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PCL FAMILY READS! A Virtual Author Talk with Mariahadessa Ekere Tallie

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PCL OnlineRoom
Monday, August 2, 2021 - 6:00pm to 7:00pm
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Providence, RI 02940

We are so excited to welcome the author of Layla’s Happiness, Mariahadessa Ekere Tallie, to our first-ever PCL FAMILY READS! intergenerational book discussion, co-hosted by The Rhode Island Center for the Book! Mariahadessa Ekere Tallie, this year’s 2021 RI Great Reads author, will talk about Layla’s Happiness, a beautifully written and illustrated book of poetry that inspires readers of all ages to stop and appreciate the little things in life that make you happy! It was selected by The Rhode Island Center for the Book as the Rhode Island Great Read for 2021 and has received starred reviews from School Library Journal and Kirkus.  GET THE BOOK! 

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Mariahadessa Ekere Tallie is the author of the award-winning children’s book Layla’s Happiness (Enchanted Lion Books), the poetry collections Strut (Agape Editions) and Karma’s Footsteps (Flipped Eye), and Dear Continuum: Letters to a Poet Crafting Liberation (Grand Concourse Press). She is a native of Queens, New York living in the lovely state of Rhode Island where she is currently a Ph.D. student in the Theatre Arts and Performance Studies program at Brown University. Mariahadessa is the mother of three galaxies who look like daughters.


Seven-year-old Layla loves life! So she keeps a happiness book. What is happiness for her? For you?
Spirited and observant, Layla’s a child who’s been given room to grow, making happiness both thoughtful and intimate. It’s her dad talking about growing-up in South Carolina; her mom reading poetry; her best friend Juan, the community garden, and so much more. Written by poet Mariahadessa Ekere Tallie and illustrated by Ashleigh Corrin, this is a story of flourishing within family and community.

2020 Ezra Jack Keats Award, for Illustration

2020 Ezra Jack Keats Honor, for Writing

A Bank Street College of Education Best Children’s Book of 2020

★ “Well-illustrated poetry of the best kind that will leave sunshine in its wake.” — STARRED REVIEW, Kirkus

★ “Tallie honors the many ways children define happiness…A handsome and helpful primer on self-reflection and a mirror to urban black and brown children, this joyous title could be well paired with Samantha Berger’s What If.” — STARRED REVIEW, School Library Journal

“With Corrin’s layered, whimsical illustrations, each page is a snapshot of a simple moment that adds up to an abundant life, urban yet very much in tune with nature. The effect is both laid back and meaningful — an invitation to answer for yourself.” — The New York Times

Seven-year-old Layla loves a lot of things: nighttime, purple plums, eating spaghetti without a fork, and listening to her parents tell stories and read poems. Both whimsical and firmly rooted in a realistic city setting, this deceptively simple story is packed with beautiful, small moments to cherish. Moreover, Layla’s sunshiny view of existence is infectious, and will inspire kids to share what excites them. — BookRiot


The Library of Congress National Book Festival is an annual literary event that brings together best-selling authors and thousands of book fans for author talks, panel discussions, book signings and other activities. The 21st Library of Congress National Book Festival will celebrate “Open a Book, Open the World” in 2021, featuring the creativity and inspiration of some of the nation’s most gifted authors in a reimagined virtual festival the weekend of Sept. 17-26.
The event showcases the importance of books and reading. Every year, the Library of Congress asks each state Center for the Book to select a title that represents the state’s literary landscape to highlight at the National Book Festival, these titles are part of the Great Reads From Great Places Initiative. The Rhode Island Center for the Book has chosen Layla's Happiness by Mariahadessa Ekere Tallie, as the Rhode Island Great Read for 2021.


Do you have questions about the event? Contact Amy Rosa ( ) or Lee Smith ( ) of Providence Community Library; Kate Lentz ( ) of The Rhode Island Center for the Book.

Contact Information
Amy Rosa
Sponsored by: 
The Rhode Island Center for the Book
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