About STTB Header updated

From the beginning,

Story To Tell Books

has been a family company.


Deanna was frustrated by the lack of children’s books that featured children of color.  As a result, she turned a note that she wrote to Zephaniah and Zion into a picture book that would eventually become I am A Boy of Color.  Almost immediately, she was asked to write a companion to the first book for girls, which is how I am a Girl of Color came into existence.   

Before the first printed book arrived, Deanna and Justin had a conversation about the potential for impact with their children Zephaniah and Zion.  They all agreed that they wanted the books to help elevate other work that was being done in this area.  They decided that they wanted to be a part of a greater movement.  So, they committed to finding ways to partner with others, including donating profits from the book sales to other organizations also working to promote positive images of children of color.

Over the years, as the company has grown, they have been able to make significant contributions, raise awareness, and continue to produce high-quality products.

get to know Zion and Zephaniah...

ZionZion Singh Ponder

Zion Singh Ponder (8) is proud to be the co-chairman of Story To Tell Books.  Zion loves reading, writing, swimming, gymnastics, and performing.  In addition to working on a new chapter book, he also spends his time on stage! During the summer of 2019, he performed in Mago De Oz in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, and in the Fall of 2019, he was in Milwaukee Youth Theater’s Aladdin and was the youngest member of Black Arts MKE 2019 Black Nativity cast.   Zion also sang in the choir of the official “We Are the World” remake.  Zion believes that everybody is equal, and that should be reflected in our reality!

ZephZephaniah Singh Ponder

Zephaniah Singh Ponder (12) is grateful that he is able to co-lead Story To Tell Books.  Zephaniah loves acting, reading, building, swimming, and traveling. In addition to running Story To Tell Books, he also has extensive theater credits.  His work includes First Stage’s Mockingbird; Judy Moody; and Nate the Great, and starring in Snowy Day; Black Arts MKE’s Black Nativity (2016-2019), starring in Aladdin with Milwaukee Youth Theatre, and voice-over in the award-winning documentary “The Point Is”.  Zephaniah believes that everyone has good inside of themselves, it just takes work to find it!

What are people saying?


How do I help change the narrative? 


Right now, while children of color make up more than 50% of our school age children they are featured in less than 14% of books.  As the author of three children’s books, I am a Boy of Color, I am a Girl of Color, and Cloth Crown, Deanna is often asked, what can I do to help change the narrative? We - parents, educators and communities - can change that reality through some very simple steps! 

Here are some suggestions to get you started! 

  • Ask teachers, librarians, and bookstores to stock books that reflect children of different ethnic backgrounds.  That simple request is often all they need to add more diverse books to their collection!  

  • Follow organizations and We Need Diverse Books for recommendations about what you could be purchasing for the children in your life.

  • Consider a subscription with a company like Just Like Me Box, that focuses on providing diverse books to children!

  • Reach out to book stores like Fulton Street Books & Coffee that feature work from diverse backgrounds.  


Please take some time to check out the actual books and, hopefully, they spark up some conversations with YOUR family!

Lets see the books