Ladumo Books Presents our Debut Title: Héléna and the Missing Papaya
Ladumo Books makes the world accessible by telling fun and intriguing stories set in places around the world — particularly, places that children have never seen in media, and yet tied to communities living here in the U.S. right now.
Our first book, Héléna and the Missing Papaya, tells the story of a young girl from Douala in Cameroon who goes on a childhood mystery adventure to save the fruit from her papa’s favorite tree.
Check out additional stories and content on our character blogs!
Buy the book on Amazon!
The book is complete, bilingual in English and French, beautifully illustrated with full-page color art on every page from cover to cover, by artists native to Cameroon! Take a look at the talented young professionals who made this possible:
Our Artists and Team
Let us know what you think, and support our work making the world accessible to young readers!
This project looks awesome! Not only is Christelle absolutely fabulous, but her project is such a terrific idea. We need more books like this so that kids can learn about different people and cultures. I would have loved this book as a kid, and I know many kids who I want to be able to give this book to as a gift. Good luck, Christelle!
As someone of Indian heritage, I didn't see a lot of books as I was growing up with children who looked like me. I donated to Christelle's project both because I wholeheartedly believe in her, and because I want other children like me to have books filled with people who look like them and have life experiences they can relate to.
Backing this book was a no brainer. Not only does Christelle have the drive and talent to pull this off, her mission is timely: educating children while raising cultural sensitivity. Additionally, it supports local artists and thus has the potential for real global impact. To top it off, the book looks beautiful and the story sweetly entertaining. It may be a children's book, but I'm just as excited to read (and learn from) it as an adult! I can't wait to see this project grow and expand into other cultures and identities--as an Asian-American, it is the exact kind of book I wish I (and my classmates) had read as a child to learn more about my heritage.
I think this is an imaginative, needed and welcome initiative that teaches not only language skills, but also inclusiveness, an awareness and appreciation of other cultures. I wish you all the very best with this adventure: It's a lovely idea!
Quite apart from Christelle being one of the most brilliant and wonderful people I know, I'm backing this book because it has so much to offer readers--including not only my young niece and nephews but also, probably, me. Christelle has a longstanding habit of joyfully sharing her Cameroonian heritage with anyone who will stand still long enough, and in this book she's managed to integrate that heritage with some French lessons, an intriguing story, and some absolutely stunning artwork. Of *course* I'm backing this book!
I am grateful to have the opportunity to support such a great project. Kids carry what they learn when they are young, which is precisely why it is so important to provide a message of kindness, respect, and love of fellow cultures and traditions. We need more diversity in children's books to make sure kids feel empowered to express themselves. This book does just that and I can't wait to see what Christelle's future plans are!!
There are so many things to love about this project. It is filling a crucial gap in representation in literature for kids of color. It is supporting local artists and sharing diverse stories from around the world - told by individuals in the communities represented. It is the best kind of educational, with activities and language lessons incorporated throughout a fun story. I have a fierce loyalty to my favorite children's books (I believe the books we read as children stay with us forever!) and I know without a doubt I would have LOVED this book as child. I cannot wait to share it with the children in my life. I am so proud to support this wonderful project!!
I love this project because I think it can help children grow into culturally sensitive adults--adults who will, hopefully, be more adept at understanding others and facing our world's increasingly interconnected and complicated problems. I especially love that the Helena and the Missing Papaya project employs native Cameroonians in its production and, as such, supports those whose culture the book is grounded in.
This is a very exciting project! I backed this project because this is exactly the type of series and activities I would have loved as a kid. Learning about other cultures is incredibly empowering, and growing an appreciation for the experiences of those in other countries is so important at a young age when children are forming their identities and views of the world around them. I have full faith in the creator because she is wonderfully brilliant and talented and sincerely cares about bringing people and communities together.
As the child of immigrants, I know exactly how important it was for my parents to share their heritage with me. To be able to do this while developing a love of reading is so unbelievably important and is why I think it is vital that these books be published.
I am so excited about these books! I have two nieces and a nephew and these books will help them learn about new places and add diversity to their books. I think it is so important for these books to be published and teach the next generation about cultures around the world.