Nationwide via BlackNews.com — Taaj Marjanee, owner and illustrator of Yumme Brand, believes that Black girls should enjoy being creative while coloring and painting characters that look like them. Growing up she didn’t see coloring books dedicated to Black girls and neither did the women in her family before her.
After playfully sketching her face on top of an ice cream cone, she thought it could be fun to design a coloring book. So she mixed up different types of sweet treats with all the unique hairstyles that Black girls wear every day and decided to call it Color Me Yumme.
Taaj Marjanee, owner and illustrator of Yumme Brand (Image courtesy BlackNews.com)
She did market tests as “The Brown & Black Crayon Conversation” which were free events for girls and their parents sponsored by local libraries. After her tour, many parents were reaching out for another book. Taaj later illustrated Color Me Yumme International Vol.1.
The second book is more of a workbook that includes games, and researching capitals of countries within the Slavery Diaspora where Afrodescendant girls live. Naturally, she revisited the libraries for round two and the crowd grew.
What’s next for Yumme Brand? Four characters have been pulled from Color Me Yumme and given background stories to be featured in picture books for early readers that address friendships, self-esteem, and everyday issues little girls experience while growing up. Later in development, there will be something magical about one of the characters.