10-03-2023  11:20 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
by BOTWC Staff
Published: 23 August 2021

An Oakland, CA father is penning books with his 7-year-old son working as the illustrator, BlackNews.com reports.

Chasing dreams

Omar Bala says his son Khalil has been drawing cartoon characters since he was just four years old. The young artist even confided in his grandmother that when he grows up, he wants to be an illustrator. That’s when Bala figured he had a unique opportunity to help motivate his son to follow his dreams, choosing to author a book and allow young Khalil to illustrate it. 

“I know if he sees his work in a book, that will drive his pursuit to chase his dream in the art industry”

Bala said. 

The duo have collaborated on two books already, Why Dogs Chase Cats and The Lost Baby Spinosaurus.

Black folklore

Why Dogs Chase Cats is a Black folklore about a dog and cat who hatch a plan to enter an exclusive horned-animal party. When the cat goes awry, the plan backfires. In contrast, The Lost Baby Spinosaurus is a heartwarming story about a lost dinosaur scouring the earth looking for his parents. On the course of his journey, he discovers many dinosaurs, investigating them all to see if they are a Spinosaurus. 

Bala said he wants his son to know that there's no clock on pursuing your dreams, that there is no time like the present to get into action. 

“I did this not only for Khalil but for all the little Black boys and girls, who inspire to be something great. Whatever you want to be or do, you don’t have to wait, you can do it now,” said Bala. 

More to come!

Currently, the two are working on their third offering, The Big Friendly Dragon. 

Bala said that if he could instill anything into his son Khalil, it would be to never give up on his dreams.

“I tell Khalil all the time, you’re an artist. Whatever you do and whatever people may say, don’t ever stop drawing,” he said. 

You can purchase Omar and Khalil’s books at BooksByBalas.com or follow them on Instagram @BooksByBalas.

This article wa originally posted on BOTWC

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