Think you’re too old to listen to a children’s book? Try listening to a children’s book being read by actor and author Taye Diggs.
The actor known for roles on Broadway, film (“How Stella Got Her Groove Back”) and TV (“Private Practice”) read aloud from his latest book, “Mixed Me,” at the Texas Book Festival. His mellifluous voice rang through the House Chamber as illustrator Shane Evans strummed some background music.
The book was written for Diggs’ son, who is mixed race, so that “he would have words specifically from me … letting him know he needs to be proud,” Diggs said.
People comment on and want to touch his young son’s hair, he said, and even though they are usually coming from a positive place, there needs to be a dialogue about issues of race and how children are affected by such experiences.
“You can glean so much from children’s books that, because of our age, we kind of take for granted,” Diggs said.
Evans and Diggs, longtime friends, joked back and forth throughout their talk (Diggs at one point tried to give Evans credit for the “Harry Potter” and “Twilight” series.) It was Evans’ experience and contacts as a renowned illustrator, Diggs said, that paved the way for this book and their first collaboration, “Chocolate Me.”
At one point, Evans and Diggs urged the crowd to sing along as Evans played a guitar. Several young voices joined in, crooning “I’m a rainbow.” Diggs looked over the seats at the non-singers and said, “Parents are supposed to lead by example. I’m not judging you, I’m just saying …”