Writer Celebrates Black Household Life in E-book Collection
Organizations like We Need Diverse Books say there are more children’s books
Animals and other non-human characters as all kinds of visible minorities combined. These breathtaking
Statistics show that more than 70% of all children’s books contain white children or animals.
Allyson Ward Neal experienced the reality of these statistics in 2009 when she went on a quest
Picture books for her soon-to-be-born daughter in her local bookstore. She was shocked to find that
There were no picture books with black children or families. Her first thought was to increase
Awareness of the lack of various books, but as a published author she chose one instead
Difference. And out of their determination, the children’s book series Ava Books was born. “I wrote my first
Book before my daughter Ava was born and I put my heart into creating a story with pictures that would do it
show my love for black children and families, ”she said.
Since then, Allyson has published nine books highlighting Ava’s adventures from her first day of school
to travel around the world. The illustrations in the books are fascinating and exceptionally beautiful. And the
Characters reflect the tender moments of black family life.
Allyson is from New Orleans, home of Mardi Gras, jazz, and gumbo, and makes sure the books
This includes references to the culture like great food, big family gatherings, and lots of fun. “When I started
When I wrote the Ava books, I made a commitment to write a book about Ava’s young life each year for her to use
and black children like her could see each other again and again in these beautiful pictures. And how Ava got
When she was older, she wrote the books with me, which became a special moment for me. Soon mine
Husband joined us and also became a co-worker. Now the Ava books are a family affair, and so are we
are blessed and grateful to share our family’s love with other black families in the world. “