LITERARY AGENT: Claire Wilson, Rogers, Coleridge & White
FILM AGENT: Michelle Kroes, Creative Artists Agency
PUBLISHER: Simon & Schuster UK, Margaret K. McElderry Books
Tọlá Okogwu is a British-Nigerian Author, Journalist and Hair Care Educator. Born in Nigeria, but raised in London, she holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism. She has written for several publications, including Refinery29, Huffington Post and Black Ballad. Tọlá’s work as an afro hair care educator has given her a unique insight into the key issues surrounding Black women and their hair and through her online coaching services and courses, she has empowered and taught women all over the world, how to improve the health of their hair.
Through her books and wider writing, Tọlá constantly seeks to create ‘mirrors and windows’, allowing children the opportunity to read books that are reflective of their own experiences, and other cultures. Her self-published picture book series, DADDY DO MY HAIR is a firm family favourite. The books were inspired by the relationship between her husband and daughters and are designed to challenge some of the perceptions and preconceptions around race and gender roles within parenting. Her books have become an excellent way of encouraging diversity and inclusion from an early age.
Tọlá’s new middle grade series with Simon & Schuster is set in a futuristic Nigeria, powered by solar energy. The first book, ONYEKA AND THE ACADEMY OF THE SUN will be published in June 2022. She also writes as part of the dynamic duo, Lola Morayo and the first book under this partnership, AZIZA’S SECRET FAIRY DOOR was published by Pan Macmillan in June 2021. Tọlá lives in Kent, England with her husband and two daughters.
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TITLE: Onyeka and the Academy of the Sun (Chronicles of Solari #1)
9th June 2022 (UK), 14th June 2022 (US)
PUBLISHER: Simon & Schuster Children’s UK, Margaret K. McElderry Books
HARDBACK ISBN: 978-1665912617
PAPERBACK ISBN: 9781398505087
Black Panther meets Percy Jackson in this action-packed and empowering middle-grade series about a British-Nigerian girl who learns that her Afro hair has psychokinetic powers.
I close my eyes, trying to push the power bubbling in me back down . . . Hairbands snap as my hair shoots out like superfine arrows, tearing through everything in its path.
Onyeka has a lot of hair – the kind that makes strangers stop in the street. She’s always felt uncomfortable with her vibrant curls, until she makes an important discovery: she can control her hair with her mind!
Her mother quickly whisks her off to the Academy of the Sun, a school in Nigeria where Solari – children with superpowers – are trained. But Onyeka and her new friends at the Academy soon have to put their powers to the test as they find themselves embroiled in a momentous battle between truth and lies . . .
TITLE: Aziza’s Secret Fairy Door and the Ice Cat Mystery (Aziza’s Secret Fairy Door #2)
UK RELEASE DATE: 16th October 2021
PUBLISHER: Macmillan Children’s Books
Aziza can’t wait for the Holidays when the flat is filled with pretty tinsel and delicious smells. It’s warm and cosy in Aziza’s bedroom, so when she notices that her Secret Fairy Door is covered in ice and frost, it’s a sure sign that she’s about to go on a new adventure.
Aziza crosses the threshold and finds Shimmerton covered in ice and snow, even though it is supposed to be high summer there. Everything is muddled up – even the Yule Lads have been spotted causing mischief! Ccoa the Ice Cat has gone missing and Aziza, her fairy friends and even the naughty Gigglers, must team up if they are to track him down and put everything right again.
TITLE: Beth’s Twists (Daddy Do My Hair #1)
UK RELEASE DATE: 26th May 2022
PUBLISHER: Simon & Schuster Children’s UK
A warm, rhyming celebration of Afro hair and father-daughter relationships, from hair care coach and author Tọlá Okogwu
It’s Sunday evening and dinner is over.
Beth is excited and heads to the sofa.
Daddy is there with a smile and a chair.
“Daddy,” she asks, “will you please do my hair?”
It’s the evening before School Picture Day and Beth would like a brand new hairdo! Join Daddy and Beth on a wonderful hair adventure in this heart-warming depiction of the quality time spent between parent and child.
This joyful rhyming text is paired with bold and beautiful illustrations from Chanté Timothy.
Also includes haircare tips for Afro hair from the author!