Megan Dowd Lambert, author
Megan Dowd Lambert is the author of A Kid of Their Own, A Crow of His Own, Real Sisters Pretend, and Reading Picture Books with Children. Her experiences as a white mother of seven children in a blended, multiracial, queer, adoptive family inform her work as an author, reviewer, and educator. A former children's literature instructor at Simmons University, Megan reviews and writes for Kirkus Reviews and Horn Book; is a consultant with EmbraceRace, a community focused on race and kids; and serves on the curation team of Our Shelves, a subscription box service that features racially diverse, LGBTQ+, and feminist characters and families.
Read more about Megan.
Mia Saine, illustrator
Mia Saine is a nonbinary Black creative seeking to share a more positive, inclusive narrative. Since graduating from Memphis College of Art in 2017, they have specialized in commercial illustration, branding design, advertising design, and environmental design. They live in Memphis.
Read more about Mia.
- Coming soon!
Horn Book contributor Lambert (consultant, EmbraceRace; curator, Our Shelves; A Kid of Their Own) shows how books shape lives by sharing her experiences of being a white mother to her “multiracial, queer, blended family” of seven children, ages four to 25. This colorful, evocatively illustrated work explores themes of parenting, race, and adoption. It indicates the author’s belief that healing conversations can be inherent in literature discussion. Books are windows, mirrors, and sliding glass doors, and rereading can bring about a different response in the same reader. Prioritizing books both by and about people of color in a course of study is the first step in teaching empathy and creating an anti-racist curriculum. The book would’ve been even more beneficial to readers if it had included more guidance about ways to implement these ideas. In the concluding pages, Lambert includes an extensive list of books. VERDICT An advocate of seeing the world as it is and imagining what it could be, Lambert provides thought-provoking reflections in these beautifully written pieces.
School Library Journal
Lambert offers 21 essays, divided into four parts loosely arranged around themes of parenting, adoption, race, and healing conversations. These intimate essays celebrate the social and emotional impact of shared reading or "book bonding," a phrase coined by Lambert when she was an educator at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. "Time and again, shared reading has forged a common ground for my children and me as we reach toward each other across the distances between us." Lambert's deeply personal writing reflects on the impact of books and reading on her relationships with her children in their transracial, blended family. (Unidentified Suburban Object helped Lambert's children talk about their experiences as children of color; The Book of Mistakes spoke to a perfectionist daughter.) The author's efforts toward inclusion and revelation highlight a wide variety of books, valuable as an introduction to inclusive reading. A booklist is included, as is an afterword from Lambert's son. It is in Lambert's reflections on her family's own book bonding experiences that her essays become invitations to insight. Lambert states her position clearly: "Can storytime change the world? I think it can—by asserting messages of equity, inclusion, empathy, and pride, all while creating shared spaces in which to have brave conversations that envision a safer, more humane world for all." VERDICT Recommended. Sharing books can help make sense of an often-confusing world, and this title is a good place to begin.
Page count: 176
5 x 7