I love reading and reviewing children’s picture books. I think it is so important to expose all children to reading at an early age. After having read so many books, one thing that stands out is the lack of books with children of color. This is what propelled me to self-publish my first children’s book: Marie and Her Friend the Sea Turtle. This topic got me interested in interviewing authors of color. My desire is to help promote them and the contribution they are making to the publishing world. Today, I present to you Jaquitta McManus.
Can you tell the readers about yourself?
I’m a wife, a mom and a fanatic of the fantasy/adventure genre. Blackberries are one of my favorite fruits. And one of my favorite quotes is: “It is sometimes necessary in life to do something extraordinary” by Sagalevitch. I think I’m creating something extraordinary by creating exciting new fantasy adventure children books with characters of color.
My first book for ages nine to 12, Labyrinth’s Door: Anyia “Dream of a Warrior, is about Anyia, whose dream of becoming a Nagoran Warrior is infused with adventure and danger. Running from her duties as a Yora, she dares to break tradition to follow her own dream, during a time when Empress Zarina threatens the magic treaty that protects her village.
And my second book for ages four to eight, Talee and the Fallen Object, is about Talee, a girl who lives on the gas planet Gala who has her curiosity piqued when she sees an object fall from the backpack of a mail flyer and journeys out to see what it is.
Talee and the Fallen Object is currently just an ebook but the coloring book adventure is available on my website.
What inspired you to start writing children’s books?
Overall it was my children and the love of the fantasy adventure genre. But the actual inspiration came over time through a couple of different things but the one that stands out the most was the desire to read fantasy adventure books to my daughter with characters that look like her. And since I couldn’t find any I thought I would write them!
What are your thoughts on the lack of children’s books that portray children of color in a positive light?