Written By: Heather Dean Brewer
Illustrated by: LeUyen Pham
For Ages: 4-8 years
Topics Covered: Peaceful Protest, Women’s March, Family, BIPOC Protagonists, Love, Confidence, Activism.
For #sweetsandsocialjustice this week, I chose a book that is not only based on a real person and event, but also encompasses a lot of the unrest we’ve been experiencing the last few months. Love is Powerful is about a young girl named Mari and her mother attending the 2017 Women’s March in NYC, and it’s really empowering for young people to read and experience the swell of emotion that can come from recognizing that even if you’re a small person, you can create change around you. For this week, I made my own marzipan to accompany pumpkin bread with oat flour streusel (which was also a new experiment for me and I’m never going back, it’s delicious)!
Mari and her mother are making signs for an event, and Mari is more than a little skeptical that their message and voices will be able to be heard around all the other people and signs. When she gets tired and starts riding on her mother’s shoulders, Mari begins to yell the message on one of her signs: Love is Powerful! Much to her surprise (which Mari talks about in a note after the story) hundreds of people begin chanting with her. This transformative experience made Mari understand that a single voice can create change, even when we feel oh so small and insignificant. This book is absolutely beautiful, a stunning addition to your reading list!
I would also like to point out that we could discuss specific points of the Women’s March in general, but the importance of this book is a young girl of color recognizing her power to protest and have her voice heard. That is the most important aspect of this story, empowering children to stand up for what they believe in and to advocate for others!
This book was kindly sent by Candlewick Press, but all opinions are my own.
3c ground almonds
1.5c powdered sugar
2t almond extract (I didn’t have any rosewater on hand, but if I did I would have used 1t of each)
1 egg white
Mix all together in a food processor until a ball forms, then take out of processor and knead a few times with your hands until one solid mass. I like my marzipan less sweet, so I use more ground almonds than sugar. If you want it sweeter, use less almond meal!
Heather loves writing stories for her two kids, Sage and Bear. Her job as an art director means she gets to make books and—especially fun—work with illustrators. She coauthored the picture book God’s Big Story for You, a 2018 ECPA Christian Book Award winner, and made a coloring book called Women Reading with Cats inspired by her reading buddy kitten Rey, who travels and camps with the family. Heather lives on the shore of Lake Michigan and would almost always rather be outside mountain biking or hiking.
LeUyen Pham is the illustrator of the Princess in Black series as well as many other books for children, including Pat-a-Cake by Mary Brigid Barrett, God’s Dream by Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Douglas Carlton Abrams, Aunt Mary’s Rose by Douglas Wood, Love Is Powerful by Heather Dean Brewer, and Real Friends and Best Friends by Shannon Hale. LeUyen Pham lives in California. LeUyen Pham is the award-winning and critically acclaimed illustrator of more than one hundred books for children. LeUyen (pronounced Lay-Win) is the New York Times bestselling illustrator of the Julianne Moore’s picture book series, Freckleface Strawberry, Kelly DiPucchio’s picture book Grace for President.