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Monday, May 16, 2022

Black Woman-Owned Book Publisher Releases Third Children’s Book Highlighting Diversity and Representation

‘The Turtle With An Afro’ Shows Diversity Matters in All Types of Kids Characters

Dr. Carlotta Penn, founder of Daydreamers Press

Columbus, OH — “Despite an increase in the diversity of children’s books published over the past five years, the industry is still overwhelmingly white,” says Dr. Carlotta Penn, author and owner of Daydreamers Press. Combined, books about white children, animals, and inanimate objects represent nearly 75% of books for young people, according to the Cooperative Children’s Book Center. The bottom line? We need diverse books featuring people–and animals, too. Dr. Penn created The Turtle With An Afro series to fill this void.

The Turtle With An Afro is the first modern animal character whose experience AND likeness represent Black culture. We know that representation in children’s books and media is important, but it’s just as crucial to have diversity across those representations,” says Dr. Penn, who self-published her first two children’s books through her own imprint.

(Check out this animated version of the first book, The Turtle With An Afro.)

Dr. Penn is a writer and educator, who holds a doctorate in Multicultural and Equity Studies in Education from The Ohio State University. Daydreamers Press focuses on curating books, media, and related programming, especially for children. Its existence is a part of the legacy of Black storytelling, art, and advocacy for representation and justice.

The Turtle With an Afro series showcases a brown turtle who rocks afro puffs, braids, and
bantu-knots, as she faces and overcomes challenges all children will relate to. In A Star is Born, Turtle must overcome stage fright before she can follow her dream of sharing her voice with the world. Turtle’s journey will help readers broaden their own self-confidence, inspiring them to take on new challenges and to lift up their voices and sing.

As founder of a small, independent press, Dr. Penn crowdfunded to raise capital for the latest release, The Turtle With An Afro: A Star is Born (visit the crowdfunding campaign.) Within a week, she raised nearly $5,000.

“The overwhelming support for this book demonstrates just how ready the world is for more books and images that celebrate diversity in general and Black culture in particular,” says Dr. Penn.

For press inquiries, contact Dr. Carlotta Penn at daydreamerspress@gmail.com or 614-599-1170.