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May 10, 2021

Stella series picture books, illustrated by Lynn Gaines, pre-empted by Denene Millner at Simon & Schuster USA

Clothilde Ewing’s

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"Clothilde Ewing's 'Stella' is exactly who I've been looking for from the second I founded my imprint. A spunky, funny little girl with a huge imagination and great stories to tell," said Denene Millner, editorial director of her eponymous imprint at Simon & Schuster. "Stella is my daughter, their friends, our neighbors, the everyday little Black girl next door. Clothilde's series speaks directly to the mission of Denene Millner Books to highlight those everyday lives of Black children in a big way. I'm so proud she trusted Denene Millner Books with these adorable stories."

Clothilde Ewing studied broadcast journalism at Syracuse University, before beginning her working life at CBS News . She went on to spend seven years at The Oprah Winfrey Show.

Inspired to enter public service, she embarked on a new phase of her career, working in the press department for President Obama’s re-election campaign in 2012. Her next move was to the office of Chicago Mayor – and Obama’s former Chief of Staff - Rahm Emanuel, as Chief of Strategic Planning. She now works for The Chicago Community Trust, leading its communications strategy.

The mother of two young children, she says,

‘I was taken aback after having children of my own and finding it more difficult than I anticipated to find stories featuring a black child simply being a child. I could use any number of words to describe Stella, from precocious to funny, creative to kind. I would not, however, include that she is black. This isn’t a defining characteristic, it just is.’  Clothilde adds, ‘… it will be critical for all of our children to see ordinary black children having childlike experiences that have nothing to do with race.’

The first book in the Series titled Stella keeps the Sun Up will be a lead title and published in the US Spring 2022, with illustrations by Lynn Gaines.

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