Multicultural Children’s Books Day is here for 2018 (1/27/2018), and we were thrilled to review Tessie Tames Her Tongue, by Melissa Martin, Ph.D., with illustrations by Charles Lehman.

My 7-year-old son immediately described the book as “awesome,” and he’s been asking me to read it every night as part of his bedtime reading. He loves to talk. He always has so many stories to tell, and he loves to share his knowledge about dinosaurs, rocks, animals, and just about anything else that he loves.

So, you could say that he is a “Tessie.” It really is a perfect book for him… But, the topic was approached in such a straightforward, yet fun, way that it’s not annoying to him. It just means more to him. He relates. He wants to be right there with Tessie as she tells her friends and parents all the great stories, and then discovers that none of them really want to listen.

What Tessie learns in the story is also what my son is learning… He’s learning how to communicate, and those are skills that he’ll need for the rest of his life. Beyond just being a fun and entertaining story, though, the book offers tips on how to be a good listener, with essential tips for parents.

What I love most about the book is how obvious it is that the child is important. We must listen. We must make eye contact and show interest. We must take time to sit in a quiet place with our son/daughter. These are the moments that are fleeting, but they will continue to be memorable for me (as a parent) and to my son.

I also love that we are celebrating Multicultural Children’s Books Day! We must recognize diversity, but then too our children benefit from reading (and understanding) books that represent multiple viewpoints.

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