A few months ago you could hardly walk through the Best Beginnings office. Boxes upon boxes of our newest book set for young children, Seasons of Alaska, filled nearly every room. Thanks to hard work and many, many mail runs, now over 20,000 of these books are in the hands of Alaska children all across the state – and nation!
With support from a Preschool Development Grant received by the Alaska Department of Education & Early Development from the US Department of Health & Human Services, 5,000 sets of Seasons of Alaska – 20,000 books in total – were distributed to families with young children through programs they participate in, such as Head Start and Early Head Start, Parents as Teachers, Providence Nurse-Family Partnership, Nutaqsiivik Nurse-Family Partnership, tribal child care, and many others. Feedback has been very gratifying. No matter whether they live in urban or rural Alaska, or somewhere in-between, parents, caregivers, and children all love the books:
I love these books. Even more important – my little ones love these books!
The photos and text are beautiful and sweetly show real Alaska life – in its seasonal multitudes. As many people know, it’s hard to find children’s books that reflect indigenous children’s lives; we often settle for “almost,” just to have something. Here we have books by a quartet of Alaska Native women who have something really special to share with kids – their perspectives, their stories, their understanding. Same goes for the photographs showing delicious foods, fun activities, families, animals and landscapes.
There is a lot to talk about with children while reading these books – and a great deal to enjoy. I love that there is text, but it leaves room for discussion and curiosity. I recommend them to any family with babies and small children.”
The Seasons of Alaska books were made to help fill a large gap in available books for children – books with images of real Alaska children, their environments, and their everyday activities. Alaska Native photographers provided the gorgeous illustrations that the four first-time authors worked with to create the books. Noted children’s author, Tricia Brown, supported the authors as they wrote simple yet powerful statements from a child’s perspective. Tricia also acted as project manager to get the books printed and delivered to Best Beginnings.
And while we may not have the same mountains of books in our office – the good news is you can still get your hands on them! Copies of the books, individual books or a set of four, can be purchased on Amazon.