Accomplished multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter Valerie June is set to publish her first children's book. Somebody to Love: The Story of Valerie June’s Sweet Little Baby Banjolele will be released via Jack White's Third Man Books later this year.

The project was made in collaboration with Mexican-American artist Marce Avelar, who created the book's colorful illustrations.

“As I traveled the world telling the story of my banjolele, I always knew it would make an uplifting children’s book," June said in a statement. "It wasn’t until I got a call from the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities that I was encouraged to sit down and write it out. One of the nation’s most historical dreamers is Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. As a black female artist, his message taught me the power of dreams at an early age. He was a light for me."

The project is especially meaningful for June, whose 2021 record The Moon and Stars: Prescriptions for Dreamers earned widespread acclaim and led her to a Grammy nomination.

"Each time I’ve shared this story with students, I watch as their eyes light up with wonder," she explained. "It’s been thrilling to witness that same light awakening within them. Believing you can achieve your dream is a way to be an inspiration for your community, like a great Nigerian proverb teaches us, 'Thoughts and dreams are the foundation of our being.'"

Third Man Books
Third Man Books
loading...

Somebody to Love: The Story of Valerie June’s Sweet Little Baby Banjolele is set for release later this year and is currently available for pre-order via Third Man Books. For a limited time, fans can snag a special edition signed copy, which includes two 7" singles of June's songs "Somebody to Love" and "Crawdad." A portion of the proceeds raised from this special edition will be donated to children’s literacy.

Every Grammy Awards Best Americana Album Winner Ever

This list focuses on the winners of the Grammys' Best Americana Album category since it was created in 2010. The Grammys are known for their eclectic choices in nominees, and this list fittingly includes a mixture of well-known names, lesser-known artists and cross-genre icons.