Weird, Wonderful, Water Birds! Book Reviews

Weird, Wonderful Water Birds! is a delightful romp through a variety of gentle adventures with beautifully illustrated, ducks, pelicans and other aquatic avians. Children will be enthralled and adults will enjoy revisiting the story again and again.    Elizabeth TenDyke- Author and Mom.

Phoenicia Library has treasured all of Ms. Jerrice's illustrated children's books.  "Weird, Wonderful, Water Birds!" is a new one - a beautiful exploration of aquatic birds across the world.  Through poetry and warm illustration, children will meet birds of all different types and habitats, some familiar, most probably not.  A wonderful way to introduce the manifold types of birds to young people and engender a sense of their importance.  Elizabeth Potter/Director of Phoenicia Library

If you and your child delight in whimsical characters, playful poetry and colorful imagination, this is the book for you. You’ll meet birds from around the globe in not your ordinary situations. A fun-loving story for bird lovers and those seeking a smile. Julie Noble, City of Kingston

 

My First Flower Book Reviews

April Matula's bright illustrations coupled with Jerrice Baptiste's poetic prose make this short book of flowers and colors a delight for all ages.  Veronica Stork/ Program Coordinator/ Tivoli Free Library

All children need to hold the special place of flowers in their lives!  A guide as lovely and happy as My First Flower Book connects to the simple and personal joy of making flowers our very own.  Sally Spillane/ Host of the Garden Show - WKZE

 

The Girl Who Ate Bread, Banana, Egg: A Poetic Tale of A Day in Haiti Reviews

"A heartwarming and atmospheric tale of a grandmother's devotion and an educational 'visit' to Haiti as well.  The Girl Who Ate Bread is a terrific book. Beautifully illustrated and poetically told. I just loved it!" Alison Gaylin, USA Today bestselling author of What Remains of Me

“The Girl Who Ate Bread, Banana, Egg is a beautiful, poetic story of a young girl and her family in Haiti. It's exactly the kind of book I love to read to my kids, and they like as well. Filled with colorful, evocative watercolors, and language every bit as evocative, the book brings us to a place very different from our home. There is an underlying theme of social unrest, but even stronger is hope, which is one of Haiti's national treasures. This is a book that makes me and my kids want to dig in deeper to the history, culture, and present situation in Haiti. And just like the main character Juliette feels when she finally gets her favorite breakfast, I feel grateful for every morsel. Every morsel of Jerrice Baptiste's juicy writing.” Dean Jones - Grammy Award Winning Children's Music Producer/Songwriter

"The Girl Who Ate Bread, Banana, Egg
is a colorful and poetic telling of a day in the life of Juliette, a girl living in Haiti with her Grandmother and Uncle during a tumultuous time of societal unrest.  The simple act of bringing bread to the table as Juliette wonders if she'll be able to go to school that day, or if her Grandma Lucie will return home safely from the bakery, underscores the importance of coming together with family to share food. The sounds of the words, "bread, banana, egg" are rhythmic and playful and the story shows that even in difficult times there are important things for which to be grateful." -Jacky Davis-Soman, Children’s Book Author  

  “Jerrice Baptiste's uplifting new (children's) book, The Girl Who Ate Bread, Banana, Egg, is set on the colorful island of Haiti and shows how grandma Lucie's love and granddaughter Juliette's patience succeed over painful circumstances. With April Matula's whimsical illustrations complementing the story, we are touched by this story's simplicity and power.”  -Wendy Alexander/Library Director-Rosendale Library

 

My Cat Adeline Reviews 

"This sweet and simple story celebrates the pleasures of one cat's life.  Experience the change of seasons with Adeline, watching snowflakes, lazing in the summer sun and going about her daily activities.  Adeline's mellow expression reflects her cozy and secure life where all she has to fear is thundery weather while she takes warm naps atop her refrigerator and cuddles with her owner.  It provides a loving portrait of an adorable cat."  Susan Mangan/Children's Librarian Ellenville Public Library & Museum

 

Astrid's Wish For Papa Noel: A Haitian Christmas Story Reviews

WKZE's Jerrice J. Baptiste digs into her Haitian roots for this whimsical, socially conscious tale of Astrid, who wishes only for Papa Noël to bring prosperity to her impoverished fishing village. She works hard in her fatherless house, and sure enough, an amusing Caribbean version of Santa Claus arrives. Illustrations by April Matula convey holiday spirit without a hint of snow.  Robert Burke Warren/Chronogram - Books: Holiday Gift Guide

"Contagiously positive.  ...The main character is the role model we all want in our lives.  An original heartfelt and selfless story to be read year-round!"  Heaven Johnson/Children's Program Co-Manager at Omega Institute

"Jerrice's book is a lovely addition to the holiday book collection.  It shares a traditional story with a cultural view from a small island in Haiti.  Instead of the commercial "me, me , me," Astrid wishes for a visit from Papa Noel to share the love... A truly inspiring and sharing story for children and adults alike." Sandy Bartlett/Children's Librarian Morton Memorial Library 

