Tag Archives: families

We’ll See: Book 1, The Emotional Literacy and Mindful Fables by Jessa Hooley (Book Review)

Is it good? Is it bad? We’ll see… In the heart of Honeybrook Meadows, Papa Pip and his grandbunnies find themselves swinging between delight and disaster. Through constantly changing circumstances, Papa Pip demonstrates an open-minded resilience with his gentle yet mysterious phrase — “We’ll see.”

Throughout this fable, each new happening brings a consequential surprise for Papa Pip and his grandbunnies, and even the gravest of situations seem to unfold in unpredictable ways. “We’ll See” is a heartfelt tale of hope, adventure, and unexpected twists, teaching young readers the invaluable lesson of withholding conclusions about the “goodness” or “badness” of any given circumstance.

Mindfulness & Emotional Literacy Concepts Explored:
Radical acceptance, being present, non-reactivity, and non-judgement.

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


As I read this charming children’s book, I thought of the famous proverbial phrase: When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. This phrase encourages optimism and a positive can-do attitude in the face of hardships or misfortune. This story promotes these two qualities as well. 

Seeing the bright spot in life can be challenging when times get tough. Papa Pip had the “wait and see” attitude when life threw his family curveballs. His grandbunnies had the opposite reaction and attitude; they overreacted in every situation. It is a typical response for kids and maybe even for adults. 

Whether the sweet food source was scarce or a tree came crashing down, Papa Pip kept his cool and said two key words, “We’ll see.” These two words taught his grandbunnies and readers to have patience, keep a cool head, and look for the positives in a negative situation. This is easier said than done. Even Papa Pip shed tears when the rushing water filled the meadow, threatening their home. But, I suspect his tears were a combination of losing their burrow and watching his family’s fear over the devastating turn of events. 

You can’t turn on the news without a reporter remarking about fires, floods, tornadoes, or other natural disasters. They are claiming our homes, causing families to start their lives over and leaving devastation behind. Unfortunately, it’s an emotional experience that many readers can relate to. 

Each time one of the baby bunnies were consumed with worry, things worked out in their favor. Will life imitate fiction every time? Maybe not always, but why let doom and gloom cloud your mind—look for the silver lining instead. Or, as the author writes, “It’s not always helpful to see our situations as good or bad, because you can never know for certain what will happen because of them.” This ties back to Papa Pip’s “We’ll see” mentality. 

I recommend sharing this book with children four years and older. I also recommend checking out “Let’s Talk About It!” There are four discussion points/questions that center on what they read.  

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

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Meet the Author

Jessa works as a trauma-sensitive mindfulness meditation teacher and Integrative Trauma Practitioner. She believes that healing our communities begins by teaching our children stories that connect them to their emotions, bodies, and lived experience through a lens of imagination, nature,& discovery.

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Around The World with Moby- My First Trip! by Muzna Kazim (Book Review)

Around the World with Moby is about an awesome 8-year-old-boy with autism who suffers from travel anxiety. Moby is always scared to explore new things or go on a vacation. His parents were concerned that Moby is missing out on many new learning experiences as he likes to just stay at home and repeat the same schedule every single day. So, they decide to take him out on a short vacation to Minneapolis, Minnesota. A trip that includes a 3-hour flight, a hotel-stay and exploring the city of Minneapolis. The parents prepared for his trip by implementing helpful tools to cope with his fear and anxiety.

Will these tools help Moby stay calm?

Will they enable him to adapt to a brief change in his daily schedule?

Will he have fun?

Let’s find out in the story.

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


Adults have anxiety about traveling, so it’s not a far leap to think children would suffer from the same issue. 

In Around The World with Moby- My First Trip! by Muzna Kazim, we meet Moby, an 8-year-old with autism who fears traveling. Moby’s Mama tries to soothe his fears. She tells him the trip to Minneapolis is only temporary. She gives him a calendar so he can prepare for the upcoming event. She read him stories about plane rides. They watch videos together. His Mama’s thoughtful and helpful ideas ease Moby’s fear and anxiety. When they reach the airport, Mama has more tricks to help her autistic child through this sensory-overloading adventure. Now, Moby’s Mama wasn’t the only one helping Moby feel calm during the adventure. His Dad was there, discussing the mechanics of the plane, which kept Moby’s mind at peace. What a blessed family!

The excursion was not smooth sailing. Bumps in the road will occur whether a child is on the autism spectrum or not. However, suppose they are, Around The World with Moby- My First Trip! gives parents valuable tools to help their child prepare for a trip, helps a child handle new experiences and challenges, and even shows families all the fun you can have in Minneapolis. There are even pages dedicated to when they came home. The ‘after the trip” events were just as important as the ‘let’s prepare for the trip’ sections. You don’t have to have an autistic child to benefit from any idea in the book. All children feel stress over new situations! 

Around The World with Moby- My First Trip! by Muzna Kazim is a remarkable book. The illustrations by Rabindra Nath Barman were big, bold, and colorful and elevated an already fantastic story. 

I recommend that families and schools add this book to their libraries. 


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

Amazon Purchase Link


Meet the Author

San Diego based author Muzna Kazim completed her Master’s in Public Health from National University in 2016. She majored in Health Promotion with a research study in Autism. She worked as a Behavior Interventionist for kids with autism and advocates inclusivity and equal opportunities for them.

