josèphe (Kaya Scodelario) composing and performing as her music weaves its magic on more than one character.  Near and dear to my heart are the sumptuous gowns and costumes designed by Lizzy Gardiner as the exquisite detailing adds to the majesty of the characters. This film has more than one message as it explores the importance of belief and values. The characters learn to stop hoping for the perfect world and to live in the one that they inhabit and try to make it better—an important message for everyone.  King Louis XIV learns through the perseverance of his daughter, Marie-Josephe, that only love is immortal.

I rate The King’s Daughter 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 14, plus adults who will enjoy it as well. The film opens exclusively in theaters on January 21, 2022. Don’t miss this magical story as it unfolds!

The King’s Daughter

By Makena P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 13


I love The King’s Daughter because the story timeline creates suspense and is very intriguing. It guides the film in many different ways, with costumes, makeup, sets, setting, and how the characters are portrayed. The costumes really caught my eye—every single one is different. The outfits of Marie-Josephe (Kaya Scodelario) are so beautiful and seem to always have a touch of her personality in them.

The storyis about King Louis XIV’s (Pierce Brosnan) daughter, Marie-Josephe D’Alember, who comes from an orphanage where she is being raised by nuns. She is introduced to the world where she meets a mermaid (Bingbing Fan) who is captured and put in a secret place where the subjects of King Louis XIV hold her. Marie-Josephe doesn’t know what they are planning to do with the mermaid and why.

The cast of The King’s Daughter is excellent overall and includes William Hurt in a key role as Pere La Chaise. The movie is partly filmed in the Palace of Versailles in France including a big dance sequence filmed inside the Hall of Mirrors. The King’s Daughter has so much of everything—action, adventure, family, fantasy, and romance which all make the film so interesting!

The message of this film is that you know what’s right and wrong, so don’t let anyone get away with doing something wrong. Even people you love might be doing something for the wrong reason—it’s important to stand up to them and make it right.

I give The King’s Daughter 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. You can find The King’s Daughter in theaters on January 21, 2022.

The Tiger Rising * Powerful Film And The Perfect Resource To Help People Overcome Challenges

Queen Latifah and Dennis Quaid star in this beloved tale based on the New York Times best-selling book by Kate DiCamillo. When 12-year-old Rob Horton (Christian Convery) discovers a caged tiger in the woods near his home, his imagination runs wild and life begins to change in the most unexpected ways. With the help of a wise and mysterious maid, Willie May (Queen Latifah) and the stubborn new girl in school (Madalen Mills), he navigates through childhood memories, heartache, and wondrous adventures in this heartwarming adaptation. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Dominic D. comments, “This powerful film is packed with so much, that it will undoubtedly become the perfect resource to help people overcome challenges.” See his full review below.  

The Tiger Rising

By Dominic D., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 11

Grief can run so unbelievably deep that it can control your life.  Sadly, this is the case with 12-year-old Rob Horton in the new film The Tiger Rising.  This powerful film is packed with so much, that it will undoubtedly become the perfect resource to help people overcome challenges.  Although its subject matter is somewhat heavy, this film will leave its viewers with a sense of empowerment that each of us has for what it takes to make it through our darkest days. 

Based on Kate DiCamillo’s book, The Tiger Rising follows a young boy on his heartfelt journey following the loss of his mother. Young Rob (Christian Convery) flees with his Dad to a new town to start their life anew. Rob is bullied at his new school, but finds friendship with Sistene (Madalen Mills), an aggressive and outspoken classmate who is also new to the area and dealing with problems of her own. Rob stumbles upon a caged tiger and shares his find with Sistene who insists that this tiger be set free. Feeling confused about doing the right thing, Rob seeks advice from the motel’s maid Willie May (Queen Latifah) who gives him genuine and endearing advice.

What I liked most about The Tiger Rising is how symbolic it is. The tiger in the cage represents the very trapped Rob and Sistine.  Both of these kids are struggling with their trapped emotions very much like the tiger that spends his days pacing back and forth in his tiny cage. The actors for this film completely fit their roles and give it such meaning.  The Tiger Rising tugs at the heart and creates gratitude for our blessings in life, which I also appreciate.  The outcome of the film is suspenseful and filled with complex emotions, leaving viewers both sad and glad at the same time. Also worth a mention are the terrific visual effects that bring such life to the tiger.  The films explores Rob’s close family relationships, as shown in Rob’s flashbacks and how, when those bonds are no longer there, they are replaced by the bonds of friendship. When these two kids hit rock bottom, they must trust one another to lift themselves back up. 

