Winner of the 2022 ‘Mom’s Choice Award for Excellence in Children’s Publishing’ and author of 17 books for children, Irene Smalls has seen her works published by prestigious houses such as Little Brown, Simon and Schuster, and Scholastic Press. She is a Cornell University graduate with a Master’s Degree in Behavioral Science from New York University.
Born and raised in Harlem, New York, during a time of segregation, Irene is a passionate advocate for equality in education and healthcare for children from communities of color. Smalls is the mother of three and the grandmother of three.
A devoted advocate for both the healthcare and civil rights movements, her concern about health and fitness in communities of color began when she was designated as a Young Ambassador to Europe by the US State Department and Wrangler jeans over 55 years ago. As an award-winning children’s author and a health enthusiast, Smalls, a visionary, recognized the clear connections between health and academic achievement. To highlight the intersectionality between literacy, physical movement, and overall health, she developed the Literacise and Literacise Read-y Fashions exhibits. It’s well-documented that low literacy populations tend to have poorer health outcomes.
Through her continued scientific research, Smalls realized that learning and health are also vitally connected to sleep. It has been her lifelong mission to address these issues through her books and speaking engagements. Recently, Smalls launched her own bedtime book imprint, with the first title in the series being “An Affirmation Nite Baby Nite.”
Irene and her books have received recognition in various media outlets, including Newsweek, People Magazine, The New York Times, The Boston Globe, Essence, Ebony, Jet, The Chicago Tribune, The Christian Science Monitor, Black Enterprise, Boston Magazine, and PBS’s World Channel Stories from the Stage. She has been invited twice to share her stories at the White House and has developed literacy-oriented corporate promotions with New England Telephone, The Gillette Company, and State Street Bank. Irene Smalls is a contributing writer to Parents.com and holds national certification as a Minority/Woman-owned business.