Beautifully Diverse eBooks by Deedee Cummings

There is no right or wrong way to read a book, especially if you are a kid.

Just the act of reading in any form is acceptable and honestly, parents are thrilled their kids are reading PERIOD.

There are children now who love to hold a Kindle device in their hands just as much as holding a physical book. And we are 100% OK with that! With that in mind, here are Make A way Media’s top-selling diverse ebooks for young readers. Enjoy!

Beautiful Diverse eBooks by Deedee Cummings

Kayla: A Modern-Day Princess:

Kayla: A Modern-Day Princess: is a heartwarming story about family, role models, dreams, and discovering a determination for growth. This five-part diverse picture book series shines the spotlight on a little brown girl who loves musical theatre and never lets anything get in the way of her dreams. It seems that everyone else has an idea for who she should be, but in the end, she discovers that she is the one who gets to decide. Grab your copy of Kayla: A Modern-Day Princess (Book One) in the Make A Way Media Bookstore or on Amazon in paperback form or for Kindle.


Kayla: A Modern-Day Princess–Dishes, Dancing, and Dreams

Feisty and determined, Kayla shares her world with all around her and learns not to judge others along the way. In Dishes, Dancing, and Dreams, Kayla also meets Tommie; a unique new neighbor that needs a friend who is understanding and non-judgmental.

The Kayla: A Modern-Day Princess series of #OWNVOICE books is for Dreamers and the Doers of all ages. By investing in this series, adults help every child see that Black and brown girls can be leaders, princesses, and the stars of their own stories. Children need to read stories that include characters who look like them. Offering these types of books to young readers is an essential part of building self-esteem, cultivating empathy, encouraging tough conversations, and letting children of color know they matter.

This book is one of Our Purple Dragonfly Award Wins! Kayla: A Modern-Day Princess — Dishes, Dancing, and Dreams (Family Matters category winner).

Available on Amazon and Kindle. All Kayla: A Modern-Day Princess books are FREE on Kindle Unlimited! Download today!


Kayla: A Modern-Day Princes — Tough as Tulle

 

Tough As Tulle is a heartwarming story about being open-minded to new possibilities, role models, dreams, gender diversity, and discovering a determination for growth. As the third book in a five-book #OWNVOICES series, Kayla: A Modern-Day Princess shines the spotlight on the evolving life of a little brown girl who loves musical theatre and never lets anything get in the way of her dreams.

This beautiful diverse picture book is a heartwarming story about family matters, role models, dreams, gender diversity, and discovering a determination for growth.

Parents and Teachers: I’ve spent more than two decades working within the family therapy and support field, and much of my writing share my experiences of working with kids in therapeutic foster care. Using therapeutic techniques in my stories to teach coping skills, I strive to lessen the stigma surrounding children and adults suffering in silence from mental health issues. As a family therapist, many of my tried-and-true therapy techniques are skillfully woven into this story to show young readers gentle ways to cope and find inner peace.

This book is one of our Purple Dragonfly Award Winners! Kayla: A Modern-Day Princess — Tough as Tulle (Cultural Diversity and School Issues category winners)

All Kayla: A Modern-Day Princess books are FREE on Kindle Unlimited! Download today!


Kayla: A Modern-Day Princess– These Shoes Are Made For Dancing

Kayla: A Modern-Day Princess–These Shoes Are Made For Dancing is the fourth book in a five-book #OWNVOICES series that follows the story of a little brown girl who loves musical theatre and never lets anything get in the way of her dreams.

In These Shoes Are Made For Dancing, Kayla faces feelings of self-doubt and loss while finding new ways to remind herself of what is real and important in life. This feisty little dancer is determined to carve her own path as she continues to fall in love with the world of performing arts. The Kayla series was inspired by the author’s daughter and Broadway actress, Kayla Pecchioni.

Parents and Teachers: I have spent more than two decades working within the family therapy and support field, and much of my writing share my experiences of working with kids in therapeutic foster care. Using therapeutic techniques in my stories to teach coping skills, I hope to lessen the stigma surrounding children and adults suffering in silence from mental health issues. As a family therapist, many of my tried-and-true therapy techniques are skillfully woven into this story to show young readers gentle ways to cope and find inner peace.

