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Get to Know: Michaela Dias-Hayes - Woke Babies
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Get to Know: Michaela Dias-Hayes

Coming to our mini and junior subscribers in February 2022 is Colour and Me! And we are so excited to be profiling Michaela Dias-Hayes for this incredibly colourful book!

In her author-debut picture book, Michaela has published a book which celebrates the diversity within Black heritage, telling a story about a girl who’s mum is Black and dad is South Asian.

Inspired to write this story by her son, Michaela created Colour and Me after mixing paints with her son, she came up with the idea to create a picture book that celebrates brown skin.

I wrote this book after mixing paints with my son - when he mixed all the paints together, he looked at me and said "Yuk brown... I hate brown!" This made me question why. I then explained, "it's not yuk - it's beautiful like you and me." Then I remembered doing the SAME thing when I was a little girl and it just made me think about how children see the color brown as 'not nice' which then leads to negative feelings about themselves and their skin colour.
- Michaela Dias-Hayes, Author and Illustrator

Colour and Me is a brilliant book not just for teaching your child to love the skin they’re in but also to encourage artistic expression. Michaela’s stunning illustrations show the fabulousness of art and the amazing moments you can share together through mixing colours and finger painting. Our protagonist spends her day with her grandma and pet turtle discovering how to create specific colours and is delighted when she discovers that red, yellow and blue makes brown, just like her!

Michaela’s dedication to creating empowering children’s books is inspiring. In summer 2021, she published her first book, Sunflower Sisters with author Monika Singh Ganotra, a beautifully told tale about two best friends that addresses the issue of colourism in both Indian and Nigerian communities. This heartwarming story tells the story of Amrita and Kiki who are told they can’t wear yellow because it doesn’t compliment their dark skin. Through their support for one another, they lift each other up and shake off the familial colourism.

Dias-Hayes’ illustrations are stunning and her ability to tell these stories so delicately for children makes her one of the most exciting author-illustrator’s of the moment and we’re so excited to see what she has coming up next.

 

You can buy Colour and Me from the Woke Babies website.

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