JOHNKANKUS

Roots of an African-American Christmas

Introducing...

Irene Smalls

"As a former Miss Black New York State, Young Ambassador to Europe, and a student activist, I have had lots of jobs, ranging from model, actress, and radio reporter to running my own business, establishing a networking group for business professional, and working in government," says Irene Smalls. "But the job I really like is writing children't books. I write very simple stories about my children, my childhood. I grew up in Harlem in the 1950s. Back then, Harlem was a small, southern black community that just happened to be in the North. The dialect, the foods, the mores and values were southern. Harlem was a ghetto of softness and strength, a community of open doors and open hearts that loved its children."

Her first children's book, Irene and the Big, Fine Nickel, was inspired by her fond memories of Harlem. Her second book, Johnathan and His Mommy, is a love song for her son. Two more titles by Irene Smalls are Irene Jennie and the Christmas Masquerade, the story of a slave girl's Christmas, and Louise's Gift, the story of how an unappreciated gift changes a yound girl's view of herself.

"I write all my best stories while dreaming," muses Smalls. "When I wake up, I simply refine and further develop the essential idea of the story. There are so many ideas and so little time."

Irene Smalls graduated from Cornell University with a degree in black studies and from the New Your Univeristy with an M.B.A. in marketing and behavioral science. She lives in Boston with her three children: Dawn, Kevin Logan, and Johnathan.


To Order Book Titles By Irene Smalls
Contact:
Little Brown & Co.
34 Beacon Street
Boston, MA 02108

617-227-0730
1-800-759-0190


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