Comedian, actor, producer, and bestselling author Tiffany Haddish is making her first foray into the children’s book scene with her debut picture book, Layla, the Last Black Unicorn, due out from HarperCollins Children’s Books on May 10, 2022. In addition, two middle grade novels, co-written with Paula Chase, are slated to follow in winter 2023 and winter 2024.
Haddish made her breakout performance in Girls Trip. Her film and TV credits also include The Last O.G., Night School, The Carmichael Show, and Keanu. Her debut stand-up special, Tiffany Haddish: She Ready! From the Hood to Hollywood!, premiered on Showtime in August 2017, and later that year, she became the first Black female stand-up comedian to host Saturday Night Live.
Co-written by Jerdine Nolen and illustrated by Jessica Gibson, Layla, the Last Black Unicorn tells the story of a unicorn who doesn’t quite fit in with the rest of her kind and struggles to recognize how special she is.
Haddish said in a statement, “It’s no secret that when I was growing up, I had a lot of difficulties learning to read. Like many kids, more than anything, I wanted to see myself in the books I read. Layla, the Last Black Unicorn is a story about self-acceptance, and a story that I hope inspires kids to be ready to step up and stand out. Layla is incredibly close to my heart, and I can’t wait to share this book, along with my two middle grade novels, with the world, and I hope they encourage more kids to read.”
Byrd Leavell and Albert Lee at UTA sold world rights for Layla and Haddish’s two middle grade novels to David Linker, executive editor at HarperCollins Children’s Books.
Linker said, “I couldn’t be more thrilled to help bring Tiffany’s irreverent sense of humor and inimitable storytelling sensibilities to the world of children’s books. Tiffany’s as hilarious as she is inspiring, and I think kids are going to come to these books for the laughs but walk away having learned a lot about what it means to be ready.”