• Wed. Jun 12th, 2024

Feature Friday: Annalise’s Up and Down Day


Annalise is three years old and ready for another summer day of fun, but, as her day progresses, she discovers that there are just as many misadventures as there are adventures in store for her.  With vibrant watercolor paintings by Julie Iannone, Annalise’s Up and Down Day follows along with the toddler as she explores the meaning of “up” and “down” in her world.



Rated five stars by ReadersFavorite.com, Annalise’s Up and Down Day is a 28-page fiction picture book for early readers, ages 0-4.  Published earlier this summer by Gill Publishing/Create Space publishing platform, both a Kindle and a trade paperback version are available at Amazon.com.

I chatted with Denise about the importance of diversity in kidlit:

Why is it important to exhibit diversity in children’s books and other forms of media?  The answer is really quite simple:  Regardless of age, diversity makes us better people.  It spawns curiosity, which generates exploration and self-reflection, leading to understanding and acceptance. The younger a child is when exposed to differences — different races, different cultures, different religions, different abilities — the more tolerant and smarter she becomes.  Diversity in children’s books reinforces that acceptance. 

Also, diversity in children’s books supports normalization.  The preschooler who sees different types of people in the pages of his picture books won’t be as intimidated or fearful of those who are different.  After all, different is normal.

Windows and mirrors, folks. That’s what it’s all about. It’s been my experience with the littles that they don’t give a farthing about what color or ethnicity another little person is unless they’ve been taught to. All they see is another little kid who wants to play.