By Alonda Williams
Penny was born out of my love for my daughter and my desire for her to feel comfortable, confident and secure in her skin. Paris questioned why her hair was different from all of the other girls’ and wondered why she couldn’t wear her hair like theirs. I wanted her to understand that her hair was different but that different didn’t mean bad.
One night, I made up a bedtime story about a little girl named Penny who had magic puffballs in her hair. Both my daughter and my son loved it so much that they wanted to hear about Penny every night. To keep it interesting, each night I added a different adventure, and from time to time I introduced additional characters.
The kids loved these stories so much that Penny became a staple in our bedtime routine. I ended up with more than 30 stories, and we enjoyed Penny’s adventures for many, many years.
The idea for a book came to me as I saw little girls throughout my travels with their hair styled in puffballs. I thought it would be great to be able to tell these girls the story of Penny, a little girl like them. Little girls often notice their hair as one of the first areas of difference, and seeing this as bad can lead to a poor self-image. It is my hope that through this book, other girls will see a bit of themselves in Penny and enjoy her magic puffballs.
My vision is that the story will be a fun way to celebrate the differences that make us unique. It is my hope that little girls across the world will embrace Penny and identify with story of empowerment and self acceptance.
My plan is to partner with organizations that are focused on building girls and donate a portion proceeds to help further girl empowerment.