No! My First Book of Protest

Written By: Julie Merberg

Illustrated by: Molly Egan

For Ages: Infants & up (board book)

Language: English

Topics Covered: Activism, Historical Figures, Feminism, Social Justice.


It’s Saturday, my favorite day of the week because I get to share my pick for #sweetsandsocialjustice with you all! This week is a board book about famous activists, and I really loved it! I decided to make one of my favorite candies of all time-honeycomb candy dipped in chocolate with an essential sprinkle of salt!

I really like board books that can be used by a variety of ages, and have a lot of discussion potential with them. Chunky board books are perfect for little hands turning pages, and easy to wipe off without ruining pages. This story covers some activists throughout history that weren’t afraid to say “no!” and stand up for what was right. I love that figures like Frederick Douglass, Cesar Chavez, and Judith Heumann (among others) can be taught to young children, and they can begin to know and revere these figures. I believe it’s really important for kids to understand that the rules and laws aren’t always equitable and just, and saying “no” is sometimes the right decision. I really like the illustrations, they’re engaging and give a lot of context to the person being featured. We’ve all seen board books where people inexplicably seem to be floating around with no background, and I like these because the clothing can provide historical context and discussions with older readers. We’ve gotten some questions about good board books, and this one is excellent!

This book was kindly sent to us by Downtown Bookworks, but all opinions are my own.

Recipe: Chocolate Dipped Honeycomb Candy


1 1/4c white sugar

1/2c honey

1T Baking soda

pinch salt

chocolate for dipping

sea salt for sprinkling


Put sugar, salt and honey in a 4 or 5 qt saucepan. I stir it a little bit to make the mixture homogenous, but when it starts boiling I leave it alone. Don’t walk away, it only takes a few minutes! Cook until between 295-300 degrees, and quickly stir in baking soda. It will puff up very large, and as soon as the baking soda is dissolved, pour out onto a silicone mat (I put mine on a cookie sheet with an edge to help catch it all) and let cool. When completely cool, break into chunks and dip in melted chocolate, sprinkling with sea salt. Enjoy!

Julie Merberg

Julie began her publishing career 30 years ago as an editorial assistant at Simon & Schuster—which now handles sales and distribution for Downtown Bookworks. Many years as an editor and then as a packager led her to launch Downtown Bookworks as a book packaging company in 2005. But it was her experience as a mother of 4 boys that compelled her to start a children’s publishing company with the mission of keeping kids engaged in reading and the world around them. The list reflects her passions—science and nature, the arts, girl power (and her husband’s passion—super heroes).

Molly Egan

Molly is an illustrator based in South Philadelphia. When Molly is not working, she can be found baking pies, playing board games, and hanging with her dog Mona.

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