In 2021 only 436 out of 3,183 children’s books by U.S. publishers featured Black characters, and only 234 of them featured Latinx characters. Sounds minimal, right? Well, these bookstore owners are at the front of changing that!
What’s the biracial bookstore owners’ mission?
The indie bookstore owners from Southern California, Stephanie Moran Reed and Muammar Reed of MiJa Books, organized a fundraiser for their new Afro-Latinx children’s book as a response to the shortage of Afro-Latinx representation in children’s books.
The wife-and-husband wrote their own illustrated book inspired and dedicated to their biracial Afro-Latina daughter who is both Black and Mexican. It’s a fantasy adventure series that aims to add diversity to Latinx representation in literature.
“Books with children of color shouldn’t always be about our pain and trauma,” Stephanie said in a written statement. “Black and Brown kids deserve to see themselves in fun and fantastical settings too.”
She continued, “We wrote the book for Black and Brown children but were also mindful to pen a story that ALL children can enjoy.”
What’s this new children’s book about?
The book’s title is “Reina & Rashad: The Magical Kumba Discovery.” It would mark the first of three planned books in their brand new children’s picture book series, per the press release.
The “Reina & Rashad” book series will be a “fantasy and adventure series, with sci-fi and historical fictional elements woven in.” They also note that Kumba’s alebrije-inspired “sidekicks” will also be featured in the series. For those unfamiliar with alebrije, they’re colorful, surreal creatures that are part of Mexican folk art tradition. We love to see traditional art from our beautiful Latin communities intertwined with modern literature!
How to help ‘Reina & Rashad: The Magical Kumba Discovery’ fantasy world become a reality
In order to do this though, the couple is looking for financial help. They started a publishing fund for their first book through a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign that’s set to run from August 22, 2022, to September 21, 2022.
Want to help a fellow biracial couple meet their goals? Check out their MiJa Books website for more information on their business and more!