After experiencing two miscarriages, MCBD 2018 Author Sponsor Carlotta Penn started singing the words of a song she wrote a decade before when she learned she was pregnant for a third time. The song was called Rainbows, and detailed the magic and beauty of falling in love. When her daughter, Jember Dove, was born in 2016, Penn knew the song could be transformed into a children’s book dedicated to babies born after miscarriages.
Dream A Rainbow is Penn’s first children’s book aimed to inspire children to dream big and discover the world around them. The story features a young girl named Hana, who dreams of where a rainbow might take her on a stormy morning. The vibrantly-colored illustrations feature friends and animals that Hana meets on her adventure in Ethiopia.
“Daydreamers Press is the public vehicle for my personal passions,” she shared. “It is my contribution to a world where all people can see representative and inspiring reflections of themselves in books and communities. A Daydreamer is creative thinker who believes it is important, possible, and fulfilling to work their dreams to life. To Press is to do with diligence, To share your voice. Daydreamers Press for a liberated world.”
More than 20% of pregnancies end in miscarriage, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. The babies born after those miscarriages are lovingly called Rainbow Babies—representing a beautiful promise after a troubled time.
“Beyond being significant to my own life, Dream A Rainbow is important on a grander scale because it features a young Black girl who explores the world with confidence and joy. In our society, where only about 20% of children’s books feature multicultural content, it remains vital that writers, artists, and creatives (and particularly people of color) continue to fill the nation’s bookshelves with multicultural, socially conscious, and beautifully engaging children’s literature,” Penn says. “I share with many authors the notion that I must write the books I want to read—in this case, I am writing the books I want my children, and all the children of the world, to relish, remember, and be inspired by.”
Carlotta Penn lives in Columbus, Ohio, with her husband and Rainbow Baby, Jember Dove. She holds a doctorate in Multicultural and Equity Studies in Education from The Ohio State University. Dream a Rainbow is her first children’s book.
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