"The theme of sharing and caring for others during the holidays is touching.  The Haitian culture and language is also a plus for the reader.  I enjoyed the book!" Janice Scali/Hudson Area Library Children's Program

 

Look What The Mouse Dragged In Reviews

               "Squeak, squeak,squeak". Brothers Julian and Daniel hear the sound coming from their closet in the middle of the night. The illustrations capture the mood and the beautiful, vibrant colors take away any feeling of scariness.The two brothers bravely get a flashlight and investigate. This happens night after night. The author uses this scenario to subtly teach important concepts such as love, togetherness and acceptance to young children and also introduces some new and interesting facts about food items that they might not be familiar with. I wanted to jump right into the book and taste each different fruit along with Julian, Daniel and their parents. I also thought it was a very clever turn of events to have a cute little mouse bringing food into the house rather than eating food in their pantry while the family slept.     Bonnie Pfeffer/Youth Services Coordinator at Elting Memorial Library                                

"A charming, vividly illustrated child's-eye introduction to tropical fruits." Irene O'Garden/Author/Performer/Poet                                                               

"Baptiste's book is a perfect match for young readers. The illustrated children's book is part of a multicultural series and features a range of exotic foods that are typically unfamiliar to a young American audience. The two main characters find the foods left behind by the mischievous little mouse, then use them to create authentic and delicious creations with their mother."  Kaitlyn Bennett/Mid Hudson Times

 

Wintry Mix Reviews

In the deepest white of winter the heart of these poems is not frozen. Despite loss and the passing of days, little joys in these poems coax us alive again even when there are mounds of white everywhere we look. There are observations of simple miracles in unexpected places. There are socks that match, lovers that pair. In the peeling of an egg, you can hear the crack of the shell, see the thin membrane, feel the  abundance, hear piano music soft in the background which brings you to a small but perfect island in the day. In the white world of these poems removal of snow clears fog of the mind. Metaphors of nature, the season and daily observances reach for connection, to the search for a larger truth. The rocking chair Grandfather sat in is filled with light, even though he is gone. In the deepest winter, these poems grow out of a place of beauty and grief, joy and loss, where sunlight equals hope, piano music or silence creates appreciation of grace in the ordinary. These poems search out the perfect moment where the “miracle happens here”.   Anique Taylor - Poet/Teacher/Artist

A decade ago I heard the voice of Jerrice Baptiste on a radio show called "Women of Note" and found myself so transfixed by the extraordinary selection of music and poetry that I wrote her my first fan letter.  Jerrice Baptiste's book of poems entitled "Wintry Mix" is a powerful homage to the natural world, how it permeates and touches our bodies, our relationships and our daily lives.   Julie Hedrick - Poet/Painter

I love the simplicity and the everydayness of these poems.  What I'm reminded of is that every moment is not only precious but fragile and needs care.  Bar Scott - Author/Singer Songwriter

 

Tu Es Ma Belle Reviews

Jerrice has used her beautiful words to inspire! Combining story with her Spirit-based poetry, she has created a treasure that hopefully will feed the souls of young girls for years. The book comes even more alive with April's sweet, colorful illustrations. Share this with your family and start your own tradition...joy will be your reward.   Rev. AnnE O'Neil

This is a loving, calm, beautiful book. Every little (and not so little) girl should have a copy. I will be buying it for my grandchildren. Bravo, Jerrice J. Baptiste!   Abigail Thomas's most recent books are A Three Dog Life and Thinking About Memoir

I love the message in this wonderful book by Jerrice J. Baptiste: mothers and aunts telling daughters and nieces that they're worthwhile and beautiful. What a better world this would be if all little girls heard this when they were young. And I love April Matula's artwork too. Thank you both!   Bar Scott, author of The Present Giver, published by ALM Books

Delightful art accompanies the lyrical words of Jerrice J. Baptiste in Tu Es Ma Belle... Her concept book models a message of self-worth.   Josie's Haitian family has a tradition that goes back for generations: The mothers start the day with a mantra of love that nurtures self-esteem. Josie wakes up in Brooklyn, but she has Haitian cousins living in many different places. Each of them starts the day hearing the same greeting, tu es ma belle.   Bobbi Katz, poet and author of Once Around the Sun, and Pocket Poems

 

Teacher Testimonials

Jerrice Baptiste read her beautiful book Tu Es Ma Belle at Omega Children's Program this month and I had the opportunity to participate in one of her sessions. She has a lovely, calm presence with the children and intersperses reading from her book with interactive engagement with the children. She is genuinely interested in their answers to her questions about family rituals, favorite activities, where family members and relatives live, and special environments. Her session engages children in body, mind, and spirit and celebrates their own uniqueness.
Sincerely,
Sarah Urech
Omega Women's Leadership Center Manager
Omega Institute for Holistic Studies

 

