"I don't need to believe in a god to be good.
I love to learn, like everyone should.
I even recycle and help my mom clean.
Not believing does not make me mean."
~ Courtney Lynn, I'm an Atheist and That's Okay.
I'm An Atheist and I'm Okay is a picture book which uses simple verse and colour illustrations to reassure children that being an atheist doesn't mean they don't have morals or can't tell right from wrong. It emphasises the beauty of nature and the wonder of science and exploration. In the back of the book, there are activities including several science experiments to try, such as growing your own stalactite, which require only simple materials most people would already have at home. There is also a word search, a quiz and a couple of pages for kids to fill in their own notes and drawings when they get inspired.
Courtney Lynn is an American children's book author who whose books focus mainly on science and secular issues. In the course of raising her own son, she saw a gap in the market for atheist books pitched at children that would let them know that it's okay to be who they are and believe what they believe (or not believe what they don't believe, as the case may be). Her other books for children include I'm A Little Thinker, It's Okay to be A Godless Me, and Sketti Tales: An Adventure in Space and Time.
This book will probably appeal to secular parents who feel the need to counter the messages their kids will be hearing about religion in schools, including state schools in Australia. It's pitched at 7-11 year olds, but it may be a little simple for 11 year olds. The verse doesn't scan very well in places, which is often the case in children's books (Dr Seuss made it look easy, but it's not!) but my children seemed to like it anyway. I really liked the concept because I have seen a few books aimed at that age group that teach about Christianity but this is the first atheist one I have come across. It may help young atheists feel more secure about their world view and values.