Award-winning actor Taraji P. Henson is set to release a new children’s book, “You Can Be a Good Friend (No Matter What!)“, empowering children to stand up against bullying. Scheduled for publication on June 18, 2024, by Zonderkidz, an imprint of HarperCollins, the book aims to promote mental wellness and socialization skills among children.
Henson, known for her roles in acclaimed films like “Hidden Figures” and “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” and TV shows including “Empire” and “Abbott Elementary,” has been vocal about mental health struggles. Through her Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation, she advocates for mental health awareness in the Black community.
Details About THe Book
Illustrated by Paul Kellam, “You Can Be a Good Friend (No Matter What!)” follows Lil TJ on her first day of school, where she faces bullying for being different. Drawing from her own experiences, Henson’s book emphasizes the importance of accepting differences and choosing friendship over bullying.
Megan Dobson, Vice President, and Publisher of Zonderkidz, expressed pride in the book. Megan calls it an essential tool for teaching empathy, resilience, and self-love. With its message of inclusivity and kindness, Henson hopes the book will spark conversations about mental wellness and acceptance in homes and classrooms worldwide.
“You Can Be a Good Friend (No Matter What!)” is poised to inspire children to embrace their uniqueness and foster a culture of compassion and understanding.
Taraji P. Henson Introduces Empowering Children’s Book
Taraji P. Henson, renowned for her acting prowess and advocacy for mental health awareness, ventures into children’s literature with her forthcoming book, “You Can Be a Good Friend (No Matter What!)”. Set to be published by Zonderkidz, an imprint of HarperCollins, on June 18, 2024, the book addresses themes of bullying and self-acceptance.
In an exclusive announcement to PEOPLE, Henson shared her inspiration behind the book. Henson cites her own struggles with mental health and the mission of her foundation. The purpose of the Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation is to eradicate mental health stigma. She particularly wants to address the stigma within the Black community. With “You Can Be a Good Friend (No Matter What!)”, she hopes to equip children with tools to navigate bullying and embrace their uniqueness.
Illustrated by Paul Kellam, the story follows Lil TJ on her first day of school, where she grapples with feeling different and faces teasing from her classmates. Drawing from her own experiences, Henson weaves a narrative that emphasizes the importance of resilience, empathy, and self-love. Through the character of Lil TJ, readers are encouraged to stand up against bullying and prioritize kindness.
The Books Purpose
Megan Dobson, Vice President and Publisher of Zonderkidz, expressed enthusiasm for the book, noting its potential as a catalyst for discussions about mental wellness and friendship among children. She highlighted its role in fostering empathy and teaching children to embrace diversity and individuality.
Henson’s book aims to empower both children and parents by promoting understanding and acceptance of differences. By sharing Lil TJ’s journey, Henson seeks to initiate conversations about bullying and mental health in homes and classrooms worldwide. She envisions “You Can Be a Good Friend (No Matter What!)” as a valuable resource for families navigating tough social situations and fostering positive relationships.
With her venture into children’s literature, Henson extends her commitment to advocating for mental health and promoting kindness. Through storytelling, she hopes to instill values of empathy and inclusivity in young readers, encouraging them to embrace their unique qualities and stand up for themselves and others.
“You Can Be a Good Friend (No Matter What!)” promises to be more than just a children’s book—it’s a tool for fostering resilience, empathy, and self-confidence in the next generation.