Journalists and best friends, Ayana Byrd and Shani Saxon-Parrish, teamed up to pen their first children’s book, Yani & Shani’s Rainy Day (Kifani Press). Byrd and Saxon-Parrish have written a refreshing new title for little readers in the midst of a children’s book market that lacks diversity. A story about imagination and girl power, the authors wanted to create a world built on the magic of being with your best friend. It could not have come at a better time—according to a recent study by the Cooperative Children’s Book Center, only 3% of children’s books feature characters of color.
Illustrated by Los Angeles-based artist Meegan Barnes, the vivid, lush watercolor paintings follow five-year-old best friends Yani and Shani on a magical journey as they battle their rainy day blues. Not only are Yani and Shani full of imagination, but they are hip, chic and lovable too!