Monday, October 5, 2015

Meet Rita Williams-Garcia, author, Bottle Cap Boys Dancing on Royal Street

Marimba Books' newest release, Bottle Cap Boys Dancing on Royal Street, a picture book set in New Orleans celebrates the unique tradition of bottle cap dancing. But you may be able to meet author Rita Williams-Garcia and get a signed copy of her book at a Bottle Cap Boys book signing near you.

Rita will be celebrating the release of her new book at events in Newark, NJ; Philadelphia; New York City; and Chicago. Please see her appearance schedule below and check back soon; more events are being added.

About the book: Tap dancing on sidewalks, especially in the city’s French Quarter, is a New Orleans tradition as familiar to some as Jazz, Creole and Cajun food, and Mardi Gras. For generations, Black youngsters have danced for tourists on the streets of New Orleans—some because they enjoy it, but many others to earn money for their families.

Instead of dancing in store-bought tap shoes, these young boys and girls stamp and grind bottle caps into the soles of their sneakers until the bottle caps stay firmly in place at the toe. And they don’t miss a beat!

Through rich and upbeat rhyme, author Rita Williams-Garcia (author of One Crazy Summer, Coretta Scott King and Newbery Honor winner) gives voice to the dancing and to two youngsters, brothers Randy and Rudy, who keep this unique New Orleans tradition alive. Damian Ward’s exuberant illustrations are great complements to Williams-Garcia’s perfectly pitched poetry.

Bottle Cap Boys Dancing on Royal Street by Rita Williams-Garcia, illustrated by Damian Ward. ISBN 978-1-60349-030-6, age 5 and up, hardcover, $16.95. Published by Marimba Books, distributed by Just Us Books. For more information or to purchase, visit

Event Schedule

October, 8, 2015, 6 - 8 pm
Book launch party
Newark Public Library (co-sponsor)
Newark, NJ
RSVP here

October 22, 2015, 6-8 pm
Art Sanctuary
Philadelphia, PA
click here for details

October 25, 2015, 10:15 am
Bank Street Bookstore
New York, NY
click here for details

October 29, 2015, 6 pm
Chicago State University
Chicago, IL
co-sponsored by Chicago State University African-American Male Resource Center, African-American Studies Program College of Education and Say It Loud!
Please direct Chicago event inquiries to or 501-952-6169

Additional appearances:
Bank Street Book Fest
Oct. 24, 2015, 9 am - 4 pm
Rita Williams-Garcia is the closing keynote speaker
Click here for tickets and more information

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Just Us Books Celebrates 27th Year

In 1988, Wade and Cheryl Hudson formalized a mission they embarked upon as new parents years before: to bring to market vibrant, positive, affirming books that celebrated the diversity of Black history and culture - the kind of books they wanted for their own children. This month, Just Us Books celebrates its 27th year as not just a business but an institution dedicated to making these books available year-round, in libraries, classrooms, and homes everywhere and to providing a publishing venue for talented Black writers, illustrators, designers and other professionals. And that mission has become a legacy for the husband-and-wife team.

Please join us in celebrating 27 years of good books making a difference in our children's lives. We're kicking off our 27th year with several exciting new titles, including Bottle Cap Boys Dancing on Royal Street,  and the return of the book that help to start it all, the AFRO-BETS A B C Book.

If you share our commitment to inspiring, encouraging and educating young people through books that contain characters, stories and themes that reflect our diversity, please support us. Share our books and our story  with children, parents, educators and book lovers. Stay connected with us via Facebook and Twitter. For other suggestions on how to help us increase the number of quality children’s books that celebrate diversity, and how to support the diverse books that are already available, read this Diverse Books Pledge from Just Us Books President, Wade Hudson.

To the many librarians, educators, parents, grandparents, young readers, church and community members, friends and others who've supported Just Us Books during this 27-year journey, we offer our heartfelt gratitude.

We continue!