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Kai likes pink.

Mila likes dinosaurs.

In this book, a wonderfully enthusiastic boy will show his new playground friend that it's okay to be exactly who you are.

a children's book by 

Selina Hernández

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About the Book

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I Like Pink! is a story about a wonderfully enthusiastic boy named Kai who shows his new playground friend that it's okay to be exactly who you are. I Like Pink! celebrates kids' uniqueness and encourages them to feel comfortable with who they are, what they like, what they do, and to love themselves. This simple story moves beyond stereotypes and allows the engaging characters, Kai and Mila, to safely self-express at their beloved playground. 

 

Kids and their grown-ups will enjoy this story that vividly emphasizes the writers' message: it feels good and is alright to be yourself. 

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What inspired this story?

My sons inspired this story. I wrote it many years ago after having a not-so-good experience that included someone else’s biased thinking of what male and female children should and shouldn’t like. I wrote it as a poem to make my son and myself feel better. I never expected it to go beyond our household.

Tell us more about the experience?

As a young toddler, my son loved pink and trying things that weren't always "traditional," like putting on a skirt in dance class because all the girls had cool costumes and the boys didn't. He didn't care if the party hats were pink princess hats he knew he wanted one! I supported him, but didn't always have public support.

 

One day we entered a fast food restaurant and my son saw the colorful display of kids' meal toys. The cooler-looking toys were pink. He asked for the pink kids' meal toy versus what would be normally considered the boy toy. When I ordered the employee having overheard my son's excitement for the pink toy, looked at me and I let him know that it was okay because it is what he likes. However, when we got home to my dismay the worker had put the "male" toy in the bag instead. I was livid, but, it inspired what at first I saw as a poem for my 2-year-old son. It also showed me how engrained some stereotypes are in peoples' brains that a stranger who had no stake in my sons' life would go against his wishes in a 2-minute interaction.  It's okay for our sons to like dolls, the color pink, and to put on a skirt for dress-up if that is how they want to self-express. It's okay for our girls to play with dinosaurs, not play with dolls, and like to get dirty in the sandbox if that makes them happy.  We shouldn't stifle their youth, their joy, their innocence because of our own bias.

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About Selina

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Selina Hernandez is a writer and performance artist who uses theatre arts, spoken word, and song in her work. The pieces she writes tend to focus on her life experiences as a Latina woman, a mother, and as a New Yorker. Selina was born and raised in NYC.

Selina enjoys the journey of motherhood. She is a mother of two, and knows full well the wealth of emotions and feelings that are a part of childhood. She taught in the NYC DOE for four years, worked with teens as a job coach for three years, and taught cooking to adolescents in a Kids Can Cook program. Her recent projects include writing her first young children’s book:  I Like Pink! A Story About Self-Acceptance inspired by her son. Selina enjoys writing stories that will make her audience reflect, inspire young people to rise to their best selves, and inject a feeling of joy. She loves being a part of the leadership team of the emergency preparedness group the EHCOAD, planning themed parties with her children, searching for the best chocolate chip cookie recipe, and listening to her kids sing old eighties and nineties songs.

 

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Why did you decide to publish this book?

During the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, there were lots of things happening. It impacted me greatly and I felt like I wanted to do something I normally wouldn’t or couldn’t do. Like so many, I was at home for more time than I ever had been. I was super busy but also had moments of downtime where I didn’t want to watch television because it was super gloomy. One day my partner gave me a strong nudge of encouragement, brought me out of my comfort zone, and basically said now is the time and put me on the phone with my illustrator on the spot.

 
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