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The Children’s Book Review
Written and Illustrated by Matt Bell
Age Range: All Ages
Paperback: 24 pages
Publisher: Independently Published
What to expect: Diversity, Acceptance, Celebrating Differences
With a better-together stance, The Jellies and the Crunchers is a conversation-starting, food-adventure story that demonstrates the good things that can come from embracing each other’s differences.
In a town nestled at the base of some mountains, there are two kinds of people: the Jellies who like sticky jelly, and the Crunchers who like crunchy crackers. The Jellies believe that the Crunchers are too messy and loud. The Crunchers believe that the Jellies are too messy and gooey. Even the town square is divided: jelly shops on one side and cracker stores on the other. But when the picnic tables become covered in both jelly and cracker crumbs, a whole lot of finger-pointing and blame starts to take place from each side, and nobody wants to clean up a mess that they feel isn’t theirs. Nobody wants to change their ways until a massive food fight takes place that leads to the Jellies and the Crunchers discovering that coming together is for the better.
As the father of nine children with different racial backgrounds, author Matt Bell has channeled his family life into this narrative that conveys the importance of diversity in a comprehensible way to readers, both young and old. The entertaining food fight (that will likely elicit giggles) and the allegory’s digitally illustrated outcome is easy to visualize.
Bound to attract picture book and easy chapter book readers ages ten and under, The Jellies and the Crunchers truly offers an all-ages message of inclusivity and acceptance.
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About the Author
Matt Bell is a father of 9 very diverse children who has taken the many tales he has woven over the dinner table and written a series of three books. These funny and illustrated stories try to communicate a moral truth about how to get along with others while entertaining and opening up areas of discussion at a level that a child can understand. His other books, The Rounders and The Tallers, and Crazy Cats From Outer Space, deal with the topic of segregation and appreciation of others.
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