Artist News

Stormzy’s #Merky Books to publish first children’s book

By | Published on Wednesday 30 June 2021


Stormzy’s #Merky Books company has announced its first children’s book, ‘Superheroes’. It features profiles of 50 famous people from underrepresented communities, including George The Poet, Riz Ahmed, Mo Gilligan and Candice Carty-Williams.

According to research published by BookTrust last year, only 10% of children’s books published in the UK in 2019 featured characters of colour. Meanwhile, only 8% of published children’s authors and illustrators in the UK the same year were people of colour.

Featuring an introduction by Stormzy, ‘Superheroes’ is written by Sophia Thakur and illustrated by Denzell Dankwah.

“The earliest seeds that are planted often influence the rest of the garden”, says Thankur. “If from a young age, we only really meet blackness from a position of weakness, of slavery and shootings – stereotypes and racist media – as children, we don’t get an opportunity to develop a healthy and confident outlook on what it means to be black. It was important to work on this book to plant a new seed of celebration. Of black excellence into our young minds who will hopefully bloom into their very own superheroes. Confident and powerful”.

Dankwah adds: “Working on this project has been an exciting experience as I grew up with a love for superheroes and cartoons. Since my illustrations are heavily influenced by comic books, this was a great opportunity to portray such huge figures and role models as heroes for young readers to look up to. This is a dream come true as I’ve always wanted to illustrate a book and I’m grateful to have collaborated with Sophia and the amazing team at #Merky Books”.

The book will be published on 16 Sep. Find out more here.

Meanwhile, in other Stormzy news, the rapper appeared in videos on social media last night celebrating England’s latest win in the UEFA Euros at a fan’s house. The rapper reportedly promised to come and hang out at said fan’s house if England won, the fan having spotted Stormzy when they were both watching the England v Germany game at Boxpark in Shoreditch.