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Son of Knicks star Derrick Rose inspires new children’s book

Authors shed light on the positive side of Chicago’s culture in ‘PJ’s Shy-Town’

It’s been almost two years since the children of NBA stars began taking over postgame press conferences. Joining Riley Curry in capturing the hearts of basketball viewers was little PJ Rose, the son of Chicago native and current New York Knicks guard Derrick Rose.

PJ is now the main character in a children’s book, titled PJ’s Shy-Town, co-authored by Chicago State University professor Kim L. Dulaney and Howard University student Maya Reese, which celebrates culture and family in a short rhyming tale.

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The backdrop? Chicago. The storyline? Chicago through the eyes of 4-year-old PJ. The children’s story features the family history of Rose, an All-Star guard with the Bulls until this season, and his young son. It is part of the Scholars From the Block Anti-Violence Education Initiative and the latest installment of the Fuzzy-Feeling Children’s Book Series that includes children’s books I Love Me! and My Best.

According to a new release, Reese and Dulaney’s goal for PJ’s Shy-Town is to showcase the urban culture in the city of Chicago. The book was illustrated by Ebony Jr.! magazine veteran artist Sherman Beck. PJ’s Shy-Town is available at www.readme4.com and Amazon.com.

“The essence of the city we love still exists,” Delaney said. “But it gets overshadowed by all the negative press. We wanted to give voice to the people and culture that contribute to Chicago’s unique appeal and incredible legacy.”

Reese graduated from high school in Chicago and is PJ’s aunt.

“PJ is a happy kid. He loves Chicago. That’s what we wanted to share with other children — this city and PJ’s infectious joy as he grows up here,” she said.

Dulaney’s work includes children’s books, poetry, fiction and creative nonfiction. She has a bachelor’s degree in African-American studies, a master’s degree in creative writing and a doctorate of education in educational leadership and curriculum foundation.

Reese was a journalist for The Mash (Chicago Tribune’s teen publication) and has worked as an intern for Good Day Chicago on FOX 32 Chicago, WVON 1690 and WSRB 106.3. She is currently pursuing a degree in broadcast journalism at Howard.

Kelley Evans is a general editor at The Undefeated. She is a food passionista, helicopter mom and an unapologetic southerner who spends every night with the cast of The Young and the Restless by way of her couch.