Ever wondered where I got the name “Girlpie” for my daughters Mari and Lila? Look no further than the book I read in the last installment of “Good Night, MyBrownBaby,” a longtime favorite around these parts: “Homemade Love,” by bell hooks. It features super smoochie, chocolatey illustrations of a little girl named “Girlpie,” as imagined by an artist who happens to be a MyBrownBaby fav, the incredible Shane Evans, who went on to illustrate Taye Diggs‘ “Chocolate Me.” But what’s more? “Homemade Love” also happens to be one of the rare children’s picture books featuring a Black mother and father married and loving on their baby girl under the same roof.  What a love story! The story, the illustrations, the message—all of it is so doggone juicy!

If you missed the reading, or you just want to watch it with your babies again, the video is up top—just push play. Every reading we do from here on out will live here on MyBrownBaby and on the MyBrownBaby YouTube page, so you’ll have instant access to these incredible bedtime stories for your babies.

“Good Night MyBrownBaby” is a part of the MyBrownBaby mission to help introduce parents to great books for kids, featuring kids that look like ours. I figure if we help our beautiful babies fall in love with good literature early, they’ll love it forever. And if we support Black authors who celebrate our babies’ humanity in literature, we’ll be creating a want and need for more books just like them—a want and need publishing companies like mine will respond to.

As I mentioned in the Good Night MyBrownBaby “Homemade Love” reading: those who shared the video on FB qualified for a giveaway, this time for either of these two gifts: one of the upcoming books on my new children’s book imprint, Denene Millner Books, or a copy of “Neo Soul Nursery Rhymes,” a ceedee of awesome children’s songs as produced and sung by Vanessa Brantley-Newton, the illustrator of my upcoming book, “Early Sunday Morning,” and her sister and a few other awesome singers.  Congratulations to:

Danielle Gadson, who wins a copy of Vanessa Brantley-Newton’s “Neo Soul Nursery Rhymes: Volume 1.”

Leah Thomas, who wins a copy of my upcoming parenting book, “MyBrownBaby: the Joys and Challenges of Raising African American Children.”

Congrats, ladies!

If you and your babies loved “Homemade Love,” cop a copy here, or pick it up at your local bookstore or library.

And don’t forget to check in for our next Good Night MyBrownBaby Facebook Live reading, featuring me, Denene Millner, reading one of Mari’s favorite books EVER, “We Had a Picnic This Sunday Past,” by the incredible Jaqueline Woodson. I’ll be reading live from the MyBrownBaby Facebook Fans page on Tuesday, February 7, at 7:30 p.m. sharp!

RSVP with your email addy or phone number to goodnightstories@mybrownbaby.com, and I’ll send out an invitation/be there reminder so you can get your babies together and ready for the reading—which will be really helpful so that I’m not sitting there reading to a wall. That would not be cute.

See you at the next Good Night MyBrownBaby!

* * *

Homemade Love
by bell hooks; Jump At the Sun

Her Mama calls her Girlpie—a sweet treat, homemade with love. And when Girlpie makes a mistake, the love of her mother and father lets her pick up the pieces and make everything right again. Shane W. Evan’s resplendent artwork teems with “homemade love,” one of the tender nicknames award-winning author bell hooks gives her young heroine.

To enhance your child’s reading experience:

• Help your baby write a love letter to a parent, one that speaks to the beauty of family.
• Have your child write a story or draw a picture about his nickname.
• Make a sweet treat with her—one that celebrates “girlpies” the world over!

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Denene Millner

Mom. NY Times bestselling author. Pop culture ninja. Unapologetic lover of shoes, bacon and babies. Nice with the verbs. Founder of the top black parenting website, MyBrownBaby.

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