George Latham IV and his book, “I Can Be”
A local Detroit child is encouraging peers, classmates and children across the city to dream big. Launching a coloring activity book, George Latham IV and mother LaToya Latham worked together to create a stream of income for the young entrepreneur while showing kids they can be anything they want to be.
Released in May 2021, “I Can Be” features coloring pages packed with different professions, including President of the United States. The 26-page book also includes activities such as mazes and word searches to help challenge the mind as well as math and word problems to increase literacy and learn to count money, tell time and solve number problems. The young author hopes kids and parents will be inspired.
“You can be what you want to be,” says George.
Born and raised in Detroit, George Latham IV, the six-year-old author, got to work on his first book after a conversation with his mom. Prompted to think of something that would bring him pride, the child opted to pen his first book. Following in the steps of an older sibling, the Latham family is looking to teach financial literacy and create generational wealth for its children.
“With our ancestors and our parents, that generation, they were a little bit different than us. Although they worked hard. For me, the things we aren’t really taught in school or from our parents, we have to teach ourselves. So, I want to make sure that when I leave this earth, my kids have the generational wealth that I didn’t have,” says mom LaToya.
An avid golfer, green belt in karate, basketball fanatic and reader, Latham can also add illustrator to the list of accomplishments. Working with LaTosha Haite, a professional illustrator, the child entrepreneur created a list of careers and drew his own images for each. Wanting to relate to all children, but specifically Brown and Black children, the images, created to look like George, are to help children find themselves in the pages.
“We reached out to an illustrator on Instagram and she took his picture and created the cover. I have the actual picture. His dad took the picture right when the world closed,” says LaToya. “She took that picture and turned it into a cartoon and all the pictures inside, they look like him, too. We wanted to make it for Brown and Black girls and boys.”
Along with each profession is a description, also written by George in his own words. Spreading knowledge of each career, children will be able to experience different jobs and how they impact the community.
“I let him write out pretty much everything that he likes or that he’s done and he has to tell me what that title means and what they do. I didn’t want to put my input in it and that particular category. I wanted him to be as organic as possible,” says LaToya.
George has plans on becoming a police officer when he gets older.
“You can be a police officer. Police officers stop crime all over the world,” says George as he reads an excerpt from the book. “It’s my favorite thing of the year.”
For mom, being able to groom the child for success is a major priority. Establishing a blueprint for her children to follow, mom wanted to be as hands-off as possible. Allowing George to naturally develop the book, it reached completion within two months. The family is already hard at work for the next edition.
“We’re going to make a series of “I Can Be.” We started talking about it recently. The next series will be about sports, so it’ll be more so on a sports level of what you could be in different sports,” says LaToya. “We’re looking to start doing that next year.”
“I Can Be” is available on Amazon and will soon be available on its own site.