Books for kids:
When I gave my granddaughter the second volume of Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls her eyes lit up. "Mimi, that's my FAVORITE book!" She'd received the first volume for her birthday.
Volumes 1 and 2 of Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls are each packed with 100 one-page stories about the lives of extraordinary women from the past and the present, each one illustrated by female artists from all over the world. Authors Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo realized that "95% of the books and TV shows we grew up with lacked girls in prominent positions" so they did the research, wrote the books, found illustrators, and mounted a crowdfunding campaign on kickstarter with a goal of $40,000. They easily raised over $675,000 and the rest is, well, herstory.
The sumptuous hardcover books have hefty pages, a padded cover, and richly colored inks; works of art in themselves that honor the women within their pages and earn the $35 price tag.
Sprig the Rescue Pig and Gwen the Rescue Hen by Leslie Crawford (2018, Stone Pier Press) are delightful and engaging stories that manage to be clear enough so the young reader/listener understands that the factory farm is a good place to escape from, without getting into gory details.
Both Sprig and Gwen are charming and youngsters will rejoice in the characters' glorious newfound freedom while they develop compassion for these sensitive creatures. Both books are sweetly illustrated by Sonja Stangl. Here's a sneak peek:
OpEdNews visited with him.
Meryl Ann Butler: Frank, I love your Conscious Ink temporary tattoos, I have a few. I think my favorite is "Nevertheless, she persisted." What was your inspiration for Conscious Ink?
Frank Gjata: I wanted to create something that could help us remember what is important to us, and what our intentions and commitments are, especially at times when we go unconscious or fall into our habitual patterns. These "Manifestation Tattoos" really are tools designed to wake us up in the moment and interrupt our subconscious patterning so we can make impactful shifts in our lives!
MAB: What a cool concept! What is the most important thing you hope your customers will get from your product?
FG: My hope is that our customers will experience moments of awakening that will allow for permanent transformations...and perhaps even miracles...to take place. It only takes an instant to change our lives.
MAB: Agreed! Anything else you'd like to tell us before we finish?
FG: It's very gratifying to hear stories about how our Conscious Ink Manifestation Tattoos have supported people with overcoming an illness make a powerful shift or even complete a triathlon.
MAB: Thanks for visiting with us, Frank!
When the things that appear to be going wrong in the world seem overwhelming, a sense of purpose can be regained by helping others. I often do that through Kiva, an international nonprofit micro-lending clearinghouse dedicated to alleviating poverty. Lenders can choose a borrower, and lend $25 or more. Three million borrowers have borrowed $1.23 million, loaned by 1.8 million lenders. The repayment rate is a stunning 96.8%.
I started lending about six years ago with $25. When it was paid back, I re-loaned it, and along the way I made a few more investments of $25 each. Then one year when I was gifted $300 for Christmas, I decided to use it for Kiva loans -- I made one $25 loan every day for the 12 Days of Christmas (Dec 25 -Jan 6) and as a result, that holiday season became one of the most joyful and meaningful of my life.
As those loans were repaid, I loaned again -- so far I have made 56 loans in 23 countries. I choose to lend to women who are doing something art/craft/sewing-related, and I often post about these loans on social media. Yesterday my friend Marie-Louise called me to tell me that she was so inspired by my lending that she was giving her grandchildren Kiva gift cards for Christmas so they could begin their lending cycles and experience the meaning of the holiday season!
Parable of the Starfish
One day, an old man was walking along a beach that was littered with thousands of starfish that had been washed ashore by the high tide. As he walked he came upon a young boy who was eagerly throwing the starfish back into the ocean, one by one.
Puzzled, the man looked at the boy and asked what he was doing. Without looking up from his task, the boy simply replied, "I'm saving these starfish, Sir".
The old man chuckled aloud, "Son, there are thousands of starfish and only one of you. What difference can you make?"
The boy picked up a starfish, gently tossed it into the water and turning to the man, said, "I made a difference to that one!"
From the Starfish Project
(Adapted from the original story by Loren Eiseley)