With 38 nieces and nephews, many of whom are multiracial, Kim Wayans, actress, comedienne, writer, and producer, decided it was high time for children’s literature to reflect multicultural young people in a positive light. She and her husband, Kevin Knotts, have coauthored a series of children’s books called “Amy Hodgepodge,” about a young multiracial girl and her diverse group of friends.
“We really want to use the books to promote tolerance and encourage kids to feel good about themselves,” Wayans told Teen Project RACE recently. “We want to help young people embrace diversity.”
So far, the dynamic duo have created six books, with a seventh due out this year, all focusing on the spunky Amy and her fourth-grade adventures. An online “Amy store” sells T-shirts, tote bags, scrapbooks, and more Amy-related items, and Wayans has her mind on eventually creating Amy movies and cartoons.
The multitalented entrepreneur, who grew up with 10 lively siblings, some of them now famous actors, started writing stories in fifth grade. “My passion is being creative in all its many forms,” she says.
Wayans hopes her books will make a difference in children’s lives. “There’s just nothing else out there where multiracial kids can see characters that look like them,” she says. DW