This week’s pick is different from most of my previous selections but for good reason. I’m taking a quick break from bridal items to highlight the hard work of a colleague turned good friend, Patrik Henry Bass. Patrik’s latest literary creation, The Zero Degree Zombie Zone, includes riveting illustrations by Jerry Craft and chronicles the fictional life of a shy fourth-grader named Bakari Katari Johnson.

Why is this a (very) big deal? Patrik delivers a book filled with fun, fantasy and friendship; an action-packed adventure starring an African American boy hero and his classmates. We can all agree that these types of characters are rare and needed in the current literary space. Those of you who follow Triple B know that I’m a huge proponent of children’s literacy. Many of you are preparing your children (or grandchildren) for a new school year and others like me have nieces, nephews, godchildren and other young people in our lives who can greatly benefit from this book. My parents went out of their way to read to me regularly and sought out books that contained characters who looked like me — no easy feat in the late 70s and 80s. There’s no way to know for sure, but I believe I’m a better woman for it. is offering the paperback version of The Zero Degree Zombie Zone for just over six bucks and the Kindle version (probably what most youngsters prefer) for just over five dollars. Remember, whether it is an old school hardcover or paperback book or a digital device, reading is still fundamental and images are far more powerful than we realize.

P.S.- Books can make cool gifts for flower girls and ring bearers!