Tag Archives: culture

Grant’s Huge Choice by Aaron J. Parker (Book Review)

Grant has a choice to make, and so do you!

A big event is coming up for Grant. It’s his class picture day! Grant can’t contain his excitement to take pictures with all his classmates, but there’s one problem. His locs! Grant loves his locs. And after Ms. Jones tells him he won’t be able to join the class pictures unless he changes his hairstyle, Grant has to make the toughest decision of his life. The thought of missing his class pictures makes Grant sad, and the thought of cutting his hair doesn’t help much either. But after a powerful conversation with Daddy about choices, Grant gains the confidence he always needed to stand up for himself and do what is best for him. Join Grant as he learns a valuable lesson about choices and doing what makes YOU happy!

Amazon Purchase Link



I received a complimentary copy of this book from Reedsy Discovery. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.


Class picture day is here! It’s an exciting day for a lot of students. They spend a great deal of time selecting the perfect outfit and styling their hair. 

Summary: Grant can’t contain his excitement to take pictures with all his classmates, but there’s one problem. His locs! Grant loves his locs. And after Ms. Jones tells him he won’t be able to join the class pictures unless he changes his hairstyle, Grant has to make the toughest decision of his life. The thought of missing his class pictures makes Grant sad, and the thought of cutting his hair doesn’t help much either.”

In 2019, it made national news a high schooler was forced to cut his dreadlocks during a wrestler competition. I can’t fathom the emotions coursing through his body that day. I know I was outraged. The actions of the adults that day were inappropriate, hurtful, and humiliating. I think that incident and many others like it have inspired Grant’s Huge Choice by Aaron J. Parker. I applaud the author for writing a story that will resonate with the black and brown community.

The image of Grant standing in front of the bathroom mirror, eyes wide and full of sadness, nearly broke my heart. Excellent work, Derreck Washington, on this and all the other powerful drawings! 

The father and son heart-to-heart discussion was beautifully written. Grant’s father’s response to his son’s painful predicament was perfect. “Grant, there is nothing wrong with your hair. Sometimes people try to change what they don’t understand.” He continues to say, “…no one else’s opinion matters but yours.” The father is correct. The school had no right to demand a child change his hair. 

I felt my eyes water when the father started crying during their chat. If I were in the same situation, I would’ve cried about my child’s choice. 

In the end, Grant made the right choice. Be true to who you are! 

Review submitted to Reedsy on 8/12/22.


Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: ❤❤❤

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Meet the Author

I am a Father to 4 beautiful children, married to the most amazing woman ever.
Being a community leader and mentor is of the highest priority to me.

Website Link
Reedsy Link






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Kai the Dancing Butterfly by Crystal Z. Lee (Book Spotlight / Author Interview)

Kai and Ami are dancing butterflies from Taiwan! They have a performance coming up at the Winter Festival dance show in the southern part of the island. They are currently in northern Taiwan, so they need to hurry and start flying south. That’s far for a butterfly! Kai is worried about the long journey, and about the big show too. Can Kai step up to the challenge?

Kai the Dancing Butterfly celebrates Taiwan’s natural scenic wonders, amazing animal species, and incredible Indigenous cultures. This children’s book is a marvelous read for all those who love Taiwan, or for those who’d like to learn more about Taiwanese culture. This elaborately illustrated picture book makes an ideal gift:

*Real locations in Taiwan make for an inspiring geography, history and cultural lesson

*Storyline sparks dialogue around empathy, kindness, courage, faith, perseverance, friendship, and the support between siblings

*Exquisite illustrations of Taiwan’s majestic animals and endangered species fosters learning around ecological conservation and habitat protection

IndieBound ~ BAM
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Author Crystal Z. Lee


Crystal Z. Lee is a bilingual writer who grew up in Taiwan and California. She has called many places home, including Taipei, New York, Shanghai, and the San Francisco Bay Area. Crystal is also the author of the children’s book A Unicorn Named Rin, and the novel, Love and Other Moods. 

connect with the author:  instagram goodreads


Topic: Taiwanese Inspiration for Writing

Q: What was your inspiration for Kai the Dancing Butterfly? Why butterflies?
A: Taiwan has over 400 species of butterflies, 50 of which are endemic to the island! Taiwan is also home to the beautiful purple crow butterfly population, which makes up one of the planet’s largest butterfly migration overwintering congregation. My children and I adore butterflies, so I was inspired to write a children’s book about this unique butterfly species from Taiwan, where I grew up as a child.
Q: There are many Taiwanese locations in Kai the Dancing Butterfly. Which ones are favorites? 
A: Sun Moon Lake is one, because of the very fond memories I have from boating and vacationing there. Another favorite spot is Yehliu Geopark, where you can find sandstone rock formations sculpted naturally by the wind and sea. I still remember my grandfather taking us there.


Q: What other special animal species are featured in Kai the Dancing Butterfly, besides butterflies?
A: The Taiwanese black bear, Formosan clouded leopard, Taiwanese blue magpie, Formosan landlocked salmon, Mikado pheasant, Formosan rock macaques, etc. There are many unique animals found only in Taiwan. 


Q: Favorite Taiwanese films or movies based in Taiwan?
A: Some recent Taiwanese movies I’ve enjoyed: American Girl, Dear Ex, My Missing Valentine.


Q: Favorite and not-so-favorite aspects about Taiwan?
A: I love how friendly the people are in Taiwan, how delicious the food is, and how beautiful the sights are. It’s home to me. 
One aspect I wish was different would be their dependence on plastic. Boba tea is everywhere in Taiwan and they mostly come in plastic containers. I do hope someday a more sustainable material will replace that. 


Q: What was your inspiration for the emphasis on Taiwanese Indigenous tribal clothing in the illustrations? 
A: I collaborated with illustrator Allie Su, who, like me, also grew up in Taiwan. We researched special Taiwanese Indigenous attire and incorporated them into the story. It’s our hope that this story can shed light on the plight of Indigenous tribes in Taiwan.

Meet the Illustrator:

Allie Su was born and raised in Yunlin county, Taiwan. She attended Nanhua University in Chiayi city, majoring in Visual Arts. She is a professional illustrator, specializing in oil painting and ink painting. 


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Dumplings Mean Family by Jennifer Shaw (Book Spotlight)

Dumplings Mean Family by Jennifer Shaw


​Telly Award -winning artist Jennifer Shaw’s new children’s book, “Dumplings Mean Family,” is told from her son Ethan’s perspective as he shares what it was like to join their family after his adoption.

“When Ethan and his siblings are adopted from China to the United States, everything seems so strange and different. Their new American family doesn’t even know how to make Chinese food! The children are worried. Will they ever get to eat their favorite meals again? For Ethan’s family, embracing two cultures means learning to fold and pinch their way to dumplings that taste like home.”

Truly a family project, Jennifer’s oldest daughter, Rinnah, served as illustrator for this heartwarming book celebrating the truth that families can be strong and united when they commit to loving each other for who they truly are. As Ethan says, “We may be different in some ways, but we are one family!”

Meet the Author:
The Shaw Family


Jennifer Shaw is a Telly Award-winning singer/songwriter, author, speaker, and five-time Top 40 Billboard artist. Her work has been featured by Focus on the Family, Insight for Living, Family Life Today, Compassion International, Autism Speaks, and many more. Her book, “Life Not Typical: How Special Needs Parenting Changed My Faith and My Song,” has brought national attention to the issue of Sensory Processing Disorder. She lives in Columbus, Ohio with her husband, six busy kids, and two crazy dogs.


connect with the author: website ~ twitter ~ facebook ~ instagram

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