Author Talk with Yolanda Renee King – We Dream A World

Loading Events

Program Description:

As we celebrate Martin Luther King Jr Day, PBS Books invites you to hear from the next generation that is building on the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr and Coretta Scott King. Heather-Marie Montilla sits down with Author Yolanda Renee King and Illustrator Nicole Tadgell to discuss Miss King’s debut book Carrying the Light from My Grandparents Martin Luther King, Jr. and Coretta Scott King: We Dream a World. In We Dream A World, Yolanda Renee King discusses her family legacy and her vision for the future of young change-makers, while Nicole Tadgell reflects upon the creation of her remarkable imagery that brings the author’s words to life.

We Dream a World by Yolanda Renee King Book Cover

Book Description:

A stirring picture book tribute to Coretta Scott King and Martin Luther King, Jr., authored by their only grandchild, Yolanda Renee King, with illustrations by award-winning artist Nicole Tadgell, WE DREAM A WORLD: Carrying the Light from My Grandparents, Martin Luther King Jr., and Coretta Scott King (On sale January 2, 2024; Ages 4-8; Orchard Books/Scholastic) serves as a grandchild’s gift to her grandparents – and the world.

Inspired by her family’s legacy of national civil rights advocacy, Yolanda Renee King is leading a new generation of modern activists. Though the 15-year-old never met her grandfather, she has galvanized countless young people to stand up and speak out on a range of issues affecting the world today – racial equality, gun violence, climate change, poverty, education, and more. Her new book, a call for unity and equality, is inspired by Langston Hughes’s seminal poem I Dream A World. The book’s narrative expresses Yolanda’s deep love for her grandparents, while also speaking to children everywhere about her hopes for a new future, as expressed through her call-and-response affirmation that brings thunderous participation at her public speeches and addresses: “Spread the word! Have you heard? All across the nation, we are going to be a great generation!”

In WE DREAM A WORLD, Yolanda Renee King shows the world that young people are strong enough to carry on their elders’ legacy while creating a new path for themselves. Her words are meaningful and universal, and will embolden and inspire the next generation of change-makers In a statement, Yolanda Renee King said about WE DREAM A WORLD, “I’m very pleased to join Scholastic for my book publishing debut. On my grandfather’s 95th birthday, I’m excited to share this love letter in his honor. This book lets every child rediscover my grandparents’ dream.”

Guest Biographies:

Yolanda Renee King never met her grandfather, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. But the young leader is one of the countless activists inspired by his actions. Yolanda was born and raised in the state of Georgia to parents, Martin Luther King III and Arndrea Waters King. She grew up in the city of Atlanta. She was named after her aunt, Yolanda King. She is the first and only grandchild of Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King.

Dr. King and his wife Coretta helped change the course of history by spreading a message of equality for all people, regardless of their race or color. Inspired by the path set by her grandparents, Yolanda is trailblazing her own way forward.

Nicole Tadgell - Headshot

Nicole Tadgell is an award-winning watercolor artist whose work spans more than 30 luminous picture books for children. Known for creating realistic yet whimsical characters and scenes, Nicole’s work has been honored by the Kansas Notable Book Award, the Christopher Award, the Children’s Africana Book Award, the Américas Award, the Arkansas Diamond Primary Book Award, and the Growing Good Kids Award.

Her books have been featured by the Bank Street Best College of Education, the Smithsonian Notable Books for Children, the Cooperative Children’s Book Center Choices Annual List, New York Public Library’s Best 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing, Eastern Washington University Excellent Choice, Maine’s A Capital Read, and the Rutgers University Top 5.

Born in Detroit, Michigan, art has always been both an escape and a labor of love for Nicole. Frequent moves challenged her natural shyness, especially in new schools where she was the only black kid in class. “I always had pencils and paper nearby. It helped me make sense of the world around me or create imaginary worlds to live in for a while,” she says. Today, Nicole continues to bring stories to life while advocating for diversity in children’s literature.

In addition to her artwork, she finds beauty, strength and solace in the practice of tai chi, which has led her through trauma and recovery, and into spiritual awakening. A former resident of Massachusetts, Nicole recently moved to Chesapeake, Virginia. She speaks and leads workshops at elementary schools, libraries, bookstores, and art classes for people of all ages. She is also an advertising agency art director with more than two decades’ experience in graphic design.

Go to Top