Book inspired by Chesterfield kids killed in fire hopes to 'help ease the pain,' author says

Posted at 5:50 PM, May 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-22 11:35:06-04

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- It has been just over a year since a house fire in Chesterfield killed six people, including four children.

Family friend Vonettia Calloway created a coloring book to honor two of the young lives lost on Glass Road in April 2021.

“Every time I think about it my heart breaks," she said.

Iyah and JuJu
Iyah and JuJu

Calloway created a story with Iyah and JuJu’s personalities, finding a way to put pain into purpose for the whole community to continue to remember them.

She said Juju could be a little defiant, but he was a watcher. She Iyah had a high pitched adorable voice that made you giggle.

 My Color is Coconut.
My Color is Coconut children's coloring book

Calloway said her coloring story book, My Color is Coconut, is based off a conversation Iyah had with her parents and that they later recounted to her.

She said Iyah would say her color was coconut when people asked her what color she is. When they responded that she was caramel or cream, Iyah would then be insistent her color was coconut because coconuts do not have a color, Calloway recalled.

"I feel like was saying so much," Calloway said. "It doesn’t matter where we come, it doesn't matter what our families look like, we are all important and unique."

Calloway surprised the family with the coloring book to help spread some joy and hopes as the community reflects and remembers and they read and color each page.

"The more they spread and share it, I hope it will help ease the pain," she said.

Iyah and JuJu
Iyah and JuJu

Calloway's goal is to get enough books donated to distribute them to all of the children's classmates.

She is also selling them with the funds going to the families. You can purchase one here.

This is a developing story, so anyone with more information can email to send a tip.