'Janna and the Kings' author wins award

— A story about a girl and her granddaddy is the winner of the New Voices Award given by Lee & Low Books, a publisher of multicultural books.

"Janna and the Kings" by Patricia Smith and illustrated by Aaron Boyd both opens and closes by emphasizing the special bond between the young black girl, the grandfather who passes away, and their "special place" -- the local barber shop.

It's at the barber shop where Janna is the princess to her grandfather's king. He's not the only king in town, though, since, at Terrell's barber shop, there is more than one throne.

"Janna and the Kings" is Smith's first picture book. She is an award-winning poet, playwright and journalist, and a four-time champion of the National Poetry Slam. Boyd is a full-time illustrator and his credits include "Babu's Song," also published by Lee & Low.

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