BOOK DETAILS: Prianna Henderson lives in Chicago with her parents. She loves the Windy City because of its diversity. It's a huge city with many cultures and nationalities. It looks, sounds, tastes, smells and feels like a small version of the big wide and wonderful world. Though she's young, Prianna already realizes the importance of relating to others different from herself. She lives in the same apartment building as her friends Renaldo, Alexsi and Landi. It seems their example of friendship, appreciating each other and their respective cultures has become quite contagious. Her block reflects her dream of unity, inclusion and tolerance. People in her community live by the Golden Rule which has no respect of race, color, creed,or culture. It's a joyful culmination of life. Prianna's dream will warm your heart and give you a great big ole rainbow cuddle.
What or who inspired you to write this title?
VALRIE: My knowledge of racism in the South and moving to the Midwest and witnessing first hand the segregated sections of a would be culturally diverse city such as Chicago which is so steeped in cultual richness. Remembering Dr. Martin Luther King,Jr. assessment that Chicago was racially divided. Furthermore, being a mom and wanting my children to live in a universe that celebrates their culture, skin,colorfulness and differences was of paramount importance to me. I believe in inclusion and tolerance and want children to learn these qualities from early.
What challenges did you face while writing Rainbow Cuddlings?
VALRIE: It was a challenge to make sure that I kept the message that brown and black lives matter while still advocating that all cultures, lives are important without diminishing the message of the protagonist.
What do you hope for readers to take away from Rainbow Cuddlings?
VALRIE: I want children have a love for their culture without apology. I want them to celebrate their uniqueness unwaveringly. I want them to buy in the dream that the real currency at the end of the rainbow is not a pot of gold that spurs many unethical decisions and how others have been and are still treated unfairly and dangerously. It is my intention to build self esteem, self love, tolerance for others,love and appreciation without assimilation or mockery. Love and mutual respect for yourself and others is the real currency and ongoing dream to aspire to.
What do you like to do when you're not writing?
VALRIE: Community Activism, Crafting, Reading, Traveling,
Public Speaking,Shopping and spending time with immediate family and close friends.
Who is your favorite author and why?
VALRIE: James Baldwin - He was a multi-hyphenate content creator, activist, bold in his characters and stories and highly intellectual. He was his own man and marched to the beat of his own drum,complex and lived unapologetically out loud.
Are you currently working on anything that you would like to share with our readers? If not, do you plan to write and publish more books?
VALRIE: Yes, I working on two projects. Hopped on Pops and The Lost Oyster. Both stories deal with what we are facing in our society at present, pandemic and protest. These stories are tools that parents and educators may use to help children process the forces that shaped their world at present. These stories will be released by 2021.
Lastly, where can this book be purchased?
VALRIE: Amazon.com Walmart.com Booktopia.com Barnesandnobles.com Bookamillion.com
Thank you Valrie for chatting with Mocha Books and our readers.