Father writes book with unlikely author By Bobbi Booker The Philadelphia Tribune

Born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Yanatha Desouvre is a bestselling author whose first name is Hebrew for “Moses” and his last, French for “river.” As the middle child of five, Desouvre grew up in Brooklyn and Philadelphia and learned early on the value of education. Today, he is a father of two daughters, and is expecting a third child this summer. His wife and him have decided to now know their latest child’s gender until birth.

It was the birth of the couple’s second daughter — and the hundreds of pictures they took — that spurred the idea of a children’s book written from an older sibling’s perspective. With just a few words, four-and-a-half-year-old authoress Reanna Desouvre expressed the deep love that is felt between sisters in her first book entitled, “Big Sister, Little Sister” (CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, $9.99).

“Big Sister, Little Sister” came about from December 2011 to March 2013, when I was compiling a bunch of pictures. I was sitting on my MacBook Pro, Reanna was sitting with me and with each picture she dictated the story,” said Desouvre. “From the first picture at birth to a day in the park, I type out everything she told me. And, it was fun.”

The author’s efforts for children’s literacy is further encouraged by LeVar Burton’s current Kickstarter campaign to bring Reading Rainbow’s expansive digital library to schools for free. Like Burton, Desourve hopes to help more children embrace the power of books, as 1 in 4 children in America grow up without learning how to read.

“My parents were always about education, both formal and informal education in Haiti and the United States,” he said. “My grandfather told my mother that education is something that can never, ever be taken away from you. Money can be taken away from you, but knowledge and information cannot be taken away at all. One of the things that we did with (our oldest child) Reanna was started in a Montessori program because everything is a teachable moment and reenforces what we teach at home.”

In addition to his constant writing and continued studies, Desouvre is a seasoned IT professional who has created several successful mobile apps for iOS devices such as the iPad, iPhone and iPod touches app and Android devices. They are: “Pre-K Math,” “Proud to be Haitian,” “Proud to be Jewish,” “Kids Eat Free HD,” “Pocket Poetry” and “i love my dog.”

Last year, Desouvre was part of WURD Summer of Freedom Tour 2013 and earlier performed at the World Cafe Live in Saul Williams “Chorus” Spoken Word World Tour in September 2012. His theme of “Positively Impacting Your Life by Empowering Others” was the core message in his National Poetry Month Workshop tour at The West Palm Beach, Delray Beach and Boynton Beach City Libraries in 2011, and he recently hosted the Poet Cafe workshop for the West Palm Beach Library community to participate in the end of the Adult Summer Reading Program. In the past three years he’s been hand selected to perform at three major Spoken Word Poetry Showcases that featured the best Spoken Word Poets of Florida. He’s also the co-executive producer of the album that successfully blends hip-hop, rock, R&B, soul and the art of spoken word poetry entitled “JuSill Presents: Street Poetry hosted by Cierra the Midday Goddess” available through the Apple iTunes store.

For more information, visit www.yanatha.com.


Contact Tribune Staff Writer Bobbi Booker at (215) 893-5749 or bbooker@phillytrib.com.