The main themes of The Tiger Rising are about relationships and trusting others.  There is a deeper message in The Tiger Rising, however. Loss and grief can cause you to become caged and isolated from the world; yet the only way to be released from it is to find a way to free yourself. Each of us has the ability to move beyond these constraints and Willie May’s advice of “nobody can rescue you, you have to rescue yourself,” expresses the importance of self-empowerment.

I give The Tiger Rising 4 out of 5 stars, and recommend it to ages 8 to 18.  Adults, especially educators, will also love this film. The Tiger Rising releases in theaters January 21, 2022 and begins streaming on Apple TV February 8, 2022.

The Lost Treasure * Lots Of Amazing Stuff, Quite A Bit Of Action, Not Too Scary For Younger Kids

Eddie Fox, a hustling treasure hunter, finds himself forced to embark on a journey into the jungle to prevent a power hungry egomaniac from finding an ancient weapon that could destroy the island. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Avalon N. comments, “The Lost Treasure is a greatly scripted, nicely executed film. It has quite a bit of action but definitely not too scary for younger children.” Mikela G. adds, “The Lost Treasure is an entertaining, fun and enjoyable movie. It has lots of action scenes, and really grabbed my attention. Plus it is very family friendly.” See their full reviews below.

The Lost Treasure

By Avalon N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

The Lost Treasure is a greatly scripted, nicely executed film. It has quite a bit of action but definitely not too scary for younger children.

This film is about treasure hunter Eddie Fox (Josh Margules). One day he finds a book which leads him to find out about a magical staff. He embarks on a mission to get this staff before it falls into the wrong hands.

First, this film has lots of amazing stuff in it. Most noteworthy are the locations, all of which are beautiful; some are in the forest and others are on the beach, and are all stunning. This makes it a fascinating show to watch. There are a lot of interesting camera shots in this film. One example is the shot from behind the leaves which shows the main characters exploring. There is a bit of some intense stuff going on and it’s accompanied with some intense music that goes great with it. One of my favorite things is how the story of the staff is similar to mythological stories, without actually being mythology. I very much enjoy mythology so that made this story all the more interesting to me.  Lastly, I noted that there is a group of three bad guys and a group of three good guys, which means there is a 50% chance that either side wins. You just have to watch it to find out.

The message of this story is to never give up and keep persevering because you never know what you might uncover.

I give The Lost Treasure 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18, plus adults. It releases on streaming January 11, 2022.

The Lost Treasure

By Mikella G, KIDS FIRST!, Film Critic, age 15

The Lost Treasure is an entertaining, fun and enjoyable movie. It has lots of action scenes, and really grabbed my attention. Plus it is very family friendly.

The film’s storyline revolves around a small book that is very important to all of the characters. There are two teams that are independently working to win it back. They constantly go back and forth with who has hold of it. However, the treasure hunt that the special book takes you on is worth it!

Something that really stands out to me is the setting of this movie. Throughout the film the location for the characters is a pretty beach, on what looks to be a small island. The scenery is gorgeous. The ocean looks clear blue, and there are tons of beautiful flowers everywhere. I also like the concept of the story. The characters are all trying to get hold of a book, which leads them to a treasure hunt that eventually takes them to the treasure! However, the viewers don’t realize this extended storyline until they are actually doing it. This creates good suspense, which always surprises the audience. Finally, it is very interesting how each character is so different from the next. They all have their own distinct personalities and way of thinking. Plus, each has their own style. For instance, Tanya (Stella Tinucci) wears a lot of unique clothing. Most of it stands out. I really liked this, because I’m very into clothes and personal style.

The message of this film is to never give up. If you want something badly enough, teamwork can always help you to achieve that goal. Be aware that this film does include the use of guns and swords.

I give The Lost Treasure 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 8 to 12. It releases on digital Jan 11, 2022.

Hotel Transylvania: Transformania * Thrilling Animation, Electrifying Music, Monstrous Comedy, One Crazy Adventure

Drac and the pack are back, like you’ve never seen them before in Hotel Transylvania: Transformania. Reunite with your favorite monsters for an all-new adventure that presents Drac with his most terrifying task yet. When Van Helsing’s mysterious invention, the ‘Monsterfication Ray,” goes haywire, Drac and his monster pals are all transformed into humans, and Johnny becomes a monster! In their new mismatched bodies, Drac, stripped of his powers, and an exuberant Johnny, loving life as a monster, must team up and race across the globe to find a cure before it’s too late, and before they drive each other crazy. With help from Mavis and the hilariously human Drac Pack, the heat is on to find a way to switch themselves back before their transformations become permanent.

KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Tiana S. comments, “Your favorite monsters are back in Hotel Transylvania: Transformania for the fourth and final installment of the Hotel Transylvania franchise! This film is entertaining from the opening sequence right until the last minute. Full of thrilling CGI animation, electrifying music, monstrous comedy and one all-new crazy adventure, the audience is sure to have a frightastic time watching it!” See her full review below.

Hotel Transylvania: Transformania (Hotel Transylvania 4)
By Tiana S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

Your favorite monsters are back in Hotel Transylvania: Transformania for the fourth and final installment of the Hotel Transylvania franchise!This film is entertaining from the opening sequence right until the last minute. Full of thrilling CGI animation, electrifying music, monstrous comedy and one all-new crazy adventure, the audience is sure to have a frightastic time watching it!

Drac (Brian Hull) and his friends are back and Drac is ready to announce his retirement from Hotel Transylvania. He plans to give the hotel to his daughter, Mavis (Selena Gomez) and Johnny, his son-in-law (Andy Samberg), but after having a change of heart, he decides not to, thinking that Johnny will ruin the hotel. To get out of it, he tells Johnny a lie, which causes Johnny to use Van Helsing’s (Jim Gaffigan) mysterious invention, the “Monsterfication Ray” to transform into a monster to get Drac’s approval and fix everything. However, the machine malfunctions and ends up stripping Drac of his powers and turning him and his monster friends into humans. Johnny and Drac must partner up on an adventure to find the magical stone that will change them back before their transformations become permanent.  

The main characters are Drac, Johnny and Mavis, but the rest of the Hotel Transylvania family we’ve come to love, such as Drac’s wife, Erika Van Helsing (Katherine Hahn), Frank (Brad Abrell), Murray (Keegan-Michael Kay), Griffin The Invisible Man (David Spade) and Wayne (Steve Buscemi) also make appearances. This film lives up to its subtitle where almost every character goes through some type of internal or external transformation. It is fascinating watching the monsters get turned into humans and how they have to adapt. I laughed so hard when Blobby, who is a green blob monster, turns into his human form, which ends up being a plate of green gelatin that the characters have to carry around. Drac and Johnny’s entire adventure through the jungles of South America is hilarious, especially when they are on a tour bus and Johnny’s weight as a monster slows it down, so he sticks his feet through the bottom and starts running with it.

The message of this film is to accept others for who they are and also be true to yourself. Drac only sees the crazy things Johnny does and Johnny tries to teach him to see beyond the worst things so he can see the best parts in people and life. Whether Johnny is a human or monster he always loves being himself but gets in trouble when he lets Drac convince him that he isn’t enough.  

I rate Hotel Transylvania: Transformania 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18, plus adults. You can check into Prime Video to watch Hotel Transylvania: Transformania starting January 14, 2022.

Spotlight: Books to check out!

SANTA JAWS by Bridget Heos; illustrated by Galia Bernstein: Every year, Santa Jaws delivers presents to his fellow sharks, spreading cheer wherever he goes. Elfin sharks make toys, horn sharks trim the Christmas kelp, and cookiecutter sharks make sure Santa doesn’t go hungry. Get ready for a ride on Santa’s sled (pulled, of course, by hammerheads) in this joyful holiday tale!

FRIENDS ARE FRIENDS, FOREVER by Dane Liu; illustrated by Lynn Scurfield: A picture book based on the author’s own immigration story, the infinite impact of friendship, and passing on love and kindness around the world. This is a heartwarming read based on the author’s own immigration story that follows the bond between friends: On a snowy Lunar New Year’s Eve in Northeastern China, it’s Dandan’s last night with her best friend. The two have a favorite wintertime tradition, crafting paper-cut snowflakes, freezing them outside, and hanging them as ornaments. As they say goodbye, Yueyue presses red paper and a spool of thread into Dandan’s hands so that she can carry on their tradition. In her new home, Dandan has no one to enjoy the gift with—until a friend comes along.

50 State Gems and Minerals: A Guidebook for Aspiring Geologists  

  • Presents the mineral and gem treasures that are designated by each state, with suggestions for those not officially named yet
  • Young geologists will be inspired to dig deeper with this unique guide to the official US state gems and minerals, complete with photographs and maps
  • Includes a list of museums and parks where gems and minerals can be found, and a glossary of terms for easy reference.

