In the summer of 2021, multi-award-winning author, Tolu’ A. Akinyemi, released two children’s picture books ‘I wear self-confidence like a second skin’ and ‘I am not a troublemaker’ to boost the self-esteem and self-confidence of children around the world.
Prolific Newcastle Author Tolu’ A. Akinyemi has written two children’s books that seek to add to the paucity of children’s literature with black characters as the focal. Akinyemi is a parent to a ‘seven-year-old’ and ‘five-year-old’ hence he understands the role of having an abundance of self-confidence and self-esteem does to young children.
Synopsis of ‘I am not a troublemaker’:
Chadwick has just joined a new school, and he is stung by the label of troublemaker.
Will the label stick, or will he get the chance to come clean?
Synopsis of ‘I wear self-confidence like a second skin’:
Matilda has been battling her fears at home and in school. Will she be able to build her self-confidence or will she crumble under the weight of her fears?
“I wanted to write books that my children and other black and brown skin children around the world can resonate with. So many books today are filled with white characters and seeing people who look like them is great for their self-confidence and self-esteem too. Even though both books have been recommended for all children.
Continuing, “Building the self-esteem of our young ones is extremely vital and the initial feedback from these books has been gratifying to see and I hope they will be read far and wide.”
One NetGalley reviewer comments on ‘I am not a troublemaker,’ “Like it is with the adults, children have their own share of stresses and hurdles. When a kid transfers to a new school, it takes both for the child and the school to adapt to the new reality. Classmates may not welcome a new addition in their class due to the kid’s outward appearance or whatever is apparent to the eyes as off-putting and the teachers may not be empathetic of the difficulties, the emotional load, a child has to deal with and may restrain from acting like a mature, adult rather demanding and selfish validating their own wants like an immature. How to survive in the conflicting world as a kid? Is probably a big impossible question that only adults can answer but with all that we see, hear in the world, even to a sophisticated mature adult, it’s a gigantic task how to bring forth a healthy child and make their life journey, a pleasant one. Enticing artwork adds more value to the book. I recommend it a must read.”
Cherlynn N. comments on ‘I wear self-confidence like a second skin,’ “This heart-warming story follows Matilda, a little girl who loses her voice after being teased and learns to find her confidence again. It’s a simple but uplifting read about loving who you are, and I enjoyed seeing Matilda stand up for herself! Would definitely recommend this to all children.”
Danie P. adds “A very lovely written book, perfect for children at school age to learn about respect and how to treat each other. I love the moral of the story, definitely one for the bookshelf.”
About the Author:
Tolu’ A. Akinyemi (also known as Tolutoludo & Lion of Newcastle) is a multi-award-winning author in the genre of poetry, short story, children’s literature and essays. His works include: Dead Lions Don’t Roar (poetry, 2017), Unravel Your Hidden Gems (essays, 2018), Dead Dogs Don’t Bark (poetry, 2018), Dead Cats Don’t Meow (poetry, 2019), Never Play Games with the Devil (poetry, 2019), Inferno of Silence (short stories, 2020), A Booktiful Love (poetry, 2020), Black ≠ Inferior (poetry, 2021), Never Marry a Writer (poetry, 2021), Everybody Don Kolomental (poetry, 2021), I Wear Self-Confidence Like a Second Skin (children’s literature, 2021), I Am Not a Troublemaker (children’s literature, 2021), Born in Lockdown (poetry, forthcoming – September 2021), A god in a human body (poetry, forthcoming – January 2022), and You need more than Dreams (poetry, forthcoming – January 2023).
Tolu’ has been endorsed by Arts Council England as a writer with “exceptional talent.”
He is a co-founder of Lion and Lilac, a UK-based arts organization and sits on the board of many organizations.