Grammy-Winning Entertainer Ciara and Super Bowl Champion QB Russell Wilson to Publish Debut Picture Book With RHCB
Random House Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, will publish WHY NOT YOU?, the picture book debut by superstars Ciara and Russell Wilson, it was announced today by Michelle Nagler, Vice President & Associate Director. Featuring illustrations by Jessica Gibson, the book will be published on March 1, 2022, with a first printing of 125,000 copies. Sara Sargent, Senior Executive Editor, acquired World English rights from Cait Hoyt at Creative Artists Agency for the authors, and Gary Swift at Lemonade illustration agency represented the illustrator. Sargent will edit the project.
WHY NOT YOU? is inspired by a sentiment expressed in both Ciara and Russell Wilson’s households growing up. From a young age, their parents and families encouraged them to dream big, emphasizing that everything is possible with hard work and faith. In the couple’s home now, they strive to instill these same ideas in their children, but their commitment to this message extends beyond their front door.
Says Ciara and Russell Wilson: “As parents to three amazing children, we know how important it is to share the gift of reading with kids at an early age. Through this book, we hope to not only encourage kids worldwide to read but also inspire them to pursue their dreams with a ‘Why Not You’ attitude. We’ve been so grateful to the team at Random House for making this project, a dream of ours, a reality.”
Says Sara Sargent: “I was drawn to Ciara and Russell’s inspiring message from the start. It’s so important to empower children to believe in themselves and their potential, and the work Ciara and Russell do through their foundation has blown me away. We are thrilled to translate their philanthropic efforts into a picture book that tells kids they can achieve absolutely anything.”
In 2014, Ciara and Russell started the Why Not You Foundation to empower youth to live and lead with a “Why Not You” attitude. Their picture book debut, WHY NOT YOU?, is a powerful extension of their larger mission, written to uplift the youngest readers and encourage them to pursue their wildest dreams and believe in themselves.
Timeless and personal, this book’s central question coupled with vibrant and lively illustrations will undoubtedly inspire both children and their adults. All young people deserve this degree of affirmation—Why can’t you be the star? Why can’t you change the world? Why can’t you tell your story?—and this book, written by two superstars, will help deliver that message.
Ciara and Russell Wilson are activists, philanthropists, and parents of three children. Ciara is a Grammy-winning singer-songwriter, dancer, model, and actress. Russell is an NFL football quarterback and has been to eight Pro Bowls, started in two Super Bowls, and won Super Bowl XLVIII. Together, the Wilsons lead the Why Not You Foundation, an organization dedicated to motivating, empowering, and preparing today’s youth to be tomorrow’s leaders.
Founded in 2014, Russell and Ciara’s Why Not You Foundation is a nonprofit dedicated to fighting poverty through education, empowering youth to lead with a Why Not You attitude. The foundation supports student access to equal education opportunities and children’s health and food security initiatives. Its mission is to equip today’s youth with the skills and opportunities to become tomorrow’s leaders.
Jessica Gibson is an illustrator from Detroit who has loved drawing since she was a little girl. A love for animals, traveling, and reading has always inspired her and led to a career illustrating children’s books. Jessica illustrates picture books, spot pieces, packaging design, and surface patterns, all of which she hopes capture her sense of fun.