Monday, October 17, 2022

A Beginner's Guide to Being Human - Book Review

Today's world needs a shot of kindness and empathy to navigate the social-emotional side of living. Medical, political, social, and economic issues press on humankind creating a snowball effect on relationships. When Kidlit author and poet, Matt Forrest Esenwinefinished writing his new book, A Beginner's Guide to Being Human, I was very interested in writing a review of it because it is a timely topic for children.

This book is a wonderful mentor text to use when introducing the topic of humanity. Discussions on being human need to spread across the world. To support my thoughts, I found a quote from Asheville Citizen Times. " This book might be the start of something wonderful. It focuses on empathy, family, and all the best parts of humanity. Soak this one in, read it over and over again to little ones, and be part of a revolution of kindness."

Release Date: October 18, 2022

Upon first looking at this wonderful book geared for elementary and early middle school students, I was delighted with the cover art. The cover is beautifully illustrated by Andre Ceolin. Friendly conversation, smiling faces, and a sense of community are felt. From the cover alone, a pre-book discussion could evolve on topics, such as inclusivity, diversity, and humanity. I believe that many children, parents, teachers, and librarians will be interested in reading this book with its hopeful message, well-stated by author Matt Esenwine:

"I wanted to try to help young people understand the simplicity of things like kindness and empathy. Hopefully, it works!"
However, to get the most out of your human experience
there are a few things you should know.

Matt offers Five Pro Tips spread throughout the book 
to help children understand timely topics.

There are wisdom and life lessons in this book.

For the Poetry Friday Roundup,  Matt offered the following poem based on the above excerpt from the book.


may  not seem
like a big deal,
but to the other -
the child whose eyes rain tears -
it could mean everything.
Set aside your parental pride
and ask for the forgiveness you need.

©2022 Matt Forrest Esenwine

Since the book is a departure from his other books, I asked Matt how his own children received his book.

"My kids seemed to like the book, although they are never good critics because they always tell me they love my books! I don't know if they expect to get an extra dessert or something, but they're always very complimentary, ha! They did seem to genuinely like it, though - my tween son is a big nonfiction kind of fellow while his younger sister is a reluctant reader, so the fact they both gave it positive reviews makes me happy."
About the Author

Closing Thought by Matt Forrest Esenwine
My hope (when writing the book) was to introduce words and concepts while providing some examples of what they look like in the real world - in a child's world. Kids learn by example, after all!


Thank you, Matt, for creating this book that should be available in public and school libraries, classrooms, and children's bedrooms. If we can build a better world through kindness, we will touch the heart of humanity.

"Kindness is another way to tap into our everyday powers. It has positive effects on how we see ourselves and find the humanity in others." (

Congratulations to Matt Forrest Esenwine!

You can hear more at Dr. Diane Schnoor's online conversation with Matt Forrest Esenine here.

Stay Tuned teachers, librarians, parents, and students. Tomorrow is the release date for a Beginner's Guide to Being Human.


  1. Such kind words, Carol, I'm grateful for your support! Thank you!

    1. Your book is very timely, Matt. I left a message for your Marketing Team about a copy couple copies of the book for giveaways.