Representation is everything and actress Gabrielle Union is on a mission to ensure that children of color can see themselves reflected in the literature they read. According to People, Union is releasing a picture book dubbed Welcome to the Party.
The children’s book—which she says was inspired by her daughter Kaavia James Union Wade—captures the excitement of an awaited birth of a child. Union penned the book and illustrator Ashley Evans created the vibrant imagery. “Welcome to the Party is an upbeat celebration of new life that you’ll want to enjoy with your tiny guest of honor over and over again,” read the book’s description.
Union is excited to use the book as an avenue to bring more diverse narratives into the literary world. “I’m so excited to be releasing my first children’s book,” she said in a statement, according to the news outlet. “Since the birth of my daughter, I’ve been even more inspired to create stories that are not only representative of the cultural melting pot we live in, but also celebrate life and the fun, teachable lessons that come at every age.”
Stories like Welcome to the Party are needed. The Atlantic reported that in 2019 only 11 percent of children’s books had an African American character. Although this is the first children’s book that Union has authored, she’s no stranger to writing. Three years ago, she released the book We’re Going to Need More Wine: Stories That Are Funny, Complicated, and True; a thought-provoking, candid and riveting collection of essays that delve into Union’s life experiences. It was not only a New York Times bestseller, but it was also nominated for the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work.