New Children’s Book Teaches Young Ones About

The book aims to teach young readers about Juneteenth, a national holiday honoring the abolition of slavery in the United States.

 By Stacy M. Brown,NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent@StacyBrownMedia

      Lavaille Lavette, a New York Times best-selling author, said her greatest satisfaction is telling stories about people, places, things, and events that everyone should remember.

“Jayylen’s Juneteenth Surprise,” her most recent work, is a gorgeously illustrated “Little Golden Book” about a little boy’s first Juneteenth celebration.

The book aims to teach young readers about Juneteenth, a national holiday honoring the abolition of slavery in the United States.

“I wrote this book in the way that I imagine learning about Juneteenth for the first time as a child growing up in Louisiana,” Lavette stated in a news release.

“It is important to keep the story of Juneteenth alive because it helps us remember the past while improving the present we live in as we build the future we seek.

Lavette, who holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and accounting and a master’s degree in education management, has worked as both a teacher and a school administrator.

She has worked as a special advisor to the United States Secretary of Education and the president, publisher, and managing partner of One Street Books, Lavette Books, and Ebony Media Publishing LLC.

Lavette said an early pandemic conversation with her mother inspired Jayylen’s Juneteenth Surprise.

“My mom told me that she grew up celebrating Juneteenth. Juneteenth was a big deal, doing her childhood, with fanfare that included zydeco music, two-step dancing, all types of food and treats, and fellowship with friends and family,” Lavette recalled.

“The tradition was spearheaded by my mother’s father, and when he died the tradition ended. I must admit that during my childhood, we did not talk about Juneteenth. I knew very little about it growing up.”

She stated that she didn’t realize the Juneteenth celebrations and traditions until she went to Houston as an adult and elementary school teacher.

In Texas, elected leaders celebrated Juneteenth in schools and churches, and many African American business owners observed the day by closing their doors.

“Now, that was something special,” Lavette recalled.

She has pledged some of the proceeds from Jayylen’s Juneteenth Surprise sales to the National Urban League’s youth programs.

Lavette characterized herself as an enthusiastic supporter of the National Urban League and its goals and expressed her desire to assist the organization in continuing to inspire young minds and effect lasting change. offers a free “Jayylen’s Juneteenth Surprise” Teacher’s Resource Guide and Parent Guide to supplement the educational experience.

“Children’s books are not just for children,” stressed Lavelle.

“I’m very intentional in introducing Jayylen as a Little Golden Book because Little Golden Books they’re 24 pages, usually between 700 and 1,000 words.

“That means you have to be very concise. You have to get a lot of information without a lot of words. So, you have to be very descriptive in how you present the stories. It makes it very entertaining and interesting for kids, but also for adults.”

Lavelle said she’d had a lot of positive feedback on her Juneteenth book and other children’s biographies.

“Because a 1- or 2-year-old is not reading, that means the parent is going to read the book to the child,” Lavette concluded.

“So, the parent is going to learn something, as well. And that age group, I love that (age) 0 to 6 because it allows me to disseminate information, not only to the kid but also to the parent.”

About Carma Henry 22956 Articles
Carma Lynn Henry Westside Gazette Newspaper 545 N.W. 7th Terrace, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33311 Office: (954) 525-1489 Fax: (954) 525-1861

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