PONTIAC, Mich. – A man was inspired when he noticed a lack of diversity in children’s books and decided to do something about it.
Cory J. Anderson said he wanted to make sure his daughter could grow up reading about girls that looked like her.
Anderson’s “Around the World I Go” is the the story of a young girl named Imani who dreams of traveling the world. He said the story came to him as he was sitting in one of the most mundane places.
“Jury Duty,” Anderson said. “You have a lot of time to just sit and think and so I started writing and eventually came up with ‘Around the World I Go.‘”
Anderson dedicated the book to the women in his life -- his wife, his mother and his daughter Nia.
“I dream of going to Antarctica to see the penguins waddle,” Nia said.
But the story is more than just a daydream vacation. Anderson said it’s a way for young children of color to see themselves anywhere they want to be.
“I wanted to be a contributor. I feel like in this moment right now, particularly being a Black male -- I’m proud, you know, to be Black. Proud being a father -- I think that having the book out there for people to have an opportunity to read and consume is really just a blessing,” Anderson said.
The book is also available in Spanish, which Anderson said continues his push for diversity and inclusivity.
Anderson is also a career coach at Towson University in Maryland and he included a worksheet at the end of the book to quiz readers on what they learned.