Tiffany Haddish talks about her first children’s book and the importance of playing ‘make-believe’

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Haddish’s book ‘Layla, the Last Black Unicorn’ was co-authored by Jerdine Nolan

Tiffany Haddish has released her first children’s book titled Layla, the Last Black Unicorn, and is speaking out about what she hopes kids will learn from the inspiring story.

As reported by PEOPLE, the tale centers on a child named Layla as she navigates her first year at school. Released this week, the book is co-authored by Jerdine Nolen, author of the Coretta Scott King Honor Book Thunder Rose.

BET Presents The 51st NAACP Image Awards - Red Carpet
Tiffany Haddish attends the 51st NAACP Image Awards on Feb. 22, 2020, in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Leon Bennett/Getty Images for BET)

“She has her issues fitting into this whole new world,” Haddish tells the publication about Layla. “But in trying to be something she’s not, she realizes, I can just be myself — and it pays off to be who you are.”

Per She Knows, Kirkus Reviews called Haddish’s latest effort, “A winner on many levels,” saying, “The colorful, cartoon-style illustrations show refreshing diversity in the world of fantastical beings, and the striking black unicorn will do wonders for cultural perceptions of beauty.”

Layla, the Last Black Unicorn is about self-discovery and self-acceptance, which Haddish says is something “everyone grapples with.”

“I think it’s so important to play make-believe,” said Haddish. “And to be able to tell your story through another character’s eyes – through someone else’s life – is really awesome. That’s why I created Layla, the last Black unicorn.”

The title of the book continues the unicorn theme that Haddish established in her previous book. The comedian released a collection of personal essays in 2019 titled The Last Black Unicorn which became a New York Times bestseller.

“I hope that kids share it with each other and trace the pictures and retell the story over and over in their own way,” she said of her current effort.

“I hope parents are able to have great conversations with their kids and maybe bring up certain things like, ‘Would Layla do that? How would Layla want to do that?’ ” Haddish said. “I would love for something like that to happen.”

Haddish plans to release a young adult book later this year, according to the report. In the meantime, she remains focused on her pursuit to adopt a child.

“I’m gonna ask for the ones that don’t get adopted,” she said. “That’s who I want to look out for – ’cause I know what it feels like to feel like nobody wants you. And that’s the worst. That’s a whole other book,” she tells PEOPLE.

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