By: Matt Forrest Esenwine

Illustrated by: André Ceolin

Published: October 18, 2022

Publisher: Beaming Books


Being human involves a lot of emotions on any given day. Plus you will likely be interacting with others who are also having a lot of various emotions including people you know and don’t know. Every day you are surrounded by people who are like you and people who are different from you. Learning how to manage all these interactions is part of the human experience.

Through explanations and pro tips, Esenwine shares with kids that not all days will be easy and we will have moments that make us sad or frustrated. But, there will be plenty of moments full of joy, love, and kindness. Being around the people you love will help us get through the unhappy moments and help us celebrate the amazing ones.

Kids will learn about compassion, empathy, forgiveness, and being kind. We all have to help each other manage the ups and downs of life. One surefire way to spread kindness is to share a smile with others.

“Smiles can also do wonders.

You never know who might need a smile, so always try to have one ready.”

This diversely illustrated story allows kids to see themselves in the situations depicted on the pages. From a child with two dads to one who struck out during a baseball game to a student who gets bumped in the hallway everyone has emotions but the key is how we react to them. Offering forgiveness and a smile can go a long way in being kind to others.

Matt Forrest Esenwine is an author and poet from Warner, New Hampshire. His debut picture book, Flashlight Night (Boyds Mills Press, 2017) was selected by the New York Public Library as one of the Best Books for Kids of 2017. His picture book Once Upon Another Time (Beaming Books, 2021), co-authored with Charles Ghigna, was deemed “a necessary addition to picture book collections” by ALA’s Booklist. His poetry can be found in numerous anthologies including The National Geographic Book of Nature Poetry (National Geographic Children’s Books, 2015) and Construction People (Wordsong, 2020).

André Ceolin studied at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. He has illustrated over twenty books for children. André lives in Brazil with his family.

To purchase a copy of A BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO BEING HUMAN, click the photo below:

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Thanks to the publisher for sending a copy of this book for the purpose of this review. This review is my honest opinion. If you choose to make a purchase through the above links, I may receive a small commission without you having to pay a cent more for your purchase.
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