Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Meet Raimah, author of 'From Anna Wintour to Zadie Smith'.

Meet Raimah Amevor, author of From Anna Wintour to Zadie Smith

From Anna Wintour to Zadie Smith
 is an ABC book of inspiring women around the world. This creative children’s book features inspiring quotes and beautiful illustration of powerhouse women like Zadie Smith, Princess Di, Beyoncé, Michelle Obama and Serena Williams and many more.


In our last post, we spoke about the importance of diversity in children's literature, and how books such as this one, written by Raimah Amevor is helping bolster the range of different images young kids are exposed to. 

Raimah the author of From Anna Wintour to Zadie Smith is also the founder of Mindfully Kids, a brand which seeks to empower children around the world to be mindful and
independent thinkers that look beyond stereotypes and limiting beliefs. She's a proud black British intersectional feminist who is on a mission to challenge stereotypes which are formed as early as 4 years old.

Find out what she had to say when we caught up with her. 

Is this your first book?
Yes, it is and hopefully not my last!

The book features modern female icons rather than historical ones. Why Beyoncé and not Harriett Tubman? 
With respect, I purposely didn’t want to focus on iconic historical figures such as Harriet Tubman, because I wanted it to be relatable for the children and their parents.

Do you intend to keep writing?
Definitely. I love writing as it is very therapeutic for me.

What did you enjoy most about the writing process?
I love writing as it allows me to express myself in different ways. I have so many different interests and writing allows me to find my voice in each of them. It allows me to escape to a completely different world and on my best days, the words just seem to magically fit together, which makes me very happy!

Did you face any challenges whilst writing From Anna Wintour to Zadie Smith?
One of the biggest challenges was having to choose between women I admire whose name started with the same letter! That was very difficult for me, but I have balanced this out by developing other products where I can use more fabulous women whose names start with the same letter. Another challenge was trying to ensure that the book had a diverse selection of women from different backgrounds and professions, it is very important to me for children to see women from all walks of life to show them that there isn’t one way to be successful.


Is this book as important for boys as it is for girls? 
Absolutely! I think boys, as well as girls, need to see positive and diverse images of women. Early gender socialisation is one of the most pertinent issues in early childhood, affecting both boys and girls, Right from the beginning, people start making judgments about the ‘right’ ways boys should behave and their value over females. I want boys to grow up celebrating girls and knowing that girls have as much of a right to occupy positions of authority and power as they do.

Can you name a few of your favourite childhood books?
Jacqueline Wilson and Malorie Blackman were my favourite authors growing up, I loved The Illustrated Mum, The Tracey Beaker series and Double Act. From Malorie Blackman Tell Me No Lies and Noughts and Crosses. I also loved the Goosebumps series from R.L Stine.

Which women inspire you the most?
There are so many, my mother, my sister, the girls in my friendship group...it goes on! The quality which inspires me the most in these women and other women I look up to is their ability to be authentic, and live their truth in a world that’s always trying to tell women to be a particular way. All my girlfriends are rule breakers and I love it! As the saying goes ‘well-behaved women seldom make history’.



From Anna Wintour to Zadie Smith is a children’s book that aims to encourage the next generation to learn the alphabet and about diverse women trailblazers around the globe. In addition to the popular names (ie. Michelle Obama and Beyoncé), it also features the late talented Khadija Saye, British-Gambian photographer who sadly passed away in the Grenfell Tower fire. and Najlaa Sheekh, the peacebuilder and founder of charity Kareemat, that supports Syrian refugees in Turkey. Read my previous post for more info. Click the link in the bio for more details on this amazing children's book including where to buy. #bloggersofinstagram #buildingwomenwithwords #sundayflow #weekend . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . #book #bookblogger #blackandbookish #bookstagram #bookstagrammer #blackandbookish #blackwomenwriters #instablog #writersofig #communications #communicationsacademy #freelancer #femaleentrepreneurs #womenwhowrite #blackgirlswhoblog #instablog #writersofig #communications
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What can we all do to make a difference, or to promote gender equality in the world we live in?
I think to listen to each other and to people's experiences without judgement and the need to enforce your point of view. Everyone’s experience in life is valid, we must honour each other by allowing people to speak truthfully.  In the same vein, educate yourself on societal issues, so you don’t get blinded by your own limited experience of the world and can be empathetic to the experiences of other people.

To women - learn about yourself, go within and figure out what your ‘issues’ are and who you are away from the pressures of your family, friends and society, so you can go out, face your fears and live authentically and make a difference in your own unique way.

Why do you think there is such a lack of racial diversity in children’s literature?
Structural racism is a part of our society so there will be a lack of racial diversity in all industries. I am optimistic about the future because so many BAME authors are branching out on their own and making opportunities for themselves and are truly walking in their power. It’s definitely our time!

Any advice for aspiring children’s authors?
As a chronic over-thinker, my best advice is not to over-think it! Plan well but also just get on with it, you will be surprised at how many opportunities, people that want to help and answers come your way when you actually just start doing the work.

Mindfully Kids has pledged to donate £1 for each book sold to the charity Kareemat,
(founder featured under ‘n’) and will rotate with charities close to their mission.

Purchase your copy here!

Before you leave, download your free writing resources!Five Copywriting SecretsGet Hired with No Experience / CV BundleBlog for a Year (52 unique blog titles!)


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4 comments

  1. What a creative way to present ABCs to children. I like that she featured modern women too because for children these women are becoming legendary icons in their history, especially women like Oprah, Michelle Obama and Beyonce. Nice interview :)

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