Humanist EDge: Three New Books Make Evolution Fun For Kids

“Becker transforms his research into rhyming poetic verses as readers follow Annabelle and Aiden on an adventure to understand how people are different and similar. He also provides additional facts in the background, all of which is illustrated by Max Rambaldi. This is the kind of education that we need in our homes and schools.” -Full article HERE.

Grok Nation Picks

By Mayim Bialik

“The Annabelle & Aiden books are not only stunning (shoutout to the illustrator!), but they also cover complex topics—such as the Big Bang (!!) and life forms on the planet—with such elegance, joy and wonder.” – See full article HERE

Yeshiva University Grad Writes Book to Help Children Understand Death

by Alan Zeitlin

What should parents tell their children when a loved one dies? It’s a difficult question to grapple with, and more often than not, the parent tells the child that the dead relative has gone to a better place.
But that’s a mistake, according to J.R. Becker, author of the children’s book What Happens When We Die. – See full article HERE

New Book Helps the Youngest Kids Think About the Hardest Subject

by Dale McGowan

Enter What Happens When We Die?, the latest in the Annabelle & Aiden series by JR Becker, written and gorgeously illustrated for kids age 4-8. A bird that has flown into a window leads Annabelle and Aiden to the big questions. In rhyming verse, they entertain the idea that death is not the end, then (guided by their friend Skeptisaurus) move toward the naturalistic, struggling with their emotions as they do so. – See full article HERE

Humanist Author Poses “Big Questions for Little Thinkers”

by Eric A. Gordon

Annabelle & Aiden is a new children’s book series aimed at countering superstition and misinformation in young people’s minds. Becker presented an introduction to his work at the recent (May 17-20) American Humanist Association Conference here. The fourth book in the series, all illustrated by Max Rambaldi with details kids will have fun discovering, appears this summer. It’s called What Happens When We Die? – See full article HERE

Behind the Bookshelf: The Story of Life

by Alex Hannaford

Before you even open Annabelle & Aiden in The Story of Life, you know it’s going to be beautiful and imaginative – so rich in detail is the cover illustration. And it doesn’t disappoint. J.R. Becker (who actually works as an attorney in New York) has set himself the task of teaching evolution to young children, and it proves to be a vital primer on how we got here. But why did it prove controversial in some quarters? And why did Becker choose to self-publish? Literati talks survival of the fittest. – See full article HERE

Independent and Self-Published Features: Featuring J. R. Becker

by Maya / MaiStoryBook

“As a teacher-to-be-in-training, I’m always looking for ways to tie children’s books to classroom content. I’m lucky to be in an education studies department that advocates for reading children’s books in the classroom, and gives us copious lists of books to integrate into the maths and sciences. So~ when I happen a book that does all of that for me ~ it definitely lands a spot on *Mai* bookshelf.” – See full article HERE

A Children's Book On Evolution? My Conversation With J. R. Becker

by Horus Gilgamesh

“In short, this little book just nails it! Using a perfect balance of well-thought rhymes and elaborately educational illustrations to simplify complex biology into terms that even I can keep up with, I am convinced that future generations will find themselves wiser – thanks to one seemingly “little” book. Rather than bore you with an in-depth review, I wanted to share a short conversation I had with the author himself, J.R. Becker.” – See full article HERE

Book Review: Annabelle & Aiden: The Story of Life

“J.R. Becker’s new book Annabelle & Aiden: The Story of Life takes on the difficult task of making Darwinian evolution interesting, understandable and engaging for young learners. Published this year with the help of a Kickstartercampaign, Annabelle & Aiden: The Story of Life is a lesson in Darwinian evolution told in verse with beautiful illustrations and interesting information tucked into the art and text. According to Amazon, the intended audience is ages four and up, but it was a hit with my three-year-olds.” – See full article HERE

Evolution Is More Beautiful And Accessible Than Ever In A New Children's Book

by Tracey Moody

“The best children’s books are the ones that an adult not only enjoys reading to a child, but also teaches them something new. That’s the case with the evolution-themed Annabelle & Aiden: The Story of Life. As an avid collector of children’s books, this is the most scientifically thorough and visually satisfying example I’ve ever seen in an under-represented category. Annabelle & Aiden is a story that inquisitive children will find enchanting as they experience the wonderment of evolution. It teaches them that no question is too big to dig your heels into, included the big ones about our own origins. Although we have yet to discover everything, and likely never will, a book like this will inspire future scientists to do whatever they can to close those knowledge gaps.” – See full article HERE

Darwinian Evolution Explained To Children

by Michelle Valigursky

Through rhyme and colorful illustrations, author and attorney Joseph R. Becker investigates the Darwin’s concept of evolution in his new book Annabelle & Aiden: The Story Of Life. See the full article – HERE

Mommy & Me: Oh, The Things We Believed!

by Alisha

From page one, it had touches of interesting facts and good life lessons. The book was easy to understand and my preschool-aged son really enjoyed it. This is a book I would love to have on my shelf, and I believe most parents would as well. I’m hoping they put out more. See the full article – HERE

SPOTLIGHT: Oh, The Things We Believed!

by Lis Ann

See the full article – HERE

Book Review: Annabelle & Aiden: Oh, The Things We Believed!

by Lis Ann

The book uses the common pareidolia of finding shapes in clouds to explore how our senses and feelings can fool us. One thing I really appreciated is how Becker acknowledges the fallibility of our feelings whilst still respecting them. There isn’t any faux Vulcan hyperskepticism here, no dismissal of a young kids feelings but rather an encouragement to understand those feelings. It’s really interesting emotional intelligence work for a book aimed at preschoolers. See more – HERE

Book Review: Annabelle & Aiden Series (by Skeptical Mama)

“If you are raising critical thinkers, these books are a must have addition to your library! The Annabelle & Aiden series written by J.R. Becker guides children through the process of evolution with an enthusiastic and whimsical tone. A topic that may be seen as impenetrable for young minds, has been simplified with fun rhymes and pages packed with beautiful artwork. Annabelle & Aiden take the reader through time on an adventure full of facts learning about how they got here.”  – See more – HERE


by Rachel Sokol

“West Orange resident Joseph (J.R.) Becker recently launched a children’s book series named after his two children. “The series is dedicated to inspiring a new generation of scientists, thinkers, and all-around adventurers,” says Becker. His adventure books aim to foster curiosity, wonder, critical thinking skills and inspiration on the line where science and philosophy meet.” – See the full list – HERE


Who would love these books? In short, everyone. I think these books are for everyone and should be part of every child’s reading list – regardless of age. These stories will inspire not just scientific thinking but a true love of the natural world around us. My kids are usually “too cool for picture books” (sigh…Tweens, am i right?) but these books have been on our coffee table since we received them. We have read them over and over again – and each

time, we’re just as captivated. By the beauty of the language, the intricate illustrations, and the feeling we’re left with of “wow…we’re amazing and so is this world”. – See full article – HERE