diverse picture Books and Gifts
my great granny was a superhero
When little Kemi’s great granny Addo passes away, Kemi is not sad for long. She remembers this woman who seemed so magical, was a real-life super hero to many. Kemi knows that her great granny was not a super hero because of any magical powers but because of her determination, courage and spirit. Kemi learns about the journey her great granny made to the United Kingdom many years before Kemi was born, some of the challenges she faced in the 1970s and 1980s, along with the names of some of the popular black personalities of that time.
This is a story inspired by the author’s mother and the mothers of her peers. Many who travelled alone leaving family and friends behind. It is about these female pioneers, whose unseen strength and power, created a life in a new country as many women still do today.
There are pages of joy and some sadness throughout the book, giving young readers opportunities to explore their thoughts and feelings as well as our modern history. The vibrant illustrations are drawn from the author’s memories of a childhood trip to St Lucia, family photos and many oral stories of what it was like to first arrive in England. Woven into the story is a mystic trail which is a subtle representation of the qualities we all inherit from our ancestors.
This book is about a woman of the Windrush generation but hopes to reach out to all who have immigration as part of their family and cultural history.
Available on Amazon
Creating Inclusive Books
because representation matters
Great Granny Addo was more than Kemi’s oldest relative, she was a real live super hero!
Trevon loves his little sis Nina but she sees things differently and that can be annoying says Trevon.
Trevon and Nina are getting ready to go to the playground. But Trevon is not happy. What’s taking Nina so long!
Kamora has new neighbours moving in soon and she is very curious.
Most people start with the words, I tend to find or draw Images, thinking about the possible stories behind them. Having an active child around is a good source of ideas too. Keep your eyes and ears open for things that may be a starting point. Keeping a notebook works for many, I tend to hoard them and forget to revisit them! No idea is too silly to consider, as it should only be a starting point for weeks, months or years of development into a finished book.
There are many materials, tools and courses out there to help you get started with creating your unique children's picture book. For me resources include my art materials, digital tools and many visual references. Check out my Pinterest for some of those. I will post further info in the blog about what I have found as well as courses and sites.
Self-publishing is a hard and long process but lots of it can be sorted out without having (in hindsight) a meltdown. I have put off doing things that I found I could do myself after watching a few YouTube tutorials. It is not perfect but it's better than not starting at all. Part of self-publishing is applying yourself as if you are your own employee. Not many of us would go to their boss and say 'I give up', 'I'm leaving' or 'see you next month!' (even when we should).
welcome to Zuribooks
As a child, I was always reading and loved to try and re-imagine myself in many of the stories I read. These ranged from the classics I was given in school to novels and Readers Digest stories I found at home. However, it was not until my adult years that I found literature with protagonists who looked like me. Unfortunately, when buying books for my child I found things hadn’t changed much, with black and brown characters being almost non-existent. After many years of not drawing and little experience of writing, I found some great short courses on writing and illustrating picture books to create stories aimed at children who look and lived like mine, my friends, and my family. I hope my books are part of your quest to find books where our children can see themselves and their friends being represented. I am always working on new book ideas to be published regularly throughout the year. I was pleased to be shortlisted for the Jerichoprize competition with a manuscript that I am excited to one day publish. I look forward to getting more wonderful picture books and stories out into the world.