You’re Strong, Smart, and You Got ThisDrawings, Affirmations, and Comfort to Help with Anxiety and Depression

It’s not easy to discuss mental health, even though it affects everyone. We want to believe we can handle anything that comes at us, but the reality is we all have good days and bad days. Because of this, it is important to check in with our mental health. Through guided illustrations, author Kate Allan opens the door to discussion about mental health in an approachable and unassuming manner.

Whether you deal with social anxiety, depression, or are simply going through a rough patch, Allan is here with her friendly animals to help. Negative thoughts can keep us from reaching our full potential, not to mention hold us back from attaining happiness. This book is a source of validation and encouragement for those moments when we need a reminder of our worth. The focus of this book is personal growth, both the reader’s and the author’s. Discover our amazing author on Mango!

Yoga to Support Immunity: Mind, Body, Breathing Guide to Whole Health 

An engaging, easy-to-follow guide, Yoga to Support Immunity is a clear, step-by-step yoga at home workout to help boost immune function and bring vitality to the mind and spirit. Author and yogi, Melanie Salvatore-August, returns to give in-depth instructions for specific yoga poses and teaches you how they can assist as immune system boosters.

With the threat of pandemics and the increasing rise of autoimmune disorders, Yoga to Support Immunity offers holistic, self-care driven support for optimal health. A practical guide that easily can be integrated into everyday life, you’ll learn how the mind, body, and spirit integrate to build a healthy immune system.Whether a newcomer to the practice of yoga or a long-time yogi, Salvatore-August encourages you to maintain a healthy lifestyle with practical exercises, daily guidance, and uplifting insights. Discover our amazing author on Mango!

Natural Remedies for Your Home & Health: DIY Essential Oils Recipes for Cleaning, Beauty, and Wellness

Natural Remedies for Your Home & Health is a guidebook for using essential oils to keep your household naturally healthy and clean. It includes simple homemade recipes for everyday purposes: skincare, haircare, cleaning, and medicine, with a few extra natural remedies along the way!

Revamp your entire home with natural, safer products. Natural Remedies for Your Home & Health contains a wealth of information about natural essential oils, what they are, how they work, and how to use them safely. In this book, find several simple recipes for clean beauty products, and even everyday cleaning products. All of these practical recipes can be used on a regular basis. Plus, discover natural health tips and learn how to make some swaps in the laundry room that will save you time and money. Discover our amazing author on Mango!

Acclaimed College Admissions Expert of Paranoid Parents Guide Gives Parents This Go-To Resource That Prepares Kids for a Brighter Future. The first comprehensive individualized career and academic planning guide available to parents and teens.

Find it on Amazon or Bookshop
Disclosure: If you buy books linked to our site, we may earn a commission from Bookshop.org, whose
fees support independent bookshops
Price: $22.95
ISBN: 978-1642503159

About the Author:

Christie Barnes is best known for her acclaimed Paranoid Parents Guides, countering what parents perceive as worries and dangers with facts and statistics to focus their parenting efforts. Appearing in the New York Times, on ABC, and across the nation and even crashing the NPR website, she was honored to help worried parents.

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

Books of the week

An inspirational book for young artists!

This is an amazing picture book biography for young kids! Art is Everywhere is the story of Andy Warhol by Jeff Mack. The book encourages young readers to open their minds up to the possibilities to find art in the world around us. I truly enjoyed reading this book and recommend it! It is a fun way for children to learn about Andy Warhol and his pop art.

You can find out more at https://us.macmillan.com/mackids/

You can also buy it on Amazon.com.

DINO YOGA by Lorena Pajalunga is a colorful, calming book that can help children relax, focus, be calm, and learn how to manage their emotions with confidence. 

A new children’s book helps children perform yoga in step-by-step moves, but there’s a catch. The teachers are dinosaurs! This is a delightful book that will teach young children yoga poses in a very fun way! I recommend this for all young children! You can find out more at

https://www.foxchapelpublishing.com

You can also purchase this book on Amazon.com.

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

Rae’s First Day * Totally Heartwarming Plus Empowering For Differently Abled People

Rae is like many five-year-olds with one BIG exception: she has a super-secret superpower. It’s her 1st day of school & her classmates are in need. Will she keep her power hidden, or help her friends? KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Dominic D. comments, “. Everybody should read this book. Not only is it totally heartwarming, but it empowers people who have disabilities to be the very best they can be. We are all super in our own way. My favorite part of the book is when Rae uses her superpowers to save the day by clearing the rain so that recess could be held outside.” Alma K. adds, “Rae’s First Day is a wonderful representation of kids with disabilities and how being different makes you super. Rae’s First Day is the first story in the Capables series showing how differences not only make you unique (because if everyone was the same it would be boring), but how differences make you super.” See their full reviews below.

