Sunday, August 21, 2011

Book Review: Not Fat Because I Wanna Be by LaNiyah Bailey

A book that shares a powerful message is what you’ll find in Not Fat Because I Wanna Be by LaNiyah Bailey.

Six-year-old LaNiyah is tired of being picked on by her classmates just because she’s different. Even though she eats a healthy diet, she’s still a big girl. She doesn’t know why until her new doctor runs some tests. With the love and support of her family, LaNiyah is able to share her story with her classmates, so they understand the “inside her.”

I’m not sure what amazes me more about this book: that a child of this age is selfless enough to want to be an advocate for others or that she has the courage to write her story and share it with the world. Not Fat Because I Wanna Be is a truly inspiring story that captures the importance of family love and support in tackling the issue of bullying and helping bullied kids to feel good about themselves. As someone who was teased through her school years, I’m very sensitive to this issue. Now, it seems even more dangerous than it was back then. In our local communities we have had two young people in the past three years commit suicide after being subjected to extensive bullying and cyber-bullying.

Six-year-old Bailey tells her story in the first person, which helps the reader connect with her and feel the emotions she feels as the book moves along. Your heart aches when you read the names she is called; just as much as it leaps for joy when her new doctor helps her understand what is going on with her body.  You cheer for her when she courageously answers a mean classmate who asks why she is so fat. And you can’t help but smile when the same girl becomes her best friend.

The artwork is provided by Laura Perez Ricaud. She did a superb job in telling LaNiyah’s story in a visual way. From the cover to the very last page, her illustrations will captivate young readers and encourage questions and discussion points.

Not Fat Because I Wanna Be by LaNiyah Bailey needs to be in all our elementary schools and shared often.  This book can help parents and educators open the door for discussions on tolerance and diversity. I highly recommend Not Fat Because I Wanna Be by LaNiyah Bailey!

  • Paperback: 42 pages

  • Publisher: CreateSpace (March 2, 2011)

  • Language: English

  • ISBN-10: 1461006767

  • ISBN-13: 978-1461006763

  • SRP:  $13.99 paperback (also available in eformats)

  • Monday, August 15, 2011

    Guest Blogging Today at Cafe of Dreams

    My friend, April over at Cafe of Dreams is running a special Summer Memories feature this month. You can find my post at where I talk about a special vacation my family took when I was only 8. I hope you like it.


    Thursday, August 4, 2011

    Being Interviewed at One Writer's Journey on August 5th!

    I'm being interviewed at Penny Lockwood Ehrenkranz's blog tomorrow, where I'll be talking about my children's picture book, Little Shepherd.

    Obed is in the hills outside Bethlehem when the angels appear to announce the Savior’s birth. Can he trust that the miracle of the first Christmas will keep his flock safe while he visits the newborn King?

    Here is what early reviews had to say about Little Shepherd:

    “Your first reaction may be, oh goodness another story on the birth of Christ. Toss those thoughts away and immerse yourself and your children into the magical arrival of Christ the Lord. Children’s author, Cheryl C. Malandrinos has re-explored and created a beautiful re-enactment of Christ the Lord’s birth in a unique and awe inspiring rendition which surely will become classical reading in Christian religious school studies and home libraries.

    The old time illustrations expertly created by illustrator, Eugene Ruble will leave you feeling that you journeyed through the countryside with Obed and his fellow shepherds.”

    --Donna McDine, award-winning author of The Golden Pathway

    “Little Shepherd by Cheryl C. Malandrinos is a fresh rendition of the familiar story of the angels appearing to the shepherds in the field and announcing the birth of the Savior. The unique slant to this particular retelling of the scriptural story is that the reader sees the event through the eyes of a little shepherd boy, tending his first-ever flock of sheep. As a grandmother, I would be delighted to read this story to my grandchildren. As such, I recommend it to parents/grandparents/teachers everywhere who wish to bring this passage of scripture to life for impressionable young hearts to understand”.

    –Kathi Macias, radio host and award-winning author of more than 30 books, including the Extreme Devotion series and Valeria’s Cross

    Little Shepherd is available for purchase from:


    Barnes and Noble

    Guardian Angel Publishing

    Autographed copies may be ordered directly through the Books page on my website.
    I hope to see you at Penny's blog tomorrow at