It’s time to involve kids in the talk about diversity in children’s books

While giving them the tools to take action!

Write Now! Make Books Field Guide for kids!Matthew and I are finally coming to terms with the fact that we LOVE to make fun, smart, creative materials for kids with a holistic, social justice frame. It’s just who we are together. It’s awesome. We have the best conversations about everything (like the Interrupting Chupacabra!) and we see Write Now! Make Books as the beginning of a great conversation with kids. We’re already playing with some ideas for our next adventure! We see another story filled path for our lgbt, disabled and kids of color to travel to my studio and learn more ways to grow into their voice, their strength and beauty in the world.

In our big dream moments we see a kid’s series as what we were always meant for…hhmmmmmm we shall see!!?! What we know for sure is that there are many more additions coming to Write Now! Make Books: a bookmaking map poster, educator materials to help bring the program into the classroom, an associated mural project, possible online visits with me, how to take your project and publish it for real with the help of some cool grownups…even sshhhhhh… publishing kids ourselves! Ssshhhhhhhhhhh…we’re barely even talking about that part right now!!! But you know us. It’s all a matter of time.

maya-with-booksWhen I look back at where my body of work has been able to go with Matthew by my side I am crazy grateful and completely excited. Write Now! Make Books feels like a final piece has landed and we’re looking forward to resting down and expanding on the work we’ve created over the last 5 years. We’ve got long term plans to create workbooks for Claiming Face for kids and grownups, and for the Heart of It/Creating Children’s Books that Matter. This fall we’re releasing a workbook and a small pocket book related to my book I See Peace and the related Believing Is Seeing course. Yay! Matthew is amazing!!!!

On the children’s book front, I’m set to begin thumbnails with a new book for Lee and Low with Francisco Alarcon!  And I have story and art already brewing about rabbits and the moon for the 2016 edition of the Heart of It Collection. The (creative) force feels strong!

Today’s final installation for Write Now! Make Books is Beyond the Book. What to do with a book once you’ve made it. I know this one! For example last night I finished up a power point to talk about Whaleheart at the SCBWI conference and the possibilities of self publishing; I got interviewed yesterday morning for a newspaper in Texas because I’ll be talking about silence and the power of telling our story to a conference of young girls next month and oooo oooo next month I also get to go into a school in the North Bay and do Claiming Face!!!! Oooooo oooo AND I got asked to coauthor a chapter with a professor who integrates me and my work into her teaching and community work in the south. Aaaaaaaaaaaaa!!! Work like this rocks! And I’m not even telling you the half of it! I’ve got about 15 books on the drawing board!

Beyond the BookSo yay! Here’s installation 7 of Write Now! Make Books. You made a book! Now what?

Do you know a kid who just might be a bookmaker like me? Or maybe growing strong in their self and their voice is the point? Please feel free to share these materials widely with the kids, the educators, the communities you know! I want to call out all the beautiful voices waiting to sing, tell us a tale, rip a good joke, open our eyeballs with their truth and just BE FREE in their voice and power!

It’s time to involve kids in the diversity talk and children’s books are the perfect path in!

Let’s do this.

xomaya

for some extra inspiration here are some recent kid authors:

http://www.wzzm13.com/story/life/2015/10/12/oummu-kabba-published-author-kentwood-michigan-8-years-old/73829010/

http://bossip.com/793729/some-positive-preciousness-9-year-old-girl-becomes-published-author-with-2-books-published-over-400-written/

http://thegrio.com/2014/05/19/angela-content-13-year-old-book-publisher/

Write Now! Make Books

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