Reedsy Author Link




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Ashes To Ink: A Memoir by Lisa Lucca (Book Showcase)

“Lisa Lucca weaves the past and present into a vividly written and important story with many layers: family secrets, fathers and daughters, love and sexuality, and at the core, forgiveness. What touched me most was the call to action to become the love of your own life. Read, learn, and become!” — Laura Munson, New York Times bestselling author and founder of the acclaimed Haven Writing Retreats.

“In this raw and gripping memoir, Lisa Lucca has perfectly captured the unique ripple effects of life with a gay parent. With little representation in popular media, people who grow up with (or find out about) LGBTQ+ parents/caregivers are often left to wonder if there’s anyone else who really understands. Ashes to Ink is proof we are not alone, and that love truly does win.” — Jordan Budd, Executive Director of COLAGE, National LGBTQ+ family organization

“Fresh, warm, sassy, and smart… Lisa’s voice is a delight! I was enchanted by this book.” — Alexia La Fortune, Author of Sex, Love, and Spirit

Ashes to Ink… a power punch of a book written by the glorious Lisa Lucca. Filled with rage and anger and sorrow and more unleashed anger…and much humor and love…human emotion in each chapter. Lisa’s memoir is all about LOVE, the wanting, the needing, the longing, the acceptance, the fear of love, the need for love. From a parent whose lifestyle flattens her to the seeking of love with men who challenge her (unconsciously) to finding the right one. This is a memoir about family – the down and dirty – about love, about searching… and forgiveness. This book is filled with so much truth, so many untamed feelings, so much rawness… a memoir that gives you ample time to hold your breath and exhale. Read it, devour it, allow yourself to creep into the uncomfortableness. Life is filled with discomfort and unease – Lisa gives us all the rare opportunity to see ourselves in the dazzling, and magnificent mirror she holds up for us.” — Amy Ferris, Marrying George Clooney, Confessions from a Midlife Crisis


Book Description:

Acceptance struggles to emerge from a cocoon of family secrets . . .

After her parents’ divorce in 1974, Lisa Lucca’s idyllic Midwestern childhood is shattered when she learns her father is gay. Sworn to secrecy, she begins carrying the emotions of her family like a cracked bucket, making a mess as she embarks on a life of rebellious choices.

Decades later, faced with the aftermath of her father’s death, Lisa revisits the complicated relationship she had with him, delving deeper into the stories she’s held about love, sexuality, and the family she comes from with a shimmering clarity that arises from her grief.

A story of heartache and the power of forgiveness, Ashes to Ink shines a light on the challenges of living true to who we are, especially for single parents.

Buy the Book:
Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble
Indiebound ~ Target
Meet the Author:
Author Lisa Lucca

Lisa Lucca’s work has been published in several publications and anthologies, most recently in Crone Rising. She is the co-author of the epistolary memoir, You Are Loved, with her partner, Mark Mathias, a love story she will continue telling in her next book.

She shares a home with Mark in the high desert of southern New Mexico where she continues her work as a life coach, and hosts a weekly public radio show, Live True, bringing insightful and engaging interviews to her listeners. The show streams globally at lccommunityradio.org where the shows are available in the archives.

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


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Venus Underwater: Songs from Mermaidia by Julia Hengst (Book Review)

VenusUnderwater-Interior-Ingram-EBOOK-ISBN- 9781736137512.indd

Genre: Children/ Songs/ Poetry/ Puns


The first book of a new series that will empower your child discover their inner flow, Venus Underwater: Songs from Mermaidia introduces the magical underwater world of Mermaidia. This humorous and whimsical collection of poems and songs reveals how baby mermaids are made, what mermaid families are like, and how mermaids study magic at School of the Fish to become Sea Witches (not Sand Witches). Created by family therapist Julia Hengst the Venus Underwater series helps nurture the whole child, promoting self-esteem, confidence and social/emotional/mental health whilst helping with anxiety in a fun, playful way.

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Print Purchase Link


I received a complimentary copy of this book from R&R Book Tours.
I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.


Little kids love mermaids and want to believe they are real. Venus Underwater: Songs from Mermaidia by Julia Hengst feeds into their imagination by explaining the mystery of the merpeople. 

Many elements of Venus Underwater: Songs from Mermaidia were sweet. Examples: How Baby Mermaids Are Made, family portrait (Families of Mermaidia), and A Mermaid’s Lullaby. 

While Julia Hengst’s story is centered around fictional and mythical beings, the overall message/points are not fictional. 

Spread kindness. 

Families take all forms! 

Like families, friendships come in all forms. Accept those different than you. 

Live a life of peace and harmony. 

Children are not born to hate. As adults, we need to foster their love and acceptance of others. 

Read Venus Underwater: Songs from Mermaidia. Encourage your child to spread kindness like the merpeople in this magical tale. 

Special note: We love to sing in our house. While we loved the songs in the story, we didn’t know the tune/beat of them. Maybe add this feature in future stories if songs are present. Thanks! 


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

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About the Author


Julia Hengst is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, an avid surfer, traveler and word nerd who resides in Maui. Passionate about psychology, spirituality and media literacy, she holds an undergraduate degree in Media Studies from UC Berkeley, a Masters degree in Counseling Psychology, and an imaginary degree from the University of Puns. 

Julia Hengst | Facebook | Instagram


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