Jerome and Friends is a series of children’s books aimed at the BAME community that explores real life issues through the eyes of a child. Who Am I? Is the first book of the series which is about a 6 year old boy who is counting down the days until he starts his new school. His friend asked him what should he call him and he was confused. This book explores cultural identity and a journey of self- discovery.
I asked the boys to tell me in their own words what the book is about. “While teaching his friend Kwame football tricks Kwame asked Jerome what name will he call him when they start their new school. Jerome was puzzled and didn’t understand the question and it bothered him till he went home. When Jerome got home he wrote on a piece of paper Who Am I? His mother asked him are you OK Jaali, then he shouted at her ‘Don’t call me that’ and ran to the bathroom. His mum followed him and held his hands and asked him if he was ok. Jerome asked his mum why do people call him different names. His mum showed him the family tree and told him the meaning of his names. Jerome asked what does Kwame mean, his mum told him Kwame means he was born on Saturday. Jerome looked in the mirror and said “I am Jerome and I am powerful”. His mum hugged him, he asked his mother if she can still call him Jaali because he likes that name. Jerome enjoyed earning out his culture.” The boys retained a lot of information and words from the story and was able to retell the story.
The main characters in this story are Jerome, his mum and his friend Kwame. Ahaziah’s favioute part is when Jerome is teaching Kwame football skills. Micaiah likes when Jerome’s mum showed him the family tree when he was sad, that cheered him up. This book sparked up a lot of conversation between us. In the book there is a template where you can complete your family tree, the boys wanted to fill it in straight away. You can also download a copy from the Jerome and Friends website
The boys asked the meaning of their name and then tried to go through the whole family. They also asked what would their names would be in Ghanian so I let them know and they were very interested.
We went to the Jerome and Friends Launch and enjoyed the fun filled day that was planned. Some of the story was read to us and straight away I knew I wanted to buy the book to find out what happened next. Ahaziah came straight over to me and ask to buy the book, he wanted to read it that same night. The book was affordable retailing at £7.99. It was enjoyed by all and started great conversations between myself and the boys especially about the meanings of their names and why it was chosen for them, I can’t wait for the next book to be released.
We are excited to have authors Victoria Oladele and Monica Gilbert reading to our families at our next Sensory Saturday session.