Sometimes some questions can lead to the publication of a book. That is the case of Tamika Ebling, a student at Temple University. Last summer she was babysitting when she was asked questions about social justice, the pandemic, and the homeless. This inspired her to write the children’s book “Do My Part” (Do my part), about how small actions can contribute to a better world.
This is the first book of the student who is in her final year of studies of speech, language and listening. Illustrations of “Do My Part” they are accompanied by lists of the many ways a child can make his or her mark on the world; like listening to a friend, defending someone, or picking up trash. The author hopes that children will learn to understand that making a difference may not be a super power or saving someone’s life. “It can be something small, that they can do at home or in their community”, said in an interview for the university newspaper Temple News.
Tamika spent time researching and reading about different cultures to accurately represent the identity of the characters through her illustrations. The images include blacks, Asians, Muslims and Jews, as well as people who wear glasses or have a physical disability. It was important to her that the images supported the message she wanted to communicate.
For Marissa Tice, mother of the children that Tamika took care of during the summer, one of the successes of the book “Do My Part” it is the inclusion of various characters, as well as themes that are rarely published in children’s books. This mother thinks that it is relevant to teach her children that they have the power to make changes in their community and in the world, no matter how small those actions may seem.
The author not only wrote the book, but illustrated and published it. However, she asked her boyfriend, Victor Adepoju, for help in editing her work. He is a medical student at St. George’s University, on the Caribbean island of Grenada. Although it is a children’s book, Adepoju believes that it can motivate parents to teach and talk to their children about what is happening in the world. In addition, one of the lessons is to treat everyone with kindness in the midst of the pandemic and protests against injustice towards people discriminated against because of their color.
Tamika wants one of the benefits of her book to be that children realize that no matter who they are or where they live, they can make a positive impact on the world.