Rainbow Days by Valerie Bolling and Kai Robinson

Hello, Valerie Bolling! Welcome to Watch. Connect. Read.! I’m excited you’re here today to celebrate Rainbow Days, a wonderful new series written by you and illustrated by Kai Robinson. What are three things you would like everyone to know about Zoya and Coco, the stars of Rainbow Days?

Valerie Bolling: Thanks for announcing the cover reveals for the first two books in the Rainbow Days series, John. I’m excited to share Zoya, Coco, and their art adventures with young readers.

I want people to know that:

My nieces, Zorah and Anyah, provided the inspiration for the character, Zoya.

Zoya and Coco love to create art, and they especially enjoy adding glitter to their creations.

I hope Zoya and Coco will inspire readers to create their own fabulous art projects.

What has been the most exciting thing about working on the Rainbow Days series?

Valerie Bolling: It’s been exciting for me to write the stories. I enjoy imagining what Zoya and Coco might create and then describing their process. It’s been both fun and challenging to write the stories in language that appeals to young readers and that enables them to read independently. It’s also been a treat to see the amazing art that Kai has created to complement my words.

Please finish the following sentence starters:

Kai Robinson’s illustrations are rainbow-fabulous! I love the vibrant colors they use and the way they’ve illustrated Zoya with her beautiful, dark skin, wonderful facial expressions, and rainbow-themed clothing and bedroom. Coco is also adorable. I can imagine how soft his fur must feel based on how Kai has drawn him, and it’s clear he loves being by Zoya’s side.

Scholastic’s Acorn Books are perfect for beginning readers across pre-kindergarten through second grade. There are many books in the collection that feature kids and anthropomorphic characters as well as realistic and fantastical settings. Scholastic Acorn Executive Editor, Katie Carella, has done an excellent job curating and editing these books, and I’m happy and honored to have Rainbow Days join them.

John Schu, you should have asked me why I write for young children.

I write for young children because I want them to feel at home in a book. For that to happen, they need to have access to books on a variety of topics with diverse characters having different experiences. I know how important it is for children to see themselves in books and to feel seen and heard, valued and validated. This is especially true for children who may not often see themselves and their experiences reflected in books. I also know that it is equally necessary for children to read and learn about others’ experiences. Books inspire conversations about things we notice and question in our world, and they create connections and encourage empathy. I consider it an honor to be a contributor to the powerful, prolific children’s literary canon.

​Photo Credit: Kimberley Eves​

Valerie Bolling is a graduate of Tufts University and Columbia University, Teachers College and has been an educator for over 25 years. Her debut picture book, Let’s Dance! is a 2021 Crystal Kite Award winner. Rainbow Days, illustrated by Kai Robinson, is her debut early reader series. Bolling and her husband live in Connecticut.

Kai Robinson is a digital illustrator and designer with a BFA in Illustration from Montserrat College of Art. Rainbow Days, written by Valerie Bolling, is their debut early reader series. Kai is based in New England.

Look for The Gray Day on May 2, 2023. 

Look for The Gold Bowl on August 15, 2023. 


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