Behind the Book: Chiquanda Tillie

Our 1000 followers on Instagram celebration continues today with an interview and giveaway from author and illustrator Chiquanda Tillie of Tickle Me Purple, a company that specializes in ridiculously cute handmade creations.


We recently read Zoey’s World: Search for the Perfect Snack by Chiquanda and Jessica Benjamin. Zoey just came back from a birthday party and she’s in need of a sweet snack. 


Her mom lets her know that she can have a snack, but it must be healthy. Although veggies are a good option, Zoey remembers how sweet fruit can be!

Maya would eat fruit all day long if you let her, so Zoey’s Search was a hit! I’m all for any book that encourages healthy eating. It can be purchased via Amazon as a digital download for just $2.99.

I was thrilled when Chiquanda wanted to send us one of her coloring books. It’s full of adorable illustrations of girls of color with various hairstyles. To take a closer look at the coloring book and to find out how you can win a copy for yourself, head over to our Instagram and Facebook pages for details.

  • What inspired you to become an author?

I was inspired to become an author/illustrator because I felt there was a lack of books that were reflective of me, my family, and friends.  I wanted to become an author/illustrator to create the books that I wanted to see. 

  • What was your favorite book(s) as a child?

My favorite books as a child were the Judy Bloom and Goosebumps book series.  I loved these books and couldn’t wait until a new one was released. 

  • What was the last non-children’s book you read?

 The last non-children’s book that I read was “The Shack” by Williiam Young.

  • What impact would you like for your books to leave on the children’s literature community?

I would like my books to expose the literature community to the many opportunities available in the world.  I would like my books to promote diversity, creativity, and self-empowerment.  I hope that the literature community will feel and experience a sense of worth and love for themselves and others after engaging with my books. 

  • Tell us a random fact about yourself that we wouldn’t know from your website or social media pages.

I’ve taken several cake decorating classes and I used to sculpt custom cakes.  To name a few, I sculpted a Volkswagen Beetle, Converse shoe, designer purse, and a hamburger. 


Many thanks to Chiquanda for being a part of this series! If you’d like to keep up with her work, please visit her Instagram for updates.

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