Naomi V. Dunsen-White is a children's book author who loves to inspire and encourage children to use their imagination and interests to discover their potential. She uses her previous experience as an educator and foster care specialist to write children’s books that focus on diversity, self-discovery and self-determination.
Naomi feels all children deserve books with characters who look like themselves. She strongly believes ALL children should be able to “see themselves" doing whatever, going wherever, and experiencing life’s adventures, just like the characters in their books. Characters in children’s books should not be dominated by one perspective, culture or experience. Perhaps more children would love reading books if they could better relate to who and what is inside.
Naomi believes that encouraging children to become book lovers is one of the greatest opportunities a person could have. She also believes that all children have a gift within, just waiting to be discovered. It is up to us, the adults in their lives, to help them discover it. The joy of reading is the first step toward discovery!
Life is full of possibilities and what-ifs. You can be anything you want to be if only you believe in yourself. You can be an astronaut or a chef, a writer or a judge, or even a scientist. You might be different in how you look, in how you dress, even in abilities (or disabilities), but deep down, we’re all the same. We have a purpose. We were all meant to be here and there is a reason why we are here. But first, we must grow and learn and dream big, while working with others, caring for others, and accepting others. In our unique qualities lie our strengths and our power to make this world a better, more inclusive place to live.
Naomi V. Dunsen-White’s picture book story, Why Am I Here? A Child’s Book About Purpose, is a compassionate look at purpose and how we all fit into the grand scheme of this thing we call life. The concepts are presented in rhyming verse with a lyricism that will catch the attention of young readers. The author presents many possible careers a young person might aspire to and work toward, as well as what roads they might take and what roadblocks they might face. Life is a grand adventure, but the most important thing we all must remember is that we’re in this together and we must accept each other in spite, or because of, our differences. “We all have our dreams and a right to belong./ We stand together, united and strong.” These are powerful words to live up to. The author finishes the book with an interactive exercise, challenging young readers to think more deeply about the concepts they learned in the story. I love the illustrations – beautiful!
Tuesday, February 8, 2022
On the Shelf by Tara Michener: Why Am I Here? A Child's Book About Purpose
Kids are often asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” “What will you accomplish?” is essentially the theme of this typical question. I hear this and think that it is interesting that kids are asked what they will do so often but not always given the opportunity to talk about what they love. What about, “What makes you happy?” or “What is your purpose?” They are often asked about the future but not always given the chance to talk about what they are up to now and how that adds to our world
I loved Naomi V. Dunsen-White's book, Why Am I Here? A Child's Book About Purpose (ill. by Megan Rizzo; Naomi Books, LLC, 2021), which was awarded a place on the Pre-K–4th grade 2021 Best of the Best Booklist of the Black Caucus of the American Library Association. This book sets the stage for kids to embrace their imagination and to love the process of discovery.
My personal little kid focus group consists of my eight-year-old, Cannon. As soon as Cannon saw the lovely cover, he said, “Is that for me?” with glee and anticipation. We try not to judge books by their covers in my home, but Cannon loved it from the moment that he saw it.
The book's energy suggests it is okay to sit and think about you. It is okay to let your imagination run free. I dreaded the times as a child (and as a grownup) when I was scolded for having creativity and imagination and thoughts considering my purpose or changing the world.
I am grateful that Naomi gives the reader the opportunity to go beyond what is basic and to take it to the next level. Kids are not just encouraged to have a career, although that is in there too. I would say that it is more than that, though. Kids are asked to consider the concept of supporting others, loving others, being united, and so much more. This book takes that question of "What will you be when you grow up?" to a more tangible, introspective, and vital place.
Although this book is not at all about fitting in...it might fit in really nicely on your bookshelf.
There is something so special about the books from Naomi books LLC. She is gifted. The way she tells a story is captivating, even in a cute rhyming book like this.
My son and I really enjoyed the illustrations in this book and couldn’t wait to see the next page. Every page was filled with a new adventure!
A gentle introduction into philosophy for your child, giving them understanding on life purpose. This is a book that every child needs to read.
The illustrations in Naomi‘s book always display diverse characters which is another thing we love, and the books we have gotten have come with some type of cute activity, we love it!
I Love Rhyming Books
This book is wow!
Beyond the beautiful and colorful and bright cartoon illustrations, the rhyming text is engaging. Me and my 6 year old son really enjoyed reading this book and taking the journey with the characters who are aptly unnamed allowing children to place themselves in the story. The book has a deep lesson that is not overwhelming. We cannot wait to read this book again and again.
Three of my children in different ages, 11, 7 and 8 and half year old all loved the story so much! I am really impressed with the quality of the print and illustrations. My 7 year old said she loves rhyming books and this is her favorite so far! I am surprised that she also said she asks herself why she is here often times :) The title and message is truly captivating. I am so glad I added the the quality hardcover of this book plus the ebook in to my children's diverse book collection.
I recommend this book with such a deep and crucial message about purpose!