Rae’s First Day
Dominic DiGravio, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

The theme of Rae’s First Day is very appealing; it’s about the inclusion of all people no matter how different they are. Everybody should read this book. Not only is it totally heartwarming, but it empowers people who have disabilities to be the very best they can be. We are all super in our own way. My favorite part of the book is when Rae uses her superpowers to save the day by clearing the rain so that recess could be held outside.

This book displays acceptance and embraces differences. The theme, the story, and the illustrations are extremely engaging for a young audience.

This book is an easy read. It has some slightly difficult vocabulary for younger readers but overall the story flows nicely, has great content and is somewhat suspenseful, which makes the reader wanting to read on. Not only is this a perfect book for younger readers, but it’s also a great family read. Whether families are sitting around a table, the campfire, or lounging in a living room, this is a great book to share.

Rae’s First Day models some of the very best characteristics. It is such a package deal for displaying courage, perseverance, kindness, acceptance and so much more within the many character interactions. There are many teachable moments. Problem-solving can be seen throughout the book. Rae’s parents question the readiness of Rae starting school, the interaction she may have among her peers, and whether Rae will stay strong. Rae also questions her abilities to get through the day. Both Rae and her parents are able to problem solve by just trusting themselves. Negative thoughts ran through their heads, yet they problem-solved by simply facing the world head on. All ages can relate to having the courage to face any struggles. The concepts are exceptionally easy to follow. The vocabulary, for the most part, is easy to understand, although some terminology may be difficult for younger readers. For example, the words instance, daily affirmations, villainous and illumination are suitable for older readers.

The colorful, glossy pages and illustrations made me want to delve right in and read the book and I was super excited for the last page that reads, “…to be continued.” I’m eager to read more about Rae and her capabilities!

Rae’s First Day is highly educational and has great merit. In a world that can sometimes be very cruel, reading about Rae and how her difference makes her super is a must read for all ages. This book should perhaps land itself in classrooms around the globe as its value is priceless. I will be sharing this book on my social media accounts as it such a worthy book.

Like Rae, many children across the globe have disabilities which often affect them, both physically and socially. Rae’s bravery needs to be shared with the world. Books such as this can only serve to make the world a better place.

I give Rae’s First Day 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 18, plus adults, especially educators. It can be found now wherever books are sold.

Rae’s First Day

By Alma K., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

Rae’s First Day is a wonderful representation of kids with disabilities and how being different makes you super. Rae’s First Day is the first story in the Capables series showing how differences not only make you unique (because if everyone was the same it would be boring), but how differences make you super. Make you special.

Rae is a five-year-old starting her first day of kindergarten and she is worried that all the kids will treat her differently. You see, Rae was born with only one bone in her right forearm while most kids are born with two. Because of this, Rae’s right hand is shorter than her left and only has two fingers. But (as her dad says ALL THE TIME!), Rae is smart and strong and capable! Because she is capable; because she is different – unlike her limb difference that all can see – she has a superpower she’s never shown anyone.

The Capables are a group of super-capable kid superheroes who all have a cape or super capability. That cape or superpower is activated through empowerment. The author, Danny Jordan, is following this cause because it hits home. His daughter Emerson Rose is just like Rae, a superhero in her own right who has an upper limb difference. Danny created The Capables to put children like his daughter in the hero role and also to encourage readers to be more understanding when it comes to disabilities and more inclusive. The illustrations are by Agustina Perciante and are beautiful and very accurate to the story.  The book has lots of pictures with lots of color which definitely make the book engaging for young kids. There’s even a word-search with one of the kids playing that readers can actually play. And the words — smart, strong, unique, capable – all supports ideas related to the cause and message of the book such as, “Agustina possibly draws better than me.” I think that this is an amazing educational, engaging and entertaining children’s book with a focus on the inclusion of those with disabilities, which is a great cause that doesn’t get enough attention. It’s Danny’s hope (and now mine too) that this book will turn into a series – one that strongly believes that being different is a superpower.

The message of this book is that different is super. It’s a beautiful message we need to hear more often in our world today. The only thing I don’t like is that Rae doesn’t tell her parents about her superpower. She says maybe someday but now – no way. Keeping secrets from parents isn’t the best message for young kids.

Rae’s First Day is great and I rate it 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 3 to 8 (for younger kids, parents can read it aloud). It is available for purchase now at Amazon.com, the capables.com and other places where books are sold.