Cleveland author writes children’s book about Kamala Harris – cleveland.com

Anna Gregory, who publishes under the name Nikki Gregory, released her first children’s book, “Lotus the Vice POTUS" this year. (Photos courtesy of Anna Gregory)
CLEVELAND, Ohio — Inspired by the meaning of U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris’ first name, a local teacher and author Anna Gregory decided to write and publish her first children’s book, “Lotus the Vice POTUS.”
The name “Kamala” translates to “lotus” in Sanskrit. The flower grows underwater and blooms above the surface.
Published under Gregory’s pen name Nikki Gregory, “Lotus the Vice POTUS” shows how Harris bloomed into the highest-ever ranked woman in American politics. The storybook follows Harris’ childhood, education and career, which led her to inauguration as Vice President in January 2021.
“Even powerful leaders were once children,” Gregory said. “It really is told from the perspective of watching Lotus having dreams, having aspirations, just being an advocate for others, and also mirroring and telling the story of some of the history of Kamala D. Harris embedded there.”
Gregory was inspired to publish the book when her daughter also aimed to publish a book. Her daughter, Randall Simone Gregory, wrote “Chasing the Roots of My Heritage: A Poetry Memoir” this year, too.
“She said, ‘Mom, I know you always wanted to publish a book, this would be a great time,’” Anna said. “We encouraged and motivated each other. Along the way, we were working together. We released our books two days apart.”
Anna has worked as a teacher in the Cleveland Heights-University Heights school district for the past 17 years, working as the Literacy Lead of Roxboro Middle School. Her role translated well into writing a children’s book, she said.
Anna teamed up with illustrator Dessiree Perez for the book’s art.
“To team up with another woman of color, I think it was truly a dynamic experience for us to have together,” Anna said. “To be able to share the story of a woman of color I thought was a great triangle.”
(Photo courtesy of Anna Gregory, Dessiree Perez)
The goal of “Lotus the Vice POTUS,” Anna said, is to educate readers about Harris’ history, and to help kids dream big.
“I hope that children will learn about their own inner lotus flower, their own inner ambition and that they can be whatever they want to be,” Anna said. “It’s not just what she accomplished, but you also have an inner lotus inside of you to accomplish whatever you want to accomplish.”
Anna said that she hopes to organize an author signing event with her daughter, and that in the meantime, “Lotus the Vice POTUS” is available for order from Amazon.
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