I always love reading about Kayla’s next adventure. It is always full of positivity and also has a good lesson to learn not only for kids but also for adults. This is a great inspirational book to never give up on your dreams. It also reminds you when one door closes another one opens and it can always be better than what you have ever dreamed of! It’s full of positivity, understanding, and never giving up. Great book!~T’Andra

All Kayla: A Modern-Day Princess books are FREE on Kindle Unlimited! Download today!

Kayla: A Modern-Day Princess: These Shoes Are Made For Dancing is available in Paperback and eBook form.


Kayla: A Modern-Day Princess–A Little Magic

 

Kayla always had a plan. The problem was a lot of other people had a plan for Kayla too. But as an independent young woman, Kayla: A Modern-Day Princess has grown into a Queen. “ModernDayK,” as her peers call her.

So, when she tells her mom that she is on her way home from college with “big news,” the results are some surprises, some honest conversations, and the realization of a life-long dream. Mother and daughter soon see how all the special princess gifts from the past will play a magical role in Kayla’s future. Each gift has a special memory, and each represents a noteworthy milestone in her life. But most importantly, they are filled with confidence, determination, a mother’s love, and A Little Magic.

Parents and Teachers: Seeing characters who look like them in the books they read is not only essential for building self-esteem, but it also helps young readers understand that they matter. Diverse and #OWNVOICES books, like Kayla: A Modern-Day Princess, help kids discover for themselves that their dreams are possible. This book, and the other diverse picture books in the Kayla series, touch on important and timely topics like family dynamics, challenging stereotypes, acceptance, social justice, confidence, speaking our truth, and inclusion.

This book series is not just for girls or children of color either. Frequently, adults forget the “Windows” part of “Windows and Mirrors.” A Mirror is a story that reflects your own culture and helps you build your identity, but a Window is a resource that offers you a view into someone else’s experience. It is critical to understand that students cannot truly learn about themselves unless they learn about others. White kids need to read books that provide a “window” into new cultures, races, traditions, family dynamics, and religions to drive the point home.

“If you care about fostering empathy in children, you need to genuinely care about the journey of other people who don’t look and live as you do.” ~Deedee Cummings

Adults also need to provide books for our kids that do not contribute to harmful stereotypes and misconceptions. This can occur much more quickly when the book is not written by someone who lived that life and learned firsthand from experience. Instead, we owe it to ourselves and to the next generation to share books that help us see the world as the vast, beautiful, and fascinating place that it truly is- from the perspective of many. The most authentic story is told by the one who lived it. By investing in #OWNVOICES stories, book buyers support the stories and amplify the voices, of the authors who lived them.

The Inspiration

The Kayla: A Modern-Day Princess series is inspired by real-life budding Broadway Star, Kayla Pecchioni: a young Black woman who has always lived her life by believing in herself while letting nothing get in the way of her dreams.  You can read the interview with this beautiful, triple-threat entertainer here.

“The world is filled with gifts sent directly to you. Staying open to finding them is the key.” ~Deedee Cummings


Love Is…

     Love Is…is a charming children’s book that shares a valuable message: love is a gift meant to be shared by every being. Filled with beautiful illustrations and a stunning palette, this book shows children the different ways that love can be expressed – many of which can easily be forgotten or taken for granted. Love is… is a masterpiece of word and color poetry that draws readers of all ages into the story. {For ages 2 and up}

     “My 6- year old son saw ‘Love is…’ and couldn’t wait for me to read it to him. It filled his bucket. We discussed the beautiful illustrations and talked about love. We love the positivity of the book and that it reminds us to shine our light and to not close off our hearts.”~Eat Pure Love


My Trip to the Beach

My Trip to the Beach

The young girl depicted in this story is feeling down so she finds a space all her own–an imaginary beach that makes her heart feel happy. With the help of the sun, the waves, sand, and sea spray, she discovers how to use nature’s gifts to take each bad thought and erase them like the waves wiping the flaws in the sand away. Through calming, inspiring, and simple exercises in My Trip to the Beach, readers will learn that mindfulness and meditation can transport them to special places to aid in the coping process. These practices can also enhance the skills of readers when it comes to important life skills like strengthening concentration, decreasing stress levels, reducing anger and impulse issues, and aiding in better self-awareness. As a seasoned therapist, the author provides poetic perspectives on life and its struggles that will help encourage children to focus on imagery, positivity, and the important message that with each sunrise comes a chance to begin again. {ages 5 and up}

“When I visit the beach, I am reminded of how awesome and majestic the world is.”~ author, Deedee Cummings


I Want to be a Bennett Belle

In this endearing children’s story, a smart and curious little girl asks her grandmother what she hoped to be when she was growing up. From there, another future Bennett Belle is born.

