Former NFL Player's New Children's Book Depicts What It's Like Being a “Modern Black Father”

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Marcus Smith II, a father, former NFL linebacker, and first-round draft pick, is determined to provide positive representations of Black fatherhood for young kids through his brand-new children’s book, Bath Time With Rai.

Illustrated by Tiara Boyd, an incredibly talented Black woman illustrator, Bath Time with Rai celebrates the hopes and dreams that parents have for their little ones throughout its pages. Featuring tons of examples of cute things babies do, the sweet picture book chronicles the love between a father and his child during an everyday ritual.

Related: Misty Copeland on Her New Children’s Book, Bunheads: “I Want Kids to See Themselves”

“As a modern black father, being present in my daughter’s life is really important for me,” Marcus said in a press release. “Every moment – from me giving her a bath to reading to her before bed – are moments that she’ll never forget, and I wanted to translate that experience into something that was relatable for Black fathers and Black daughters everywhere.”

Parents who are eager to get their hands on Bath Time With Rai ($20) can preorder a copy ahead of its Dec. 2 debut. While you wait, you can find other compelling children’s books by Black authors on this list of some of our favorite titles or a book subscription box that best suits your young reader.

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