Tennessee Author & Illustrator Aim to Inspire with New Children’s Book

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Author Alex Beene partnered with several creators to develop and complete "The Dreams We Share" during a two-year period.

Hardcover copy of "The Dreams We Share"

In such a unique year, this story is a reminder to children and their parents about how important our visions of a better world are and how we can inspire each other to realize those dreams.

Just in time for holiday gift-giving comes a children’s story that author Alex Beene and illustrator Omari Booker hope will give children of color more representation and spark reflection for parents.

In “The Dreams We Share,” an African-American mother is awakened by the fears she has for her young son. While gazing at the stars, the mother and son share a conversation that reminds her that she once had more dreams and hope than fear.

“In such a unique year, this story is a reminder to children and their parents about how important our visions of a better world are and how we can inspire each other to realize those dreams,” Beene said.

Beene partnered with several creators to develop and complete the story during a two-year period.

The book's illustrator, Omari Booker credits the sacrifices of his parents who supported his career choice in the arts. "In the world of my parents and grandparents, a career in art certainly wasn't a celebrated option or even a plausible one for most," Booker said. “This story represents the generational sacrifices families make for their children to chart their own path and a better life.”

The effort to bring more cultural diversity and real-life experiences to the children’s literature genre was important for the book’s creative consultant Christopher Kee.

"The story of a mother struggling to balance her son's dreams of a brighter future with the more difficult reality she's experiencing is so common, but so rarely expressed in a children's book format," Kee said. "We wanted to show a story with faces, images, and scenarios that reflect our community and countless others."

This release marks the fifth children’s book for Beene, whose past titles include the best-selling “Lessons from a Southern Mother” and “Born on Broadway.” In addition to Booker and Kee, the book’s team of creators included designer Emily Ervin and photographer Hans Alcindor.

“The Dreams We Share” is now available in over 70 countries through 100 retailers, including Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other outlets in hardcover and eBook formats. The children’s book is being released by Hilliard Press, a global publisher that produces books for audiences in the United States, England, and Ireland.

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Dawn Bramblett
Bramblett Group
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