NABU Publishing Launches Original Storybook Collection from Haitian Artists Featuring A New Kind Of Female Protagonist.

NEW YORK  OCTOBER 11, 2019 – In a world of books where many children still do not see themselves reflected in the pages, NABU Publishing sets out  to change that. Today on International Day of the Girl, non profit NABU is launching two original titles Princess Maniya and Lila is Playing Ball that have been written by Haitian authors Saonha Baptiste and Christina Doret, and illustrated by Haitian artist Audeva Joseph. The bilingual Haitian Creole-English storybooks feature Haitian girls of color and provide insight into the rich culture of Haiti.

NABU, the organization behind NABU Publishing, is a global literacy non profit disrupting the cycle of poverty by leveraging technology to publish children’s books for free on digital platforms in mother tongue languages. Through their low bandwidth application nabu.org which is available to download on Android, they have reached over 30,000 readers and their families in their programs in Rwanda and Haiti.

 

“Artistic expression and creativity is core to our identity as Haitians. I want the next generation of children in Haiti to feel proud of our culture and heritage, and through our work at NABU we are providing children with access to these precious Haitian stories.” 

It was while working in these communities that co-creators of NABU Tanyella Evans and Taniya Benedict found that stories for children in their mother tongue were almost non-existent. This led them to work with their Haitian Director Francoise Thybulle to develop writer workshops, providing training for local authors and illustrators to create original stories, using technology to level the stories to the local curriculum. They discovered a rich trove of artistic talent; in their first writer workshops hosted in Port au Prince, Haiti, in March and June of 2017, 50 authors participated and created over 260 levelled children’s stories in Haitian Creole. 

Francoise Thybulle, Director of NABU Haiti and former Director of the Haitian National Library said, “Artistic expression and creativity is core to our identity as Haitians. I want the next generation of children in Haiti to feel proud of our culture and heritage, and through our work at NABU we are providing children with access to these precious Haitian stories.” 

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Françoise Thybulle, Director of Haiti Programs 

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Audeva Joseph, Illustrator of Krêyol collection 

“We want every girl, especially girls of color who remain underrepresented in all segments of society, to feel as fearless as Princess Maniya and as courageous as Lila. We want them to challenge the norm, and persevere – to be confident enough to turn every NO into a YES”

 

NABU Publishing brings an edited collection from Haitian creators to a US audience for the first time. Co-creator of NABU Taniya Benedict hopes that the collection will help to redress the inequality in the US publishing industry where only 11% of children’s books in the past 25 years have featured any kind of multicultural content, even though over 50% of children in the US identify as non-white. “We want every girl, especially girls of color who remain underrepresented in all segments of society, to feel as fearless as Princess Maniya and as courageous as Lila. We want them to challenge the norm, and persevere – to be confident enough to turn every NO into a YES,” said Taniya Benedict, a Director and co-creator of NABU. 

NABU Publishing plans to release two new storybooks every month in the US from their network of authors in Haiti and Africa. All of the proceeds from the sale of the books will go to fund NABU’s literacy programs, and enable them to commission more work from local authors and illustrators.

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Behind the scenes with Françoise and authors at the 2017 Haiti writer workshop 

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Some of the NABU team and participants at the 2017 Haiti writer workshop

 

 

NABU Publishing plans to release two new storybooks every month in the US from their network of authors in Haiti and Africa. All of the proceeds from the sale of the books will go to fund NABU’s literacy programs, and enable them to commission more work from local authors and illustrators.

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Our official NABU Publishing Launch, October 2019. 

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Our 3 co-creators Isabel, Tanyella & Taniya at the official NABU Publishing launch, October 2019.

 

About NABU 

NABU is a non profit organization with a mission to solve the imbalance in the creation and distribution of children’s books, so that all children can read and rise to their full potential. The organization is led by co-creators Tanyella Evans (Executive Director) and Taniya Benedict (Director of Global Programs and Operations). 

NABU is headquartered in New York City with offices in Kigali and Port-au-Prince, and is available to access in Haiti, Rwanda, and Democratic Republic of Congo. Learn more at NABU.ORG