Trinidad and Tobago Newsday-Before covid19, five-year-old Trini-American Egypt Bush visited her local library every week in Queens, New York. When the library closed, due to the coronavirus, Egypt started reading the books she had at home.
“One day her dad grew tired of reading the same bedtime stories and challenged Egypt to come up with her own story”
said Egypt’s mom Shaleem.
Not one to back down from a challenge, Egypt worked with her parents Shaleem and Rahiem Bush to write three books.
As part of a collection called Egypt’s Everyday Superheroes, the three books are titled Superhero Town, Superhero Family and Superhero School.
The stories were inspired by the acts of kindness people do every day, to help others during covid19.
For Egypt, these acts of kindness make people everyday superheroes.
“I like writing stories, in my little notebook, and sharing them with my family.
“Writing is fun, and it makes me so happy that kids will feel confident when they read my books,” said Egypt.
To write the stories, Egypt kept a small notebook where she wrote her ideas.
Egypt would also tell her parents bedtime stories and her parents recorded the stories.
The writings in Egypt’s notebook and the recorded bedtime stories, told by Egypt, were then put together to create the books.
Egypt also worked with her mom and an illustrator to create the books’ illustrations.
“Her goal was to inspire (African-American) kids like herself to see themselves as superheroes.
“She was specific about what the characters looked like, when illustrated, and it was important for the characters to look like her,” said Shaleem.
Shaleem said only ten per cent of children’s books feature black characters.
As such, it was important for children to see themselves in the superheroes represented in Egypt’s books.
“The series has a powerful message that you can be anyone you want to be.
“These little stories are so important because kids can see themselves represented as main characters in a book,” said Shaleem.
While Egypt routinely visited the library, before covid19, she also visited TT every summer to spend time with family.