Taye Diggs, is a well-known actor on television, the big screen and on Broadway, but he’s also developing a name as a successful writer of children’s books.

His third book, “I Love You More,” is due for release on Sept. 18, but fans and guests in attendance at the 5th Annual Read and Rise Breakfast Gala, on Sept. 8 in Wichita, can score a copy ahead of the general public and hear Diggs talk about what inspires his writing.

This is Diggs’ third children’s book. His first, “Chocolate Me,” was released in 2011. He followed that up in 2015 with “Mixed Me,” a book inspired by his son who is mixed race. Both of these books introduce the concept of self-love to young readers and helps parents begin to have discussions on race with children who are just beginning to recognize and acknowledge the differences they see in one another.

On the surface, “I Love You More,” appears to be a book written to help parents who have to be away a lot discuss the issue meaningfully and honestly with their kids. But Diggs tells readers to not sell the book short.

“I’m always encouraging people to not necessarily view this writing as specifically for kids. It’s a certain language that I think we can all understand, and I would love for people to take what they will from the simplicity, but at the same time realize that there’s kind of another level of emotion and feeling.,” said Diggs for an interview in Publisher’s Weekly.

Shane Evans who illustrated “I Love You More,” as well as Diggs’ two other books, also encourages readers to stretch with they read the book.

“At first this was a book about two people, then I started to draw and wanted to see more into these characters’ lives,” said Evans, who is a life-long friend of Diggs. “I know the heart of the author well enough to know he wanted me to present a big vision—that we should know that we are always connected.”

Evans, an award-winning children’s book illustrator and Kansas City resident, will join Diggs in Wichita for the breakfast and a book signing that will follow.

The Read and Rise Breakfast Gala, a celebration of individuals and organizations that are improving the lives of Kansas children through literacy, will be held on Sat., Sept. 8, 7:30 a.m. in the Shirley Beggs Ballroom of the Rhatigan Students Center, Wichita State University. Tickets are $50 per person.

Each year, the event recognizes individuals with Literacy Champion and Literacy Legacy awards.

This year’s honorees are:

Literacy Champion, Dr. Alicia Thompson, Wichita Public Schools,

Literacy Legacy Awards, the Wichita Community Foundation, the Kansas Reading Roadmap and Real Men Real Heroes.

For tickets, call (316) 350-4511. The Read & Rise Breakfast Gala is sponsored by Storytime Village, a Kansas-based, 501(C)3 nonprofit organization that works to help underserved children thrive through partnerships and programs that provide early childhood development, family engagement around reading, access to books and the literary arts.

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