We know Terry Crews from his stardom on screen, but this famous actor and human rights activist is moving his passion and talents to a whole new medium, the pages of an innovative children’s book, Come Find Me (Amen & Amen Publishing).
20 years ago, Terry Crews and Ken Harvey were teammates on the NFL’s Washington Redskins. Harvey approached Crews with the idea for creating a book for his two young sons, Anthony and Marcus. The book was to feature two African-American boys playing hide and seek while imagining to be in different exciting roles like pilots, conductors and captains. Racial representation is highly important to Harvey. On the motive for creating the book he says, “I wanted to write a book where both boys could see themselves , but any other kids could see themselves too.”
Crews was highly enthusiastic about the idea and together they collaborated to create a book many children will enjoy. Using his two sons as the main characters in the story, Harvey tells the tale of one young boy, Anthony, playing hide and seek with his brother Marcus. In addition to featuring diverse characters in Come Find Me, Crews and Harvey also worked with Augmented Island Studios in order to make the book stand out with a high-tech interactive element. Using the free Come Find Me app enhances the story by allowing children to make a plane zoom away or move tree branches to see where Marcus is hiding in augmented reality on a smartphone.
Children who have grown up surrounded by technology will adore this book that incorporates it seamlessly into the adventure. The book is also highly empowering for children who identify with the characters. While we have made strides in featuring more diverse characters in children’s books in recent years, there is still plenty of room for improvement. As both the author and illustrator say, “you cannot be what you cannot see.” Now Harvey’s sons are far from the age pictured in the book, the explorative youngsters are now grown men with masters degrees in their fields. Their father raised them on the belief they could take on whatever path they were interested in, and his children’s book will encourage imagination and exploration in whole new generations.
Hopefully this project continues to inspire others to promote diversity and spur new developments in connecting children’s curiosity for technology with thoughtful tales.
Come Find Me is now available for purchase.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS:
Terry Crews is an action-movie hero, sitcom star, advertising pitchman, playable video game character, talent show host, high-end furniture designer, human rights activist and now a children’s book illustrator.
Kenneth Ray Harvey is a former professional American football player in the National Football League. He currently works as a fitness trainer for space tourists and a sports writer for The Washington Post.