About the Author, Deedee Cummings
As a therapist, attorney, CEO of Make A Way Media, and author of fifteen children’s books, Deedee Cummings has a passion for ensuring equality, inclusion, and social justice for the next generation. Since her first book published in 2014, Cummings has been on a mission to help young dreamers and doers “see themselves” in the pages of the books they read.
Cummings has spent more than two decades working within the family therapy and support field, and much of her writing shares her experiences of working with kids in therapeutic foster care.
By the end of 2021, this #OWNVOICES author will have fifteen diverse children’s books to her credit, including the Rapid Release of her Kayla: A Modern-Day Princess five-book series. All fifteen of Cummings’ diverse picture, poetry, and workbooks for kids reflect her professional knowledge and love of life.
Cummings is also the founder and creator of the Louisville Book Festival, a literacy-based celebration in Louisville, KY, celebrated on October 22nd and 23rd, 2021.
About the book, Kayla: A Modern-Day Princess: Tough as Tulle
This beautiful diverse picture book is a heartwarming story about family matters, role models, dreams, gender diversity, and discovering a determination for growth. As the third book in a five-book #OWNVOICES series, Kayla: A Modern-Day Princess:Tough as Tulle shines the spotlight on the evolving life of a little Brown girl who loves musical theatre and never lets anything get in the way of her dreams. The Kayla series was inspired by the author’s own daughter and Broadway actress, Kayla Pecchioni.
Deedee Cummings has spent more than two decades working within the family therapy and support field, and much of her writing shares her experiences of working with kids in therapeutic foster care. Using therapeutic techniques in her stories to teach coping skills, Cummings strives to lessen the stigma surrounding children and adults suffering in silence from mental health issues. As a family therapist, many of her tried-and-true therapy techniques are skillfully woven into this story to show young readers gentle ways to cope and find inner peace.
Review of Kayla: A Modern-Day Princess: Tough as Tulle, by Deedee Cummings
Body positivity is such an important topic, and something I hope all girls will grow into. This book contributes to a conversation about celebrating our body as a tool to live the life that we want, rather than something to shape into an unattainable standard of beauty. The book is quite heavy thematically, but I don’t think that’s a bad thing; rather, it’s going to make this a book that readers will return to again and again, providing countless hours of conversation fodder–much needed in the era of social media filters that are always making so many girls and women feel like they are not good enough to post without.
I do think that parents will have to also navigate the conversation around the balance between being yourself and respecting rules that are meant to create safe spaces for everyone, or respecting certain realities (like it’s snowing, so no, you can’t wear shorts and short-sleeved shirts!). I can see how some children might take the message in this book as a “I can do anything I want” message, but hopefully one of the next books in this series can touch upon this matter.
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