Three book recommendations for all ages

5 Questions: Kimberley Griffin

Tell me a little more about yourself. I’m from Texas, wife and mother. I have a degree in fashion merchandising from the University of North Texas; However, for the past five years, I have focused my efforts on working at home and raising our two daughters. In my free time, I enjoy panning for gold in the shelves of my local thrift stores, trying out new foodie events, and writing about my adventures on my lifestyle blog,

What inspires you as an author and writer? What inspires me as an author are my daughters. Watching what they glean from their experiences with me is so fascinating. I wanted them to have Mom Braids as an encouragement for times when they might be in awkward spaces as they grow. I wanted to leave them this specific legacy in the hope that one day they will understand the weight of the importance of what is passed down from generation to generation.

Why do you think representation in children’s literature is important? I believe representation in children’s literature is important because at a young age they need to understand that they are seen, heard and identified even though they are in the minority. Children need to see themselves represented so they don’t feel invisible or as if their experiences don’t matter. Books for young readers are the perfect vehicle to let them know that they matter and that they are not alone.

What have you read recently that you would recommend and why? I read a book that I really liked called The Forgotten Jesus by Robby Gallaty. I highly recommend this book because its sole purpose is to challenge the Western approach to seeing Jesus, opting instead to see him from the Jewish perspective.

What’s next on the horizon for you? The next step for me is to focus on getting copies of Mom Braids in small hands as much as possible. One of the main ways I’m focusing on right now is getting to library shelves in Texas and hopefully beyond. I also have another children’s literary work that has been sitting in my phone’s notes app for years. Maybe in the far future, if the time is right, I hope to release that one as well.

Mom Braids by Kimberly Griffin

Mom Braids is a thoughtful depiction of how a mother inspires her daughter to be proud of her culture, represented by the simplicity of braiding hair. With poetic dialogue, beautiful imagery and stunning watercolor illustrations, the story is a wonderful read to enjoy with the whole family!

How to pronounce knife by Souvankham Thammavongsa

Henry Prize winner Souvankham Thammavongsa brings us a collection of stories that pay homage to characters struggling to find their bearings far from home, even as they do the necessary “work of grunting the world”. She paints a vivid picture of them struggling to make a living, highlighting their hopes, disappointments, loves, acts of defiance and, above all, their search for a place to belong.

Handsome by Jess Hong

Tall, short, curly, straight, loud, quiet, smooth, wrinkled. This beautifully illustrated children’s book examines all the ways we are different and adorable.

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