We truly enjoyed having Jerrice J. Baptiste as a guest in the Children's Program at the Omega Institute. Her story, Tu es ma belle, You are my beautiful, contains a positive message of self-worth and self-love. Throughout the world in places such as Brooklyn, Haiti and the Dominican Republic, mothers wake their children with the mantra, tu es ma belle, you are my beautiful. It is a beautiful and necessary message that I wish all children could hear from their own parents. Poems and artwork are also woven throughout adding even more depth and beauty to the story. Our children were even able to learn some French since Baptiste adds the French language into her story. Overall, we truly loved the message of this powerful story. Let us all start our days telling the ones we love, "tu es ma belle, you are my bautiful".
Kailey Murphy
Omega Institute

 

Dear Jerrice,
Remarkable! It is one thing to write a story for children, however, it takes extraordinary patience to take that story and bring it to life while children are snacking and hyped up after being in school all day. But there you were with your quiet spirit patiently waiting and then with the biggest, brightest smile, you lit up the room, announced who you were and where you came from and you proceeded to speak in French; getting everyone's attention. Awesome! I can't wait for you to return this summer to give even more children an opportunity to experience the world in which your story and you took us to.
I recommend that you take your story into the classroom and beyond to afford many others the joy of interacting through your story telling!
Thank you and thank you,
Teresa A. Thomas-Washington
Director, Read and Write Tutorial Program
Kingston, NY

 

Jerrice visited my childcare center which services children from six weeks to twelve years of age, on three different occasions. She read the book Tu es ma belle of which she is the author. The book unfolds a tradition which is beheld in a diverse culture.
In her readings to the children, Jerrice introduced the children to the French language. She allowed time for the children to repeat the words in context. Throughout the story she stopped to explain vocabulary and to ask questions. Jerrice read poems from the book as well. After the reading she had the children do an activity. All of the readings were done in an age appropriate manner. The younger children did not hear as many poems as the older. The activity "I am Good Enough to…" was adjusted to the various ages. Jerrice used movement for the younger ones and had the older children write a pocket poem. The children as well as the staff enjoyed the visit. I am happy Jerrice chose my school.
Sincerely,
Veronica Uhl
Owner, Little Red Schoolhouse
Kingston, NY

 

I am writing to recommend that all local and regional schools, summer camps, and children's programs invite author Jerrice J. Baptiste to read her whimsical, meaningful, multicultural book, Tu es ma belle, to their group of children.
Tu es ma belle is a meaningful message of self-approval and interconnectedness. It tells the story of girls waking up around the world to their mothers' words of loving appreciation. Woven into the main story are poems that evoke beauty and strength. The whimsical watercolors give the text a dreamy quality. Jerrice reads her own words with warmth and expressiveness and often pauses to ask the group for their reflections. The children in my schoolhouse program were uplifted and inspired by her visit. I hope you enjoy Jerrice's visit as well.
Sincerely,
Nikki Garrett
Program Director, Sojourner Truth Schoolhouse
New Paltz, NY

 

To Whom It May Concern:
I'm very pleased to write a reference letter for Jerrice J. Baptiste, author of Tu es ma belle, You are my beautiful. In June 2014, she became a visiting author at Woodstock Primary School, which serves children from Kindergarten to third grade. Jerrice read her book and facilitated learning activities that were developmentally appropriate and appealing with the kindergarten, grade 2 and 3 classes. Jerrice worked with students and both students and staff were delighted by her loving story and the follow-up activities. Jerrice has a peaceful, warm and caring presence among staff and students. I recommend Jerrice J. Baptiste as she continues her valuable work in schools. Please contact me should you like to have further information.
Sincerely,
Kathleen A. O'Brien, Ph.D.
Principal of Woodstock Primary School
Onteora Central School District

 

To Whom It May Concern:
Jerrice J. Baptiste recently visited our school for a reading of her book, Tu es ma belle, You are my beautiful. She read to our third grade classes to their great enjoyment. One child mentioned how much she enjoyed learning the French words in the text. She also read to a small group of second, third and fourth grade English Language Learners. The teacher in charge of this group could not say enough about how much the students related to Ms. Baptiste and her book. In a small group, the children responded in a very personal way, often sharing touching moments in their history, which Ms. Baptiste handled with grace and affirmation.
Sincerely,
Sarah Pennachio
Librarian at Consolidated Chambers School
Kingston City Schools

 

Jerrice J. Baptiste participated in an Omega Women's Leadership Center Women's Leadership Residency at Juno Cottage on the Omega Campus in 2014.
Lys Swan
OWLC Administrative Coordinator
Omega Institute

 

We had the honor of having Jerrice read Tu Es Ma Belle to our children at Woodstock Day School's Summer Adventure a few weeks ago. What a moving experience for all present! This book, beautifully written and illustrated, speaks so strongly of the unconditional love between mother and child and illustrates so finely the acceptance of a mother for her child, all over the planet. Jerrice SHINES when she reads her book, asking children engaging questions as she goes, radiating the love and acceptance that is the message of her book. When she finished reading, we were all invited to participate in inclusive activities. This visit from Jerrice was a highlight of our summer sessions and we look forward to her return in seasons ahead!
Pamela Camara
Woodstock Day School