Need a break from the summer swelter? How about a little Christmas in July? Give a listen to a special audio version of I’m Dreaming of a Brown Christmas, a children’s book released last year by City Dads Group contributor Vernon D. Gibbs II.
People who supported the Kickstarter campaign to help Gibbs publish the book received a link recently to a reading of Brown Christmas by Emmy Award-winning actor and notable voiceover actor Keith David. David’s extensive acting resume includes Greenleaf on the OWN Network, TV and streaming’s Community, Armageddon, The Princess and the Frog, and the upcoming Jordan Peele movie Nope.
The recording was produced for the Tell Me a Bedtime Story podcast, hosted by Dr. Lori James of the James M. Dixon Foundation for Alzheimer’s Research.
Gibbs’ father suggested his son send the book to David. The two had recently had a chance meeting through some business ventures, according to Gibbs.
“Keith recommended it for the podcast because he liked it so much,” Gibbs wrote in a text interview with City Dads. “He already had a connection with the foundation and they had been looking for him to do some readings for them and he really liked this book and its message.”
I’m Dreaming of a Brown Christmas, a full-color picture book, is inspired by the classic song “White Christmas.” The story focuses on the holiday from the point of view of a young African-American boy.
Brown Christmas is Gibbs’ second children’s book. The northern New Jersey-based at-home father of three also wrote When Good Fruit Goes Bad in 2020. That book recounts a rebellion of past-its-prime fruit at a grocery store for a tale about healthy food choices and finding one’s inner worth.
Gibbs produced both books with his cousin, illustrator Steve Gray. Gray composed and performed the music in the audio version of Brown Christmas.