“I tell Khalil all the time, you’re an artist.
Omar, being supportive of his young son, ultimately assisted his baby boy.
to publish his ill!strated work in two books–”Why Dogs Chase Cats” and “The Lost Baby Spinosaurus,” according to Bla-ckNews.com.
“I tell Khalil all the time, you’re an artist. Whatever you do and whatever people may say, don’t ever stop drawing,” Omar told BlackNews.com. “I know if he sees his work in a book, that will drive his pursuit to chase his dream in the art industry.”
The illustrations for the team’s first books were completed when Khalil was only 7 years old, according to their official book website. Their passion to get Bl-ack boys reading is crucial in light of reports that Black boys in some states are underperforming in reading and writing.
In their home state of California, three out of four Bla-ck male students could not pass standardized tests in those subject areas, “according to data obtained from the state Department of Education,” per an older report i!ued by the nonprofit, CalMatters.
It’s also noteworthy that Omar and Khalil are creating space in an industry where Bla-ck children’s book illustrators are underrepresented. Omar did what had to be done to empower his son at a young age. “Whatever you want to be or do, you don’t have to wait, you can do it now,” Omar told BlackNews.com.
Their brand, Books By Balas, features books that combine African-American folklore and imagination. You can click here to learn more about their books and journey. We applaud Omar for supporting his son in his great-ness!