"A is for amazing, abundant, adventure, awesome, aware. B is for bold, brave, beautiful, brilliant, blissful."
Each word represents confidence, a trait that a first-time author from Encinitas hopes to help instill in young girls.
Carly Mentlik wrote "Inner Rainbow Project's ABC: An Alphabet Book of Confidence" over two weeks last July as a gift for her daughter's second birthday last August.
"Right now, she's at that age where she's starting to use alphabet books and just be more engaged with books," she said of her daughter. "I wanted to make her something that would be meaningful and that she could use now and throughout her life. Once I completed it, I realized this was something that I needed to share with others."
She released the book, aimed at ages 2 and up, Dec. 18 on Amazon.com. A percentage of profits will be donated to families in need and organizations aimed at empowering girls, according to a news release about the book.
It includes five words for each letter — for a total of 130 words — related to confidence and has images that go across the rainbow spectrum to attract young girls with the colors. There is also a dictionary with definitions of each word and ideas for accompanying activities.
To write the book, Mentlik researched websites devoted to positive words.
She said some words — like "beautiful" and "awesome" — were obvious choices for the book. Others caught her by surprise.
"The word 'open' was really surprising to me because I didn't think it would be something you would automatically think of as a confidence word," she said. "When I looked into the definitions, I knew it had to be included. It's the ability to express your feelings freely. I think if a girl learns that and can engage with it, she can learn to be open. It's really empowering."
Mentlik, who runs Inner Rainbow Project, an online business that provides tools and services to help keep girls' spirits alive, said it is important for females to know their worth early on.
The 10-year Leucadia resident, who formerly owned a private counseling practice in Leucadia mainly focusing on pre-teen girls, believes if girls know how to be confident early on in life, that could help them battle the feelings of uncertainty they can face when they are tweens.
"[Pre-teens] are right at that age where you're moving from a child to a teenager, with puberty and all the complex emotions coming in," she said. "That's where you'll see self-esteem drop for girls and where you'll see them get more messages of how they should be to fit in with others."
She said while her daughter might not understand the words "confidence" or "brave" at her age, being introduced to them young is important.
"She has the chance to be immersed in these words," she said. "From the earliest age possible, a girl should have a voice and the confidence of knowing that she can really be herself."
For more information about "Inner Rainbow Project's ABC: An Alphabet Book of Confidence," visit https://www.innerrainbowproject.com/abc-book.