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Episode 6
August 20, 2021

Ty’s Travels: Interview with Kelly Starling Lyons and Nina Mata

In this episode, Charnaie chats books with author Kelly Starling Lyons and illustrator Nina Mata. Listen to find out what the inspiration behind the Ty’s Travels series was and learn the upcoming projects both Kelly and Nina are working on. Kelly Starling Lyons is a founding member of The Brown Bookshelf ( Her acclaimed picture books include Ellen’s Broom, Going Down Home with Daddy, and Sing a Song: How “Lift Every Voice and Sing” Inspired Generations. Kelly attended Syracuse University, where she earned a B.A. in African-American Studies, as well as her M.S. in Magazine Journalism.

Nina Mata is a New York Times bestselling illustrator and received her degree from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. She has illustrated many books, including American gymnast Laurie Hernandez’s She’s Got This, NBA superstar LeBron James’s I Promise, and the Ty’s Travels I Can Read series. Nina currently lives in New Jersey with her husband, their daughter, and Tabitha, their cat. Visit her online at