Children’s event debuts books about acceptance and diversity

Children’s event debuts books about acceptance and diversity
Two authors are coming together Saturday at a local book store to debut their books for children about acceptance and diversity. (Source: Main Street Reads, Summerville)

SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (WCSC) - Two authors are coming together Saturday at a local book store to debut their books for children about acceptance and diversity.

Lowcountry native, former Chicago Cubs baseball player and inspirational speaker Chris Singleton is teaming up with retired special education teacher Marybeth Wishart to celebrate differences with their books Different: A Story About Loving Your Neighbor and Parker the Purple Penguin for a children’s event and book signing.

The event will be held Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Main Street Reads book store located at 115 South Main Street in Summerville.

Singleton is the son of Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, who was killed along with eight other victims in the 2015 Mother Emanuel AME church shooting. The next day he stood on the field at Charleston Southern, where he played outfielder for the Buccaneers, and said he had forgiven the shooter because “love is stronger than hate.”

His book, Different, tells the story of Obinna, a boy who moves from Nigeria to Charleston and finds he doesn’t look, sound, or dress like his classmates.

"My mom is the teacher in the book and reminds Obinna that he is “beautifully and wonderfully made,” said Singleton. “She taught me a lot about love’s healing power.”

Marybeth Wishart lives in Summerville and is a retired special education teacher from Connecticut who taught at the elementary and high school level for over 34 years.

Her first book, Parker the Purple Penguin, is a children’s picture book about Parker, a very purple penguin who does not understand why he is not accepted by his peers. His search for acceptance leads him to face challenges that change the other penguins' perception of him and help them to understand the truth.

Marybeth says she wants to use her book to support anti-bullying, diversity, and children’s literacy programs.

Main Street Reads says plush purple penguin prizes, along with crafts and bookmarks, will be available at the book signing.

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