Ghanaian author Reuben Nantogmah and American writer Samantha Cleaver have collaborated on a children’s picture book based on their biracial family life. Titled My Smock is a Story, the book is set for publication by HarperCollins Children’s Books in Fall 2024 and will be illustrated by Keisha Okafor.
The couple have four children (aged 8, 6, 4, and 1) and have been working together on writing children’s books since 2020. Their stories “help them share and celebrate their kids’ bicultural Ghanaian-American family, traditions, and community.”
Nantogmah and Cleaver’s children’s book is centered on a young Ghanaian-American boy and his experience of receiving his first smock, his Binnmaa. According to Publisher’s Marketplace, the book celebrates the importance that the smock carries for the young boy and his family.
2024 will be a busy year for Nantogmah and Cleaver. In addition to My Smock is a Story, they have another forthcoming book titled Waiting to Welcome, set for publication in summer 2024 by Feiwel and Friends.
Like Lupita Nyongo’s Sulwe and Nana Ekua Brew-Hammond’s Blue, My Smock is a Story adds to the growing collection of African children’s book helping to foster a more inclusive reading experience for children.
Congrats to Nantogmah and Cleaver on their forthcoming book!