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Somdah Says So says...

A special thanks to You Tuber, Deidre Somdah, who reviewed our Jacob's Rite of Passage Family Series. It's our pleasure to share her review with each of you.

Here is what Somdah Says So, said and we quote, "I really enjoyed these books and my son's going to enjoy them too! This book was for me as well even though it was directed toward young children."

We hope you enjoy her review and grab a set of books for a child or grownup near you!

The Buzz... Reviews

“Seeds Please & Metal Bucks are a triple delight. On the surface, it is a book that talks about the Southern heritage of African Americans in this country. Told from a child’s perspective, the 
elements of the familial bonds and making the best out of their situation is a great foundation. Children as entrepreneurs is a message that we must relay on a consistent basis and this book does it quite nicely. I particularly love the message of agriculture and metal recycling. Although the setting of this book is over 60 years ago, the agriculture movement is currently quite strong in urban areas across the country, and recycling of all kinds is on the minds and hearts of environmental stewards everywhere. “

Audra D. Carson

Detroit Entrepreneur | CEO, De-tread LLC


“Jacob’s Rite of Passage Family Series of Biz Kidz is an exciting and innovatively illustrated series that families can relate to. The adventures of Jacob, Big Brother, Elsie and Dabney deliver a deeply unique story with many valuable life lessons. It is delightfully creative and engaging with a great learning approach.”

Hope Hollinsworth-Coaxum


Author, Publisher, Playwright | Yonkers NY


“Fantastic! Fantastic is the best word to describe the book Biz Kidz as written by father and daughter team, Clarence V. Matthews and Deneen G. Matthews. The book took a unique approach on capturing the attention of youth while simultaneously teaching valuable lessons about teamwork, entrepreneurship, family morals and ethics. It also doubles as a coloring book and math book, 
discreetly teaching lessons throughout. It is creative in its approach to capturing the reader and can be used in any setting from home to classroom to community. I found it to be a good read as a 
parent, clinician and stakeholder who values youth, community and family.”

Maria B. Stanfield, MA, SW, LLP

Chief Executive Officer and Founder | My Sister’s KEYpers, Inc.
 
“I finally had an opportunity to read the book. I enjoyed it very much, and as you may already know I could relate to it.The book promoted family, teamwork and sharing. Many children in the past had to share their toys as well as earn what they received. This book is a good lesson for today's children. I was pleasantly surprised with the lessons, definitions, and quizzes at the end of each story. Thank you for sharing. I am so excited to share this with my seven-year-old grandson.”

Minnie Belton, Retiree

Jersey City, New Jersey

 

"School Days is a delightful read for all Black children. It teaches children several things: First, it tells of the history of how the older generation (particularly a child's grandparents) went to school by walking anywhere from one to five miles. This will help to bridge the generation gaps between children and grandparents. Second, it teaches children to be thankful & grateful to the Lord for their food, life, and opportunity.

School Days has a bright & colorful cover of a Black child: an image extremely important as Black children can relate to it & feel empowered. Also, it depicts Black people in a casual, calm manner & not as ghetto low-income trash. The characters have favorable attire.

Also, the book tells 'Black History' in its depiction of the teacher being personable, eating lunch with the children, and having them say grace before lunch.

If you're in for a casual, calm read and a great addition to a child's library, 'School Days' is a must!"

Theonna, Buhble Black
A Blog that Showcases African-American/Black People in a Positive Light

"Wow... Wow... Wow! After reading both books I thought to myself: I don't know why these books are not flying off the shelves. African-American educators & parents should make these books essential reading for the children in their care.

The Biz Kidz series of books is set in 1940's, 50's & The Great Depression. The books allow children to identify with each of the characters by telling stories from the characters' point of view. The Biz Kidz books provide a warm and calm tone. A style that gives children confidence as well as assurance.

Lacking in many African-American children's books are strong images of themselves & encouragement to do things that are not stereotypical of Black people, but not in these books! I would rank the Biz Kidz Series among the best black children's books I have ever read.

Why?

  • illustrations are of African-American children
  • teach Black history
  • teach math skills (addition, subtraction, multiplication)
  • they teach business principles and ingenuity
  • they encourage positive social skills
  • Have agricultural/farming references

The visual & verbal messages young children absorb from these books strongly influence their ideas about themselves and others. The family in the books, the Manor children, have kinky hair & well-defined lips which strongly indicate their heritage. The books have vibrant, brightly-colored covers, but on the inside it's designed as a coloring book. As per author Deneen Matthews, "The coloring book allows for parents to see how children view themselves by observing how they are coloring the children."

The special features make the books phenomenal educational tools. Children can do math, learn new words & meanings, learn historical facts, and exercise their reading comprehension by answering trivia questions.

An example of the excellent principles promoted in this series is as follows:

The Manor children start & maintain a business. At one point in the story, they pass ownership of their business to their cousin. This is done because they have to move to the city. Once in the city they start another business & add to their business infrastructure by assigning each other jobs and declaring themselves "Biz Kidz."

All children will benefit from the Biz Kidz Series, but I highly recommend them to African American children. Parents, Schools, Clubs, Day Cares, Home School and groups will greatly benefit from these books.

These books counteract messages that make black children feel inferior & will allow black children to feel empowered & good about themselves. It encourages our children to do something different.

From business to farming to family unity these books are truly a treasure & blessing to our communities. A job well done!"

Theonna, Buhble Black
A Blog that Showcases African-American/Black People in a Positive Light

 "A couple of months ago, I purchased the three-part Biz Kidz book set for my grandsons, ages 12 and 9, and in our estimation, Clarence Matthews and his daughter, Deneen, did an exceptional job in writing stories that not only enourage entrepreneurship but show children the importance of a good work ethic and honest dealings.

The characters quickly won our hearts. The parents of the children are devoted and nurturing; offering the wisdom of their years in the form of their tutelage and guidance. And when I asked the boys what stood out to them about the stories, they were quick to explain that it was the respect and cooperation that the children showed, not only to the adults, but also to one another. They were impressed as well, with the way in which the children chose jobs that were in keeping with the needs around them. We found ourselves cheering their efforts, sympathizing with their setbacks, and wanting the best possible outcomes for them.

Since reading the books, our oldest grandson has begun mowing the lawn for their next door neighbor as well as the previous job of mowing his parent's lawn. He has the hopes that more neighbors will notice and ask him to care for their lawns, as well. Our nine-year-old grandson is asking for jobs around our country home and property, and I am willing to oblige.

At a time when we see the stifling effects of overindulgence in a generation of young people, reading this series was like taking a breath of fresh air. Thank you, Mr. Matthews and Deneen!"

Sue Bendorf
Grandmother

"As I read Biz Kidz....City Adventure, I was impressed and engaged at the creative approach the siblings took towards relocation and adapting to their new environment. Becoming a Biz Kidz entrepreneur transcends race and will allow opportunity and imagination to shape a child's entire life skill and academic experience. 

I believe children often have a sense of who they are and what they want to be at a very early age. The cornerstone of being a successful Biz Kidz is to encourage children to read and become critical thinkers, to venture outside the box, and establish a motivated peer group that will be excited about becoming entrepreneurs.

Research has shown that if parents read and engaged with their children between the ages of three and five, the child will more likely grab a book and begin to imagine and discover freestanding possiblilites while enjoying and enhancing their vocabulary."

Diana Harris
Rancho Cucamonga, CA

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