Ilina’s Invitation written by Alexis Glaze and illustrated by Ana Sebastian is a beautifully illustrated book about a young girl named Ilina. Ilina is feeling left out when she starts her new school. At first, she feels lonely but then with some encouragement from her parents, she decides to help others by being inclusive.
Have you ever felt left out? Ilina is the new kid at school and learns what it feels like to be an outsider. On her first day, she is nervous and hopes that she will make new friends. However, on her first day, she discovers that the other children in her class are unkind and not thoughtful to her. At lunch, the other students don’t make space for her and at recess, no one asked Ilina to play. In music, the students crowded Ilina off the bleachers so she had nowhere to sit and she was left without a partner in science. She came home determined not to return the next day.
Ilina’s parents listened and worked through solutions with their daughter. They suggested that Ilina use this opportunity to look for ways to help other people who have felt left out. Ilina has the perfect solution! She will throw a special dinner party and invite others who have felt left out.
I love this book because it is a situation that many people can relate to. Being inclusive and empathetic are life skills that children should learn at an early age. As you are reading the book, pause and discuss various feelings that Ilina felt throughout the book. Discuss situations that your child may have felt left out. Think about times that other children may have left out. As parents, we can also talk about our own experiences and how we worked through them. With the pandemic slowing down in our country, more states are opening up with fewer restrictions. Parties are starting to become more common again and this is the perfect opportunity to include others and develop new friendships.
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Alexis Glaze is the children’s book author of Koning the Lion and Ilina’s Invitation. After years of writing just for the love of it, Alexis Glaze released her first published book, Koning the Lion, in 2019. Shortly after, she was inspired to write her second book, Ilina’s Invitation centered around the idea of hospitality. Alexis, her husband Grant, and their sons, Graham and Leo, are passionate about creating a space where people can feel welcome, and her newest book is an effort to demonstrate that passion in a way children can understand. Alexis and her family currently reside right outside of Houston, TX in her hometown of Angleton where they have a thriving ministry to teenagers based out of Life Foursquare Church.
Do you want to learn more about Alexis? Check out our podcast! Alexis gives me a sneak peek into various tips on how she developed her storytelling craft and modifies it in various ways for children with autism.
To learn more about Alexis, visit her on Instagram here!