Alphabet Kids™, Children's Multicultural Series, to Launch at Hue-Man Bookstore

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Zulekha Haywood, daughter of supermodel, Iman and Maysoon Zayid, Arab-American actress and comedian will read to students from the Harlem Academy at the New York launch of five titles from Alphabet Kids™, a children's multicultural series on Thursday, May 13th at 10:30 a.m. at Hue-Man Bookstore & Café, 2319 Frederick Douglass Boulevard, New York, NY 10027.

"We believe that the Alphabet Kids series fills a void in children's publishing. These multicultural books can help our youngest learners to love themselves and see that they can make very good friends with people who may be different. "

Zulekha Haywood, daughter of supermodel, Iman and Maysoon Zayid, Arab-American actress and comedian will read to students from the Harlem Academy at the New York launch of five titles from Alphabet Kids™, a children's multicultural series on Thursday, May 13th at 10:30 a.m. at Hue-Man Bookstore & Café, 2319 Frederick Douglass Boulevard, New York, NY 10027. The event will be part of Hue-Man Bookstore's celebration of Children's Book Week.

Alphabet Kids, an original, multicultural children's book series, introduces children aged two through seven years to a host of characters: Allegra (Italian-American), Elena (Hispanic-American), Isaac (Jewish-American), Oni (African-American), Umar (Arab-American), and Yang (Chinese-American), to follow their adventures as they learn to embrace their cultural and ethnic heritage. The series was created by Allegra Joyce Kassin, a devoted mother of five and grandmother of seven, who was in search of books that highlight children from all countries for her own youngest child.

Says Kassin, "We believe that the Alphabet Kids series fills a void in children's publishing. These multicultural books can help our youngest learners to love themselves and see that they can make very good friends with people who may be different. "

With the population of the United States becoming more diverse, it is important that everyone, especially children, understand how to co-exist with others who may be different. And there is no better “global playground” to learn about differences - and similarities - than New York City, indisputably the multicultural capital of the United States, and home to people from nearly 250 countries who speak over 170 languages.

Each title in the series tells the story of a different child whose experience at the Alphabet Afterschool Center teaches the Alphabet Kids a new lesson: the importance of saving trees in Allegra's Apple Tree; handling a birthday misunderstanding in Elena's Birthday Surprise; the importance of pets and the responsibilities of taking care of them in Isaac's Zoo; accepting cultural and ethnic differences in Oni's Good Hair Day; and the importance of sharing and learning about unfamiliar foods in Umar's Magic Oven. The Alphabet Kids’ books show young people doing ordinary things, learning about themselves, understanding that friendships can be created despite differences.

Adds Patrice Samara, co-author of the books and Alphabet Kids Executive in Charge of Development, “Our series not only encourages tolerance and understanding in a culturally diverse society, it promotes the acceptance of cultural or physical differences and demonstrates the important role that grown-ups play in a child’s development. And, perhaps most important, the books promote a love of reading.”

Committed to social responsibility, Kassin and Samara instituted the “Alphabet Kids Buy One-Give One Literacy Program." For each book sold, one book will be donated to a child in need. They have also engaged in many community-based educational and charitable activities, including donating school supplies and visiting classes at Edward Hynes Charter School in New Orleans; Producing an Alphabet Kids concert to raise funds for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and recently taking part in World Read Aloud Day in a cross-cultural videoconference linking children in NYC with students from Ghana that was held at the Hue-Man Bookstore.
A special edition Alphabet Kids Music CD is currently in production. 100% of the profits from sales of the CD will be donated to charity. A nationwide Alphabet Kids tour is planned for 2010-2011.

About the team:
Allegra Joyce Kassin, creator of the Alphabet Kids Series, is a devoted mother of five and grandmother of seven. With strong belief in multicultural understanding, she brings vision, clarity, continuity and extraordinary leadership to the Alphabet Kids team and advisory committee. She has been engaged in wide ranging philanthropic activities from well being and health to community development and educational enrichment for over thirty years.

Patrice Samara co-author of the Alphabet Kids books, is an Emmy Award-winning producer with over twenty years international expertise in communications and entertainment. She has won over fifty awards for creativity and excellence including 2 Parent’s Choice Awards and the 2010 Global Citizenship Award for Helping Humanity from Orphans International. She combined her dedication to educational equality and multiculturalism by utilizing her global resources to make the Alphabet Kids unique.

Vivian Treves, co-author of Allegra’s Apple Tree, Italian subject matter and cultural expert; internationally respected author and producer; and President of European Film and Television Representatives, Inc.

Liana Pérez, author of Elena’s Birthday Surprise, Hispanic subject matter and communications expert is founder and publisher of Art Circuits, board member of the Bakehouse Art Complex, member of Art Table, and partner in Estima PR Caracas and Mami.

Neme Alperstein, co-author of Isaac’s Zoo, was born in Israel and is a multi-award-winning educator with a specialty in technology and teaches academically talented and gifted students.

Michelle Bodden, co-author of Oni’s Good Hair Day, is a noted educator, author and African-American expert.

Abed Awad, co-author of Umar’s Magic Oven, a globally recognized attorney with expertise in Arab culture and Islamic law, a community leader, law professor, and public speaker.

Dr. Jingyi Hong, co-author of Yang’s New Dance, is a Chinese subject matter and cross-cultural communications expert and television producer. The Yang’s New Dance book will be released in September 2010.

Copies of each of the five titles of the Alphabet Kids series can be purchased on the Alphabet Kids website (http://www.alphabetkids.com) and through the Hue-Man Bookstore (http://www.huemanbookstore.com).

REVIEW COPIES AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST

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Marcia Mayne

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