Jennifer Gannett is a mom, animal lover, vegan dessert fan, book reviewer and Vegan Lifestyle Coach. She coordinates outreach for Vegbooks in between messing up her Zumba moves, doling out hugs, reading kids’ books, crafting clients’ menu plans, sweeping up fur and perfecting her raspberry chocolate chip bars to provide for bake sales.
My friend (and fellow Vegan Lifestyle Coach) Jen has been involved in Vegbooks for quite a while, so I asked her if she would do a guest post to tell us all about it. And lucky for us, she said yes!
Not familiar with Vegbooks? Then permit me to do a little explaining! We all know that there are aspects of vegetarianism and veganism that are rapidly moving forward in a positive direction. One of those changes is that more and more parents are choosing to raise vegetarian and vegan children. Vegbooks acts as a support for these families and friends. Our website reviews children’s books and movies from an environmental- and animal-friendly perspective. Vegbooks’s mission is to support veg families as well as foster the connection between caring for other creatures and caring for our planet. By surfing over to Vegbooks, parents, caregivers, educators, friends, family members, therapists or librarians can read reviews of books or movies by reviewers who approach their critiques from a veg perspective.
Vegbooks was started in 2009 by Jessica Almy, an attorney at a public interest law firm and the mom of a young vegan. How did she get started? “When my daughter was young, a few experiences reminded me that the world of kidlit and films is — like our broader culture — pretty inconsistent about animals,” she says. “I remember scouring the internet looking for book and movie recommendations for my daughter but coming up dry.” So she started the review website she wished she had access to.
Now, nearly three years later, Vegbooks offers readers over six hundred reviews to peruse. All of the reviews are written on a volunteer basis, and many reviewers have been writing for Vegbooks since it’s inception (including yours truly). A large cloud tag helps visitors sort through reviews by age group (baby, pre-school, etc.), by subject (e.g. dogs, chickens, wildlife) — or even by reviewer (hi!). Vegbooks also features some substantial link lists providing web resources for raising veg kids as well as appropriately themed book and movie lists.
Vegbooks currently publishes five to seven reviews per week. Our reviewed books range from board books for infants to storybooks for pre-schoolers to chapter books targeted to the older elementary and young adult crowd. The materials we review at Vegbooks come from various sources, including personal collections (aka our bookshelves), our local libraries and publishers or authors who provide us with review copies. We feature reviews of books that are well-known in the veg community such as Vegan is Love, Granny Gomez and Jigsaw and Our Farm. We also love highlighting more offbeat finds, such as Garlic- Onion- Beet- Spinach- Mango- Carrot- Grapefruit Juice, Chicken Joy on Redbean Road, Harmony on the Farm, Claude and Medea and Two Bobbies. We have also fallen in love with a publishing house, Gryphon Press, whose entire catalog highlights animal-related issues for children in an accessible way.
Vegbooks is always open to featuring reviews by new or guest reviewers! Although our reviews certainly are helpful to anyone who is interested in kids’ literature and movies, if you have children in your life who are being raised with a veg- or green-consciousness, please check Vegbooks out.