NEW YORK, Aug. 20, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- We live in increasingly uncertain times. Police violence against people of color continues to shatter communities across the nation, and COVID-19 looms large over our short- and long-term decisions as parents, caretakers, employees, and citizens. For children and adults alike, it is more important and more difficult than ever to focus on what connects us: kindness, empathy, and care.
This is the message behind Wendy Muhlhauser's, a.k.a. SissyMarySue's new book for young readers, EMPATHY AIRLINES, the second installment in her award-winning JELLY BEANS THE CHEETAH AND HOPE series. Geared toward readers aged 5 to 11, EMPATHY AIRLINES is uniquely attuned to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion.
It features characters of many different races, cultures, and creeds (and species, too!) who harness teamwork, friendship, and inclusion to solve problems.
According to data from the Cooperative Book Center at the University of Wisconsin, only 11 percent of children's books published in the last two decades featured multicultural content. The JELLY BEANS THE CHEETAH AND HOPE books bridge this gap by representing millions of young readers who have historically been left out of the conversation. And by imparting essential lessons on the importance of community, SissyMarySue's poetic storytelling and beautiful illustrations by Sarah Williams and Jacob Peterson are brought to life.
EMPATHY AIRLINES also explores the importance of protecting endangered species and promoting a healthier planet for all people, and it is endorsed by several international environmentalist groups, including the Cheetah Conservation Fund, the International Elephant Foundation, and H2O For Life.
SissyMarySue hopes that the book charts a path forward for children, encouraging them to be brave and compassionate even when they are afraid. As students navigate an unusual start of the school year due to COVID-19 –– whether they are stuck at home or back in precarious classrooms –– this message is more relevant than ever. "My newest book Empathy Airlines, offers beautiful lessons about friendship, acceptance, kindness," says SissyMarySue, "and how to care for one another when confronted with life's difficulties."
Once young readers fall in love with EMPATHY AIRLINES, they have even more opportunities to engage with the JELLY BEANS universe online, where they can access videos, games, and activities that further explore the book's themes. These multimedia resources can assist parents navigating at-home instruction for the first time –– or who are simply looking for approachable and fun ways to start conversations with their children about society and their place within it. For her efforts toward a more just world for future generations of learners, SissyMarySue earned a 2020 Pinnacle Award from The Center for Interactive Learning and Collaboration.
Seldom in recent memory has the future seemed so uncertain; our children are growing up in a divided, divisive world, and our top leadership fails to model civility, humanity, and empathy when we need it most. But SissyMarySue invites you and your family to be part of the solution. Her answer to today's most pressing problems? A cheetah of a different color.
EMPATHY AIRLINES is published by Beaver's Pond Press and is available online at Barnes & Noble, Walmart, Amazon, and Target. For more information about EMPATHY AIRLINES and SissyMarySue's catalog of other books for young people, please visit the corresponding digital media kit.
About the Author: SissyMarySue is the pen name for Wendy Muhlhauser, an award-winning author, educator, champion of children, and scholar (she was awarded a Fielder Graduate Fellowship through the Marie Fielder Center for Democracy, Leadership, and Education. Website: www.sissymarysue.org.
Hampton Bates PR