Taraji P. Henson Writes Empowering Children’s Book: ‘I Hope My Book Helps So Many Kids And Parents’

by Gee NY

Celebrated Actress and Mental Health Advocate Taraji P. Henson is set to captivate young readers with her upcoming children’s book, You Can Be a Good Friend (No Matter What!).

The Oscar-nominated star, known for her roles in iconic films like Hidden Figures and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, is expanding her literary repertoire with this empowering tale aimed at inspiring kindness and resilience in children.

Published by Zonderkidz, an imprint of HarperCollins, Henson’s new book is scheduled for release on June 18, 2024.

Illustrated by Paul Kellam, You Can Be a Good Friend (No Matter What!) centers around the adventures of Lil TJ, a uniquely stylish character navigating the challenges of her first day at school.

Henson, who has been vocal about her struggles with mental health, views the book as a valuable resource for addressing issues such as bullying and promoting social-emotional learning among children.

Through Lil TJ’s journey, readers will discover the power of acceptance, friendship, and embracing one’s individuality.

“I hope my children’s book, YOU CAN BE A FRIEND (NO MATTER WHAT!) helps so many kids and parents. Keep an eye on my socials in the coming weeks for more exciting book-related things!” she posted on Instagram.

In a statement to People, Henson touched on the importance of instilling empathy and self-love in young minds.

“This book isn’t just about bullying though—it’s about how children all have something different about them, and being different is what makes them oh so very special,” she remarks.

The narrative unfolds as Lil TJ encounters teasing from a classmate, Beau, prompting feelings of anxiety.

However, with wisdom from her Grandma Patsy, Lil TJ learns valuable lessons on kindness and resilience, ultimately forging new friendships and overcoming social challenges.

Megan Dobson, Vice President and Publisher of Zonderkidz, said the book is important in fostering empathy and social skills among children.

“Our hope is that this will become a conversation-starter about mental wellness, an important lesson in friendship and handling tough social situations, and a testament to the importance of standing proud in one’s own uniqueness,” People quotes Dobson.

You Can Be a Good Friend (No Matter What!) promises to spark meaningful discussions in homes and classrooms, addressing themes of acceptance, empathy, and self-confidence.

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