Mom, Does This Book Make My Brain Look Thin?

Kids are brilliant, clever, resilient, and sometimes even misunderstood. We look at these pint-sized people and forget that their world from the moment of birth has been filled with reports of war, political unrest, corrupt politicians, racism, and a global pandemic. By no choice of their own, the youngest generation has been thrown into the reality of Active Shooter drills at school, homelessness, and daily hunger.

They are little warriors who have rolled with the hypothetical punches for nearly a decade. They are tougher and smarter than we adults give them credit for, and that needs to be represented in books we give them to read.

When I make the bold comment of “does this book make my brain look thin?” I’m referring to the unconscious habit of providing books that “dumb down” kids. I recall a moment (not that long ago) when I wanted to call the book critic on the phone and say, “SERIOUSLY?” This particular critic observed that many of the words in my diverse picture book series, Kayla: A Modern-Day Princesswere “too advanced” for the 4-8-year-old audience the books were written for.

Since when?

Then something else surprising happened this year as my Kayla: A Modern-Day Princess five-book series was rapid releasing. While most of the parents, caregivers, and educators applauded the original storyline and gentle lessons within the pages, there were more than a few reviewers that said these books had “too many words in it.”

HUH? Excuse me?

Yes, I am fully aware that all criticism must be taken with a grain of salt. Honestly, I feel it’s not my business what others think of me. But think of the ramifications behind those types of comments.

Nope. I won’t buy that book for Little Suzie because it has too many words in it.”

“It’s a beautiful book, but the words are too advanced for my little Dianna.”

My heart feels heavy when I hear these words because we are shortchanging our kids. We are making decisions based on some invisible criteria that basically say, “Let’s not challenge our young readers.”

Or worse yet, “Let’s not give them the unconventional, unique, cutting edge, mindset growth books they crave.”

I love books. I love reading. And I know lots of kids who love to read too. Especially when the story is as powerful and inspiring as in my Kayla series. I fully understand that there are guidelines on word count length for ALL books, but they are just that: guidelines. 

As an adult, I wished that some of the books that I have read had pictures with them at times. The words tell a story, but so do the images. Pictures show kids the possibilities of the world we live in. Encourage the people in your life to read stories that are outside of the box.

A picture book does not have to end at a thousand words. Especially if the story is a great one.


The final Book in the Kayla: A Modern-Day Princess series is HERE!

A Little Magic is the final book in the Kayla 5-book series and we think we left the best for last!

Kayla always had a plan. The problem was that a lot of other people had a plan for her too. But as a modern-day princess, Kayla has grown into an independent young woman. So, when she tells her mom that she is on her way home from college with “big news,” the results are some surprises, some honest conversations, and the realization of a lifelong dream.

Mother and daughter soon see how all of the special princess gifts from the past will play a magical role and Kayla’s future. Each gift has a special memory, and each represents a noteworthy milestone in her life. But most importantly, these gifts are filled with confidence, determination, a mother’s love, and A Little Magic.

For ages 4 to 11, Kayla: A Modern-Day Princess—A Little Magic is a wonderful diverse picture book filled with gentle lessons and a vibrant example for kids of all ages that dreams can come true.

What do you think? We think she’s perfect. 🙂 Grab a copy of this vibrant diverse picture book on Amazon today!


About Deedee Cummings

As a therapist, attorney, author, and CEO of Make A Way Media, Deedee Cummings has a passion for making the world a better place. All 15 of Cummings’ diverse picture, poetry, and workbooks for kids reflect her professional knowledge and love of life. Colorful and vibrant, her children’s books are not only fun for kids and adults to read, they also work to teach coping skills, reinforce the universal message of love, encourage mindfulness, and facilitate inclusion for all. Cummings has spent more than two decades working within the family therapy and support field and much of her writing shares her experiences of working with kids in therapeutic foster care. As a result, her catalogs of published books for kids are filled with positive, hopeful messages. Using therapeutic techniques in her stories to teach coping skills, Cummings also strives to lessen the stigma that some people feel when it comes to receiving mental health assistance.
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