Dream A Rainbow

Bell Fellow Columbus educator pens children’s book dedicated to Rainbow Babies and promoting diversity

I Dream rainbow


After experiencing two miscarriages, Carlotta Penn started singing the words of a song she wrote a decade before when she learned she was pregnant for a third time. The song was called Rainbows, and detailed the magic and beauty of falling in love. When her daughter, Jember Dove, was born in 2016, Penn knew the song could be transformed into a children’s book dedicated to babies born after miscarriages.

Dream A Rainbow is Penn’s first children’s book aimed to inspire children to dream big and discover the world around them. The story features a young girl named Hana, who dreams of where a rainbow might take her on a stormy morning. The vibrantly-colored illustrations feature friends and animals that Hana meets on her adventure in Ethiopia.

More than 20% of pregnancies end in miscarriage, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. The babies born after those miscarriages are lovingly called Rainbow Babies—representing a beautiful promise after a troubled time.

“I sang the words of this story to my baby, Jember, throughout my pregnancy and was blessed to welcome her into the world on September 9, 2016,” says Penn. “Thousands of women and their partners suffer pregnancy and infant loss every day, and it is a heartbreaking experience”

Penn officially launched Dream A Rainbow on December 2nd, 2017 at The Harmony Project Community Room in Columbus, Ohio. As an educator with a focus on equity and diversity, Penn plans to schedule more book reading experiences for children and publish more books through her publishing company, Daydreamers Press. Penn says her goal is to publish books that are inspiring and representative of people in all communities.

“Beyond being significant to my own life, Dream A Rainbow is important on a grander scale because it features a young Black girl who explores the world with confidence and joy. In our society, where only about 20% of children’s books feature multicultural content, it remains vital that writers, artists, and creatives (and particularly people of color) continue to fill the nation’s bookshelves with multicultural, socially conscious, and beautifully engaging children’s literature,” Penn says. “I share with many authors the notion that I must write the books I want to read—in this case, I am writing the books I want my children, and all the children of the world, to relish, remember, and be inspired by.”

Her book is available through Amazon, and more information can be found at Penn's website: http://www.daydreamerspress.com

About the author

Carlotta Penn was a Bell Fellow in the 2015-2016 corhort. lives in Columbus, Ohio, with her husband and Rainbow Baby, Jember Dove. She holds a doctorate in Multicultural and Equity Studies in Education from The Ohio State University. Dream a Rainbow is her first children’s book.