Maya Lawrence Publishes First Book, Do You Love the Dark?
For the third year, the Mayor’s Summer Reading Club has commissioned Alliance Theatre to write a picture book for ages 2-5 to be distributed city-wide to more than 10,000 families. This year resident artist and Allyship Program Director Maya Lawrence will fulfill her childhood dream of becoming an author when her book, Do You Love the Dark? is released this summer.
With pictures by award-winning illustrator R. Gregory Christie, Do You Love the Dark? tells the story of a young girl conquering the common childhood fear of the dark. Lawrence says her inspiration for the book came out of this past summer’s racial reckoning. As a lifelong activist and graduate of Spelman College, she kept asking herself, “What are all the ways we’re confronting our fear of the dark, the darkness, of Black people? That was the beginning of the story – asking how we conquer our fears, specifically of darkness.” The book though, is ultimately a story of joy, transforming fear into love. “I’m a person whose mission in life is waking people up to the love that’s inside of them, because love is the most powerful force inside each of us,” says Lawrence. Through lively poetry, Lawrence turns scary shadows, sounds, and darkness into a perfect bedtime story to tuck your child into with each night, casting out fear and leaving love in its place.
Copies of Do You Love the Dark? will be distributed around Atlanta this summer by Mayor’s Summer Reading Club partner organizations at schools, farmers markets, libraries, and events. The book will be adapted to the stage in early 2022 as part of our 10th Anniversary Kathy Ken Bernhardt Theatre for the Very Young season.