Oakland Father Helps 7-Year Old Son Publish His First Children’s Book
A father and son in Oakland, California, are helping young Black boys learn how to read one word at a time!
When Omar Bala noticed that his son, Khalil Bala, had a passion for creating cartoon characters at the early age of four, he decided to help the young boy turn his work into a published children’s book. The father-son-duo released two books – ”Why Dogs Chase Cats” and “The Lost Baby Spinosaurus.”
“I tell Khalil all the time, you’re an artist. Whatever you do and whatever people may say, don’t ever stop drawing,” Omar told BlackNews.com. “I know if he sees his work in a book, that will drive his pursuit to chase his dream in the art industry.”
Omar and his son’s initiative to encourage young Black children to read is greatly needed at this time. For instance, three out of four Black male students in their home state, California, failed the reading portion of standardized tests, according to data obtained by the Department of Education and later reported by the non-profit organization, CalMatters.
Also, it is commendable that the duo are creating illustrations that allow young Black children to see themselves in the narrative. Given the fact that there is a lack of young Black illustrators in the art industry, it is an admirable act that Omar is helping his son follow his dreams while pushing toward more inclusivity in book publishing.
To find more information about their journey and book publishing company, Books By Balas, click here to visit their official website.