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The "I WISH I'd had this" of Children's Books!


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Based on Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, What I Tell Myself FIRST: Children's Real-World Affirmations of Self-Esteem is a book of real-world affirmations that highlight the various abilities and attributes of the reader while exposing readers to realistic possibilities of rejection of difference in various forms.  What I Tell Myself FIRST then enables readers to form mental frameworks to surmount those forms of rejection of difference and achieve positive self-actualization. 

Books in the Series


"Crucial life lessons and empowering personal affirmations for young children overflow on the vibrant pages of What I Tell Myself First by author Michael A. Brown, with illustrations by Zoe Ranucci. Unlike many other motivational books directed at younger readers, this book addresses both the good and the bad, presenting realistic, optimistic, and self-driving ideas that can help to shape developing minds. Beautifully illustrated with a clear vision of childhood challenges, What I Tell Myself First is an honest and original take on positivity and self-help for youngsters."

- Self-Publishing Review, ★★★★★


"This is the most pragmatic picture book that I’ve read this year. It teaches children and adults valuable skills that might literally save their lives. It presents readers with various situations where the characters are in danger, and then shows them different ways they could protect themselves." - Literary Titan, ★★★★★


"... this book argues that it’s never too early to identify your passions and take steps towards your future – a unique focus for a children’s book, acting as a kind of self-help book for children. ...this quick read is an engaging and poetic adventure that children will surely remember as they go through life."

- Self-Publishing Review, ★★★★½

"The author does a fantastic job of subtly showing readers that their role in others’ lives molds the image of themselves and what readers are called to do in the world. What I Tell Myself About Talent is a five-star story that guides readers to be themselves first and finding their calling second."

- LitPick Review, ★★★★★


"A colorful, inspiring and heartwarming children’s book, Mommy, Daddy Please Teach Me! by Michael A. Brown is a treasure trove of wisdom for young children. Exquisitely illustrated by Zoe Ranucci, this vivid storybook touches on some of the countless opportunities for learning and growth that parents can share as their children grow. The simple language makes this a great starter book for early readers, while the images make it a stimulating experience, regardless of one’s reading level. A quick, beautiful, and impactful read." 

- Self-Publishing Review, ★★★★★


Reviews Coming Soon.


Reviews Coming Soon.

Other Relevant Books


"A powerful book with a controversial title, Stuck in F*ck is a brutally honest take on the fate of modern parents written by Michael A. Brown. Unafraid to look at the dark side of parenting, and the emotional turmoil it can wreak, this is an unconventional story, but a relatable message for many struggling parents. The subject matter is blunt, as is the language used throughout, asterisks and all, but the format makes the book’s message more immediate, and so more visceral. Some may take issue with some of these issues being conveyed in such a childlike format, but the messages are important, and the presentation may very well reach those who need it most." - Self-Publishing Review, ★★★★


Dear Reader,


I’m a dad like any other dad. My love for my children, and raising them into the best human beings they can be is my life’s mission. The legacy I leave to the world is my children, and I’m like every other parent that wants their children to be strong, capable, productive, responsible, and most importantly, happy.


Having served my country in the Army, my community as a police officer, an anger management specialist, nonviolent crisis intervention instructor, and educator, I have learned a great many lessons. I hope to convey some of these lessons, as well as the real-world wisdom I’ve accumulated so far, to everyone that reads this book. I hope to teach a sense of self-love as well as self-acceptance. Giving a framework for both parents and children to help build their lives into sturdy and happy homes is my goal.


The ethos of any organization is a creed, oath, or promise to fulfill the values they stand for in their work. And I hope that this short ethos can, and I wish you well in the forging of your own personal ethos! On the pages you will see places to fill in your name, choose adjectives that suit you personally, and answer short questions. These were put in place to not only personalize the book for each child individually, but to provoke meaningful discussions between the child and the parent. Of course, the parent may not be the only figure reading this book to a child, so please personalize it to suit your own relationship title with the recipient of the reading.


No matter how you do it, it’s exactly right for you, as long as it’s true! So have fun, and happy reading!

Michael A. (Mike) Brown, MA


⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ “I think this is a great book. It doesn’t whitewash life with promises of 'dream your dream and it will happen.' It works rather to help the young reader accept who they are, and work harder on the things they need help with. It’s practical and written on a level that children can understand and appreciate.... What I Tell Myself FIRST: Children's Real-World Affirmations of Self Esteem by Michael A Brown is highly recommended."


Readers' Book Reviews


Mike would LOVE to come and share What I Tell Myself FIRST with you and your school or organization. Please complete the requested information and a member of our team will contact you. Thank you. Let's heal the world. 

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