Multicultural Children’s Book Day Review
This review is part of Multicultural Children’s Book Day to promote diversity in children’s literature.
I never wanted to change my neurodiverse son and try to make him into something that society considered “normal.” To me, he is and always will be wonderfully creative and uniquely remarkable. No, my quest has always been focused on creating a more inclusive society—one where you never have to hide or feel ashamed of who you are.
I’ve always believed that the path to acceptance is through storytelling. Research has verified that narrative has a powerful impact on the brain and the actions that follow. Stories move us towards a better understanding of a culture, special population and the human condition.
Wiggles, Stomps and Squeezes Calm My Jitters Down is a picture book about sensory differences. Individuals on the autism spectrum can have senses that are over- or under-sensitive which can affect how they feel and act. What I love most about this book is that it comes from a place of acceptance—it’s not seeking to change those who need to “wiggle, stomp or squeeze” but offers glimpses into why there is a need to do them.
To me, it’s a celebration of what makes a person special and unique. It casts no judgement on the flaps, flutters or meltdowns—through narrative and colorful illustrations it explains a sensory system that’s different, yet doing its job to ease anxiety and calm nerves.
The Perfect Collaboration between Author and Illustrator
The story is written by Lindsey Rowe Parker, and when I asked her about why she wrote this as her first children’s book, she said:
“There were sensory preferences that I had as a child that I thought were weird or strange, not like other people I knew. Through pediatric occupational therapies with my kiddos, I have a greater understanding of not only some of their sensory needs, but my own. It’s like a light bulb went on, and I thought ‘Oh wow, now I get it.’ This story is written from my own sensory experiences, and now also as a mother learning how to provide sensory input to meet the needs of my kids. But I think this story applies to many kids and adults that are looking for that sensory input, which they themselves may not have a name for.”
The book’s illustrator is Rebecca Burgess or “Bex,” and their work is well-known and respected in the neurodivergent and autistic communities. They are breaking through in the publishing world with Wiggles, Stomps and Squeezes as the one of three books that are being released by different publishers. With talent like theirs, that’s only the beginning of what’s to come!
Bex’s illustrations are bright, whimsical and, according to Lindsay, “exceeded my wildest expectations.”
When she saw them for the first time, Lindsey said, “I cried happy tears. I ran through the house dancing. I showed my friends and family. I believe when you work with someone with immense talent, you get out of their way and let them do what they do best.”
Bex had an emotional connection to the story because it described how they felt growing up wishing they had words to describe what made them feel stressed and why they needed to “jitter.” Now, thanks to Lindsey and Bex, children with sensory differences will feel the relief that comes from the validation of being seen and accepted.
Pre-Order on Amazon
The book is being published by BQB Publishing and will be released in April 2021. It is available for pre-order now on Amazon: Wiggles, Stomps and Squeezes Calm My Jitters Down
Connect with Rebecca Burgess and Lindsey Rowe Parker:
- Read about A Day in the Life of Rebecca Burgess
- Read my interview with the illustrator Rebecca Burgess with comments from Lindsey Rowe Parker on the Multicultural Children’s Book Day Blog
- Rebecca Burgess on Instagram – @theorahart
- Author Lindsey Rowe Parker on Instagram – @wigglesstompsandsqueezes
Find More #ReadYourWorld Books
Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2021 (1/29/21) is in its 8th year! This non-profit children’s literacy initiative was founded by Valarie Budayr and Mia Wenjen; two diverse book-loving moms who saw a need to shine the spotlight on all of the multicultural books and authors on the market while also working to get those book into the hands of young readers and educators. Eight years in, MCBD’s mission is to raise awareness of the ongoing need to include kids’ books that celebrate diversity in homes and school bookshelves continues. Read about our Mission & History HERE.
Bronze Sponsors: Agatha Rodi and AMELIE is IMPRESSED!, Barnes Brothers Books, Create and Educate Solutions, LLC, Dreambuilt Books, Dyesha and Triesha McCants/McCants Squared, Redfin Real Estate, Snowflake Stories, Star Bright Books, TimTimTom Bilingual Personalized Books, Author Vivian Kirkfield, Wisdom Tales Press, My Well Read Child
Poster Artist: Nat Iwata Authors: Author Afsaneh Moradian, Author Alva Sachs & Three Wishes Publishing Company, Author Angeliki Stamatopoulou-Pedersen, Author Anna Olswanger, Author Casey Bell , Author Claudine Norden, Author Debbie Dadey, Author Diana Huang & Intrepids, Author Eugenia Chu & Brandon goes to Beijing, Green Kids Club, Author Gwen Jackson, Author Janet Balletta, Author Josh Funk, Author Julia Inserro, Karter Johnson & Popcorn and Books, Author Kathleen Burkinshaw & The Last Cherry Blossom, Author Keila Dawson, Maya/Neel Adventures with Culture Groove, Author Mia Wenjen, Michael Genhart, Nancy Tupper Ling, Author Natalie Murray, Natalie McDonald-Perkins, Author Natasha Yim, Author Phe Lang and Me On The Page Publishing, Sandra Elaine Scott, Author Shoumi Sen & From The Toddler Diaries, SISSY GOES TINY by Rebecca Flansburg and B.A. Norrgard, Susan Schaefer Bernardo & Illustrator Courtenay Fletcher, Tales of the Five Enchanted Mermaids, Author Theresa Mackiewicz, Tonya Duncan and the Sophie Washington Book Series, Author Toshia Stelivan, Valerie Williams-Sanchez & The Cocoa Kids Collection Books©, Author Vanessa Womack, MBA, Author Veronica Appleton & the Journey to Appleville book series
Join us on Friday, Jan 29, 2021, at 9 pm EST for the 8th annual Multicultural Children’s Book Day Twitter Party!
This epically fun and fast-paced hour includes multicultural book discussions, addressing timely issues, diverse book recommendations, & reading ideas.
We will be giving away an 8-Book Bundle every 5 minutes plus Bonus Prizes as well!
Follow the hashtag #ReadYourWorld to join the conversation, connect with like-minded parts, authors, publishers, educators, organizations, and librarians. See you all very soon on Twitter!
Hashtag: Don’t forget to connect with us on social media and be sure and look for and use our official hashtag #ReadYourWorld.