I’ll admit that I haven’t gone to Dominion’s Christmas Parade since my kids were very little.
But this year, my friend Maya – part of the beloved Maya and Shaka Smart duo – was named the Richmond Christmas Mother, the youngest one in the program’s 80-year history. In one fell swoop, the annual donation drive that once felt like a throwback to another generation suddenly felt contemporary, electric and fun. (To donate click here.)
One part of Maya’s motherly duties is to march in the annual Christmas parade to be held tomorrow, Dec 6. And guess who’s coming along?
True to her passions, she has chosen a theme built on Ezra Jack Keats’ The Snowy Day, the ground-breaking 1962 classic. It’s a universal story about the joy of being little and walking through a city winter wonderland. But in a year when there has been so much conversation about books that speak to all children’s experiences (and why all kids need all stories,) the choice is perfect. I’m proud to say that Maya asked me to join in the parade as a past winner of the Ezra Jack Keats Award, which celebrates new authors and illustrators whose books feature diverse children as the main character. You can take a look at the list of all EJK award winners if you’re looking for meaningful stocking stuffers this year.
So look for us tomorrow – rain or shine. We’ll be the super-enthusiastic book lovers dressed in our own version of red snowsuits. We’ll be waving at you from in front of the trolley which Maya has decked out in coffee filter snowflakes and filled with all her hopes for kids who can find their curiosity, their path, and their story in the pages of a book. (Full parade info/route here.)
Happy holidays, all!