African American Author Creates Inspiring and Colorful, Educational Book For Children, Ages 8-12

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Zinzi: A Child's Journey to Self Fulfillment, Giving and Caring is a multicultural, family-based values book about friendship is an empowering journey of self esteem building, creative ingenuity, knowledge and leadership. The author, Lynnette Velasco, also includes recipes to help children nurture a healthy body. Zinzi's journey continues in the story of Aunt Rasheida's Pearls where the author uses the craft of soap making to bond family, tradition, and youthful, creative ingenuity.

Children between the ages of 8-12 will learn self reliance principles of self-fulfillment, giving and caring through the unique experience of "Zinzi."

Zinzi: A Child's Journey to Self Fulfillment, Giving and Caring is a family-based, self esteem building, multi cultural rite-of-passage. The story and vibrant illustrations are rooted in African American historical celebration. Children also receive a special, healthy treat with Zinzi's Delights, to help nurture their growing bodies. "Zinzi" is popular with New York City public school children and is NYSTL listed.

"My book is somewhat of an autobiography and in large part is based on the lessons instilled by my family," said political consultant and author Lynnette Velasco. "My mother was the invincible one with a heart gentler than the first breathe of a new born baby. I remember fondly how "mummy" as I called her held the family together through many rough and tumble crossings. She was very creative and often used creative ingenuity to solve family dilemmas."

Lynnette said her parents exposed her to historical black cultural events stemming from their own knowledge because there was very little history taught about black folks in school at that time. She said her book "Zinzi" is her way of passing along that history. In Zinzi, you enter the legacy of African royalty. You experience Zinzi (the African Queen, Nzinga); brother Asi (the African King, Askia Muhammad (Toure)); and best friend Carmen (the African Queen, Nefertiti).

Lynnette is pleased with Zinzi's accomplishments to date and feels the sky is the limit. She states, " First and foremost are the children. I hope Zinzi nourishes their dreams, bonds them to literacy and learning, and spirits them to positive possibility." She continues stating, "I marvel at the wonderful reception that children give to Zinzi during my travels. To date, I have been to Baltimore, Atlanta, Chicago, Washington, DC and France and the response is overwhelming from children, parents and adults. I hope to completely tour the United States and Europe."

"Helping children to discover the gift of "creativity" that is within all of us is always on my mind." As Lynnette continues to speak, a slight smile brings a glow of satisfaction to her face. Continuing, Lynnette reveals that on Zinzi's wonderful self-empowering journey, she will introduce us to her favorite Aunt Rasheida. Lynnette has partnered with Rasheida Smith, a craftsperson who turned the family, craft tradition of soapmaking into a business, to produce the story of Aunt Rasheida's Pearls. Their limited release, introductory product features the story of Aunt Rasheida's Pearls with a recipe for soap making; the book Zinzi, and five natural, delicately scented soap pearls and a 2 oz bottle of lavender scented lotion. The lavender and citrus soap pearls and lotion are made of pure essential oils. In keeping with the concept of building productive family communication, Lynnette hopes that the story of Aunt Rasheida's Pearls will be an activity that children can enjoy with family members and care givers. The soap pearls are created exclusively for Aunt Rashieda's Pearls; however, Rasheida Smith, President of Ra's Naturals, has created a popular, full line of essential oils body and hair products. For further information on her adult line of products, call (718) 657-2342.

Lynnette was honored by the PEN Open Book Committee as one of the emerging writers of color. Zinzi was also selected to be part of the duGrummond Children's book collection at the University of Southern Mississippi. Lynnette Velasco is President of Black Americans In Publishing (BAIP), (formerly Black Women In Publishing) Lynnette is a member of the New York Association of Black Journalists. Zinzi is available on the web at Amazon.Com. Lynnette is represented by Earl Cox & Associates, Inc. For distribution, group sales and other questions, you may call (908) 233-2399.

Her upcoming appearances will be at the Brooklyn Parent's for Peace event on Saturday, October 16th at the YMCA located at 30 Third Avenue in Brooklyn, New York. She is also looking forward to her appearance at the annual Multi Cultural Children's Book Fair in Washington, DC on November 6th.

Lynnette is available for author signings, school visits and literacy enrichment programs. Rasheida Smith is also available for craft demonstrations and discussions on soap making. To schedule a presentation, please contact Good Thoughts for Young Folks, (212) 252-5113.

Literacy for learning, for living, for life!™

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