Posts for books

Sharing What I Make: Holiday Gifts for the Go Girls! in your Life

Go Girl! - Allison Kenny - December 12, 2016

If you are like me, you’re diving head first into Winter. Our house smells like cookies. Our fireplace is popping. Lights are twinkling. And ever since the election, I have wanted nothing more than to hold my family tight and kiss their faces off. This morning, my daughter asked us to spell out “I love my family” in lights on our dining room wall. Over-the-top, honeymoon love is happening and feels like the perfect way to approach 2017.

More like this: Taking Care of Myself Like I Take Care of my Daughter: Winter

While I nest and barely leave my house, I’m also thinking about ways to be of service. Ways to make sure my neighbors know how much they mean to me. Ways to give my money and invest in what I care about most. Ways to share my time and talent with the world. This leads me to the books I’ve written.

Remember how I created a chapter book featuring a powerhouse mixed-race girl who learns how to forgive herself? Remember how I wrote a series of narrative coloring books with a gender creative squirrel who gets into all kinds of trouble and grows into her power with the help of Go Girls!? Sharing these books with the world is one way I put stories of REAL girls centerstage. It’s one way I work to make our country a safer place for girls. I want kids to engage with these stories and know how magical and powerful it is to be a girl.

More like this: Get Your Girl…Go Squirrel!

I’m giving away a set of 30 books to Elizabeth House in Oakland this season. Do you have an organization to give them to? Do you have awesome kids in your life that you want to share them with? Do you have ways you are sharing your time and talent this holiday season? I celebrate each of us for doing to we can to build the world we want our children to live in. Nothing is too small. We don’t have to feel guilty for not doing enough. We can make things that matter and share them. We can take back our world one tiny step at a time.

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Get Your Girl…Go Squirrel!

Go Girl!, Media - Allison Kenny - July 10, 2016

In her kindergarten and 1st grade year, my little girl was always bringing home these 10 page paperback early readers with just a few words to a page. The featured cats and monkeys with lots of repeat phrases to make reading fun and accessible. As I sat with her each afternoon to practice her reading, I listened to storylines that were bland (ahem…hella boring) and thought, “I can do better than that.”

What are the words I want my daughter to read in the precious moments she’s reading for the very first time? As her critical thinking skills are just starting to develop, what characters do I want her to examine? What concepts do I hope she’ll dig into and ask questions about?

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It did not take long for me to generate a set of 9 simple stories that star a powerful girl (ahem…Squirrel) with the courage to learn from her mistakes. Are these stories about my daughter? YES. They are a celebration of all the things she has had the courage to learn since coming home to us. But our daughter is not the Squirrel in the story. Our daughter is one of the featured Go Girls cheering Squirrel on. Look for the girl with glasses. She helps Squirrel remember how to be a good friend, how to stay flexible, how to manage big feelings and how to love herself just as she is. These are the values I have for our girl. They all match up to the Go Girls! Culture Code and are reinforced in our summer camp.

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My daughter and her friends love coloring in these books. Christy Booth’s illustrations are so darling, that I can’t help but join in and color right along with them. Christy is an expressive arts therapist and captures the emotional life of children through simple shape and design in a way I didn’t know was possible.  Saturday mornings at our house look like each of the 3 Go Squirrel Coloring Books out with every colored pencil in the house. Mama Lynn, Squirrel and I each take book, drink tea and color…a sweet time I’ll always remember.

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I hope you love these books as much I loved making them. Order one book or all 3. Color with your kids- I’d love to know how it goes.

 

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Proud Family

Gay Parenting, Love Wins, Parenting - Allison Kenny - June 26, 2016

How are you celebrating Pride with your family today? We’re keeping in simple- watching the SF parade on tv, dinner with fabulous gay friends and their kid, rainbow gear and THIS BOOK. Right now, Squirrel tells her friends “Pride is celebrating families with 2 moms or 2 dads.” Hoping to dig into this LGBTQ book list this month and round out her answer a little more.

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Can’t help feeling like in the wake of such hate in the Orlando shooting, being ourselves as a queer family is a radical act. Here’s to being loud, proud and queer this June.

One more thing we did as part of Pride- donated to Equality Orlando. Love to hear what actions you are taking to heal your hearts, take care and offer hope…

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