I was reading a post on HelloBeautiful’s Mommy Beautiful with tips on helping your children with reading and was inspired by one of the comments that mentioned Afro-Bets. I’ve NEVER heard of such a book, so I went on a little journey around the web to find out more information. There is a whole line of afro centric books with illustrations of children who look just like my babies! I was so impressed that I decieded to celebrate the woman author of these wonderful titles. Mrs Cheryl Willis Hudson.
A little about Mrs Hudson & Just Us Books from their website
Author, publisher and entrepreneur, Cheryl Willis Hudson has more than 30 years of experience in the children’s book industry. A native of Portsmouth, Virginia, and a graduate of Oberlin College in Ohio, Cheryl began her career doing text book design for publishers such as Houghton Mifflin and Macmillan.
Noticing a lack of quality Black-interest books for her own two children, in 1988, Cheryl and her husband Wade formed Just Us Books, Inc., a publishing company that specializes in children’s books that focus on Black experiences. Cheryl’s AFRO-BETS ABC Book, was Just Us Books’ first published title.
An active member of her community and publishing industry organizations, Cheryl serves on the advisory boards of the Small Press Center and the Langston Hughes Library at the Alex Haley Farm, operated by the Children’s Defense Fund. She is a recipient of the Stephen Crane Award and is a 2003 inductee of the International Literary Hall of Fame for Writers of African Descent. A member of the Author’s Guild, PEN America and the Society of Book Writers and Illustrators, Cheryl also serves as a parenting expert for ClubMom.
Cheryl Willis Hudson has written over 20 children’s books, including the picture book classic Bright Eyes, Brown Skin; Many Colors of Mother Goose; and Come By Here, Lord: Everyday Prayers for Children, selected as children’s book of the year for 2003 by BlackBoard, Inc. (Just Us Books, Inc.); Hold Christmas In Your Heart, What Do You Know, Snow!; and the What a Baby! board book series (Scholastic, Inc.); Hands Can and Construction Zone, both published by Candlewick Press.
As a workshop facilitator and speaker she shares her experience about family literacy and diversity and her expertise in developing curricula of inclusion with schools, educational institutions and other organizations around the country. Cheryl lives in Northern New Jersey with her family.
Just Us Books, Inc. is the nation’s premier publisher of Black-interest books for young people. The company’s titles range from Pre-K concept books to young adult novels–all reflecting the diversity of Black history, culture and experiences. Founded by husband and wife team Wade Hudson and Cheryl Willis Hudson in 1988, this innovative company is now considered one of the leading independent publishers of books for young people.