As part of our ongoing monthly series with Gigi Miller of Vision Organizing, we have a lot of great content coming this month on how to organize and create a thoughtful home library for your kids.
And with books top of mind, we spoke with one of our favorite Atlanta entrepreneurs, Mijha Godfrey, co-founder of Jambo Books. Jambo Books is a monthly subscription service that sends 2-3 high quality books to your home featuring children of color as the “star of their own stories.” Subscriptions are age appropriate, their youngest age group is 0-2 years, and are a great addition to your collection (we are subscribers for our kids so speak firsthand!). In addition to co-founding Jambo Books, Mijha is a mother of three, including a “quarantine baby” born last summer.
Check out highlights of our interview below. We will be sharing more snippets of our conversation with Mijha throughout the month in our instagram stories.
What led you to start Jambo Books?
We started thinking about the idea when my oldest was two or three years old. My father-in-law sent us a subscription to another book club that sends children’s classics, which was great, but very narrow in terms of who was represented in the books. These books were about everyday life: summer, playing with balls...but all of the kids were white. I thought to myself that all children like these activities no matter their race or ethnicity and I had to find something else for my child to see. We could find books about young girls that lived in an African village (which is gorgeous) but my daughter wasn’t living in an African village. She lives here and I want her to know she belongs here and can bloom right here where she is planted.
Why the name Jambo books?
Jambo means “hello”and we wanted to spark conversations and get people talking across lines of ethnicities and religion. One question we ask people is when did you first read a fiction book about people who looked like you? For non-white people the answer is generally “highschool.”
Why is it important to have diverse home libraries?
We of course support main libraries. But having a diverse home library is important because those are the books you have access to all the time and the books that grow with children. We think it’s important for children of all ages to be surrounded by books that star kids that look like our modern nation and don’t just represent one portion of it.
What’s your favorite book for kids three and under?
“Up Up Up Down” by Kimberly Gee is one of my favorites written from the perspective of a toddler who is spending the day with his dad.
More to come on Mijha and Jambo Books this month but in the meantime you can order your first Jambo book subscription here. They currently have a Black History Celebration bundle that can be purchased here.