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Local author uses characters of color to tell relatable stories

Posted at 6:23 PM, Oct 17, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-17 18:23:27-04

LAWRENCE — Dr. LaWanda Jobe recalls growing up in a time when there weren’t many books that featured children of color. The omission was a wrong that Jobe wanted to write.

“I really wanted to make it a point to make sure that I was showcasing and highlighting that in my books,” Jobe said.

Jobe founded her own book company, Big Mamma’s House Books. She says the name is inspired by her grandmother.

With five published books to date, Jobe says her stories feature children of color who come in all shades and sizes. The characters and stories are meant to be relatable.

“When a child can open a book and see a reflection that looks like them, it leads to reading comprehension and memorization, even self-esteem,” Jobe said.

Her first book, “Tina Tucker Toodles,” tells the story of a young girl and her aversion to vegetables. It’s a battle that just about every parent wages at one time or another.

Jobe says her books are for the parents as well.

“When you’re a children’s book author, you have two audiences that you appeal to," she said. "Children like colorful things and things that are fun and parents like a lesson, a takeaway.”

For Jobe, her takeaway is simple.

“I think that children really need to see reflections of themselves as they turn the pages.”

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