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Join Kanika and Vanessa each Thursday at 7 pm EST on Facebook Live for conversations with #ownvoices authors about their journey, what inspires them and what diverse representation in children's books mean to them.

SOCW author conversations (13)

With wellness on our mind this month, we thought we'd go back to a conversation we had last fall with author Jenny Delacruz. With a background in counseling and social work, she wrote "Momma, Can I Sleep with You Tonight? Helping Children Cope with the Impact of COVID-19" In this conversation, she shared some tips for supporting kids when dealing with difficult emotions. Join our conversation THIS Thursday at 7PM EST!

Jenny Delacruz is the CEO of Cobbs Creek Publishing. She has a background in counseling and social work. She understands how the books that children read helps them making meaning about themselves and their world.
Jenny has an M.S in Counseling and minored in African & African American Studies. She is of Haitian descent and creates books that help children fall in love with world history and process current events.

Her desire to have the freedom to create unique books led her to start this publishing company and write children's books.

SOCW author conversations (14)

Pierre Jean-Louis, founder of Hip-Hope Endeavors (a subsidiary of The PJL Companies), is a huge promoter of the message of Hip-Hop in many areas of business and media. In print media, the company is set to release The Elements of Hip-Hop, a comic book that features the four elements of Hip-Hop personified as heroes with superpowers.
Growing up as an avid comic book reader, Pierre felt that there were no super heroes that he could easily relate to and he wished that more comic book characters reflected the culture of Hip-Hop. This inspired him to create the ground-breaking story The Elements of Hip-Hop, which would serve as a positive image for the youth to look up to. His hope is to help young people enjoy reading and become more involved in their communities in a positive way.

This week featured an awesome conversation with Pierre Jean-Louis and Yamil Little, the creators of "The Elements of Hip Hop" comic book and all things Hiphopolis! Pierre and Yamil share their inspiration and motivation behind the comic book and give us a sneak peek into what's coming next for The Elements.

SOCW author conversations (16)

Irene Smalls, is the award winning author of 15 books for children published by Little Brown, Simon & Schuster and Scholastic Press. She is a graduate of Cornell University with a Degree in Black Studies and New York University with an MBA in Marketing and Behavioral Science. Born and raised in New York Irene writes fond stories of her childhood in Harlem, her children and African-American history, and has traveled to 49 states and 20 countries. She lives in Houston, Texas with her husband and three children.

This was such a great conversation with author Irene Smalls. She talked about being the first African American author at Little Brown Books and the interesting marketing opportunities that landed her way. She has had quite a journey. Listen in on this amazing conversation.

SOCW author conversations (Tonya Duncan Ellis)

Tonya Duncan Ellis has had her nose in a book since she learned to read, so it’s no surprise that she’d one day become a writer. She is author of the Amazon best selling Sophie Washington children’s book series, a former journalist, and a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) and the Authors Guild. Fluent in French, Tonya loves learning about other cultures and has traveled to 49 states and 20 countries. She lives in Houston, Texas with her husband and three children.

Tonya Duncan Ellis joined us to speak about her journey as an author, the Sophie Washington series, and advice for young writers.

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