At the National Book Festival

with Magnificent Homespun Brown

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By Samara Cole Doyon

As home of the Harriet P. Henry Center for the Book, the Maine Humanities Council has selected Samara Cole Doyon’s Magnificent Homespun Brown—a children’s book with a strong Maine connection—to feature at the 20th National Book Festival.

Hosted by the Library of Congress, the National Book Festival is an annual celebration of books and reading, featuring authors, storytellers, books, and illustrators from across the country. This year’s festival is happening online, offering people from across the country (Maine!) to hear nationally recognized writers speak about their novels, poetry, non-fiction, biographies and more. Tracy K. Smith, Ibram X. Kendi, Joy Harjo, Ann Patchett, John Grisham and Sandra Cisneros are just a few of the featured speakers at this year’s festival.


About the Book

Told by a succession of exuberant young narrators, Magnificent Homespun Brown is a story—a song, a poem, a celebration—about feeling at home in one’s own beloved skin. With vivid illustrations by Kaylani Juanita, Samara Cole Doyon sings a carol for the plenitude that surrounds us and the self each of us is meant to inhabit.

Author Samara Cole Doyon is both a second-generation Haitian American and a deeply rooted Mainer, with half of the roots of her family tree reaching generations deep into the soil of the Pine Tree State. She is a freelance writer, teacher, wife, and mother. She has been a regular contributor at Black Girl in Maine Media and has been featured in the “Deep Water” poetry column of the Portland Press Herald.

“…the conviviality conveyed in this picture book draws on the strength of family, ancestors, friendship, and finding the everyday jubilance in our lives.”

Corrie Locke-Hardy,


Samara Cole Doyon reads from Magnificent Homespun Brown

Presented by the Indigo Arts Alliance, The Beautiful Blackbird Children’s Book Festival
is a virtual festival created in honor of Maine’s own Ashley Bryan and designed to celebrate
Black illustrators and authors of children’s books. Based in Portland, Maine, Indigo Arts Alliance
embodies a Black-led, multiracial approach to the rich intersections of citizenship, community-building, and creativity.


Our Partners in Celebration

Joining us in celebrating Magnificent Homespun Brown are four Maine-based organizations that identify, promote and celebrate diverse children’s books: