Teaches Kids the Importance of Kindness
Published: August 28, 2021
Mascot Books announces the release of Listen Up, Buttercup! written by Kiera Ezell of Tuscaloosa, with illustrations by Tristan Tait.
Ebba is a happy bear who loves living in the forest. She also loves her silly friend, Daisy, who calls her Buttercup. They go on many adventures together, but Ebba must be super careful because Ranger Granger is determined to capture her and put her in a zoo. Follow along as Ebba tries to prove to Ranger Granger that a sweet bear like her deserves to be out in the woods where she belongs.
Listen Up, Buttercup! was inspired by Ezell’s experience growing up, where she was often pre-judged by others.
“As a child, I got picked on,” Ezell says. “I think I am similar to a bear because people judge them as being mean and scary. In reading the story, readers will see that despite what you look like or where you come from, you can always make a difference.”
Ezell, an elementary school literacy specialist and tutor, conceptualized the lessons in the book before she began writing. While the over-arching messages are those of kindness and acceptance, she says teachers will easily be able to conduct lessons that focus on character traits and teamwork. Kids will especially enjoy spotting various forest animals – from a squirrel and beaver to a fox and rabbit.
Ezell hopes her imaginative and beautifully illustrated story will help spark conversations between kids and their parents about what it means to be empathetic.
“When parents read this book with their children, the kids can take away the lessons from the book instead of having the tough conversations about why we need to treat everyone the way we want to be treated,” Ezell says. “Ebba the bear represents any child who has ever been teased.”
Ezell has written millions of short stories in her journals over the last decade, but Listen Up, Buttercup! is her very first published children’s book. Reading and writing have always taken Kiera to magical places. Kiera spends her days educating others—she is a literacy coach and tutor and enjoys encouraging others to develop a love for reading. Kiera is an Alabama native and a true country girl at heart.
Connect with Ezell on Instagram @theimpactstation.