After her grandma begins sharing the story of how she became the woman she was meant to be, the young girl learns all about the mission of Bennett College in Greensboro, North Carolina: to instill each of its students with self-respect, confidence, compassion, pride, and preparation to compete as a professional in an ever-changing world. As the little girl falls in love with the spirit, sisterhood, and legacy of Bennett College, she discovers it is never too early to think about higher education or becoming the best woman she can be.

This book is also the author’s tribute to the HBCU (Historically Black College) that her mother and several female family members attended. Bennett College is special for many reasons and is often referred to as “the Mecca of Black girl magic.”  In this endearing children’s story, a young girl learns all about Bennett College and its mission from her grandmother, a proud Bennett Belle. {ages 5 and up}


My Dad’s Job:

My Dad's Job

Being a father is one of the hardest jobs on earth and in My Dad’s Job, the story of a dedicated father teaches his son how to be a responsible, intelligent, and loving person.

This sweet story of a young boy growing up with his beloved father will remind the adult readers that their children are watching and listening to them as examples of adulthood. Inspired by the author’s husband Anthony, and the couple’s oldest son, Little Anthony, My Dad’s Job shares a powerful message about the value of being present and parenting with love, direction, purpose, modeling, and consistency. {ages 5 and up}

“In therapy, we call this act of steady guidance and modeling to kids ‘planting seeds.’ Sometimes it seems as nothing has changed, mattered, or taken root and then one day you look up, and there’s a full bloom!” ~ author, Deedee Cummings


Heart

 Lyrically and visually beautiful, Heart is a book for all ages and all walks of life.  Within the pages of Heart, readers, parents, and educators will find affirmations that, when hearts close from fear, other emotions like love, peace, joy, and happiness become closed off as well. Inspired by her work with foster children, the author uses lyrical prose and stunning illustrations to share beliefs of love, life, faith, and the power of prayer.

 This is a much-needed book for children of all ages, especially those who have experienced trauma in their lives. Heart provides an overall message to readers that, to find faith, they must never stop believing that there are good people in the world. This is a book that is an excellent resource for classrooms, home bookshelves, and children’s counselor’s office.” Change to “counselors’ offices. Heart will help lift readers’ spirits and serve as a guide to the path to healing. {ages 5 and up}


This is the Earth

This is the Earth

A recent Purple Dragonfly Award First Place winner, Cummings uses bold and bright illustrations in This is the Earth to share a message of peace, love, respect, compassion, and inclusion. Published in early 2019, the book’s message bears repeating: peace is meant for all of us, and it is everyone’s responsibility to care for each other like the united family that we really are.

This exceptional and timely book shares the reality that we are all sharing this world that we call home instead of acting as though each continent, each country, and each neighborhood is like a completely different planet. Within the pages of This is the Earth, readers will discover thought and conversation-invoking concepts on issues and struggles that have our world at odds with each other. Kids and adults will love the lyrical message and thoughtful artwork that reinforces the fact that every human being is our neighbor on Planet Earth; a place also known as Home. {ages 4 and up}


In The Nick of Time

In The Nick of Time

In The Nick of Time is a timely tale about a little Brown Boy named Nick Saint who helps Santa save Christmas for one special family in need. One snowy day in December, Nick accidentally receives a letter meant for Saint Nick. Realizing that Christmas is almost upon them, he opens the letter. The unexpected message inside ultimately leads him on a journey of understanding poverty, gratitude, and service to others while discovering the real meaning of the holiday spirit.

 

Happy Holidays everyone!


About Deedee Cummings

As a therapist, attorney, author, and CEO of Make A Way Media, Deedee Cummings has a passion for making the world a better place. All 15 of Cummings’ diverse picture, poetry, and workbooks for kids reflect her professional knowledge and love of life. Colorful and vibrant, her children’s books are not only fun for kids and adults to read, they also work to teach coping skills, reinforce the universal message of love, encourage mindfulness, and facilitate inclusion for all. Cummings has spent more than two decades working within the family therapy and support field and much of her writing shares her experiences of working with kids in therapeutic foster care. As a result, her catalogs of published books for kids are filled with positive, hopeful messages. Using therapeutic techniques in her stories to teach coping skills, Cummings also strives to lessen the stigma that some people feel when it comes to receiving mental health assistance.
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