New Author and Publisher – Celebrating Black Fathers
I had such a wonderful bookchat with new children’s author Kashama Leo-Henry, who is also an early childhood educator, and now publisher as well! Her children’s book launched a couple of months ago and is called Daddies and Uncles and More, Oh My! It focuses on the different roles and relationships of Black Men in our communities and the importance of their impact on our children’s lives. It’s told through the eyes of a little girl, Lili, and is told through beautiful rhyme and rhythm.
As an early childhood educator, Leo-Henry understands the impact that race and the thoughts formed around it, start in the infant months and toddler years. Her inspiration for this children’s book came from knowing and seeing the wonderful impact of Black men in her life and community.Her hope in this book is to help young children form positive thoughts regarding the men in their community and feel included even if the role of “father” is found in an uncle, cousin, or close family friend.
Sand Castle Books Mission
As a new publisher of Sand Castle Books, she is looking for more authors whose stories embrace diversity and inclusion. If this is YOU, check out her website!
I have loved every bookchat, every guest author, and the wonder of learning new things through written words, but some bookchats seem to have more LIVE commentary than others. During this bookchat, you could see and feel all of the love that Leo-Henry’s community of support has for her and her beautiful book. Her own children, husband, and family are so happy for her and helped her in the writing process.
When I asked Kashama Leo-Henry about her writing process and advice for others, I loved her response! To summarize, she encouraged others to write about what brings them passion and to go for it with their whole selves. She said if you feel inspired in the middle of the night, take the time to write it all down because you will forget by the morning! This really resonates with me as an author because it’s the times I’m not thinking about writing when inspiration hits me!
Build Up Your Library
I hope you will check out our fun bookchat and listen to the read aloud by this incredible author. I encourage you to add Daddies and Uncles and More, Oh My! to your personal and school libraries. If you are a white parent or teacher and live in a predominantly white community, this book can help encourage children to find commonalities with people who have a different skin color than the ones they see daily. These positive books and messages are how we will help our young people see beauty that has previously been clouded by prejudice. Kashama Leo-Henry, like so many others, understands that representation matters. Black children need to see themselves as main characters in books, and white children need to see their Black peers as main characters, too. In fact, all children need this and need to see themselves in stories.
There will be another bookchat with Kashama Leo-Henry, I can already sense it. She is a new author and publisher, but her strong and welcoming voice comes with an entire community supporting her. The impact of her work will be great!
About the Author
Melody McAllister is a wife, mother of five, educator, and author. She and her family relocated to Alaska from the Dallas area in 2019. McAllister is 2017 Garland NAACP Educator of the Year and author of the I’m Sorry Story. She is also the Logistics Manager for EduMatch Publishing and Alice Keeler, LLC. McAllister has spoken at ISTE and ASTE about equity issues in education, and writes about her journey in her blog, HeGaveMeAMelody.com. If you would like to schedule an author read with your class, please contact her on Twitter or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Join Melody’s BookChat every Wednesday at 8pm EST at YouTube.com/melodymcallister