Delighted because I'm glad she found an original Dutch publisher and now one based in the UK for her wonderful Arabella series. Saddened that there are still so few Black princesses in picture books.
Saddened also at the reaction her original publishers got from American publishers who it seems thought readers would be offended by her 'uncombed' (I would say natural) hair.
Luckily not all American publishers think like this.
Like Mylo, who wrote her first Arabella book in 2006, I also wrote the first Lulu book in 2006 (what a fantastic year that was)! I was blessed to find a US publisher who fell in love with Lulu and published her - 'uncombed' hair and all.
In the second title, Lulu is inspired by the books she reads to be lots of different things - a farmer, a mommy, a builder, a tiger AND a princess:
Today, she emailed to say the little girl is a bit older and had moved on to Lulu Loves Flowers.
No words are needed to explain why these books are necessary - you can see it in the little girl's delight AND her growing love of books.
And just as it is vital for little girls like this to see themselves in the pages of children's literature, it is also important for little white kids to see Black children in literature and to learn that everyone has a right to star in their own story.
I hope the success and longevity of these two series show just how wrong those publishers and booksellers are who claim that diverse books 'just don't sell' or that white parents are put off by black characters. Lulu and Arabella are celebrating 10 years this year - now that's a successful story!