Pizza Hut and Karamo Brown encourage families to pick up a relevant book


For 35 years, Pizza Hut has encouraged families and kids to develop a love of reading. With the help of Karamo Brown, that special book could be more relevant.

Do you have a favorite childhood book? For many people, Pizza Hut and its programs to encourage kids and families to read together have sparked a conversation on the importance of literacy, a good book and the lifelong appreciation of reading. This year, the pizza brand’s program tackles another important issue in childhood literacy, diverse representation.

Think about your favorite childhood book. Do the characters look like you, your family or your friends? While current pop culture has made strides over the recent years, some childhood books might not be the best diverse representation of the current cultural climate.

Karamo Brown, the culture expert on Netflix’s Queer Eye, is bringing the idea of diverse representation to the table with his children’s book, I Am Perfectly Designed.  Although this book tackles difficult topics of acceptance and inclusion, the book shows everyone that all people, no matter who they are, can and should be represented on the page.

“Literacy is one of the most fundamental things we can teach children, but the importance falls flat when underrepresented kids aren’t seeing themselves in the characters on the pages,” said Karamo.

Through this partnership between Pizza Hut, First Book and Karamo, kids and families can celebrate all children, families and people. Hopefully, seeing themselves in the story will encourage more children and families to pick up a book and develop an appreciation for the written word.

Over the years, many people haven’t thought about the concept of diversity and inclusion in books. While some kids have pushed aside reading for a variety of reasons, the lack of characters and stories that were representative of their lives and struggles could be part of the problem. By educating and informing everyone that representation matters, a wide-reaching change could be achieved.

Developing an appreciation, and sometimes a passion, for reading can create an emotional connection. It is more than a chore. In many cases, those moments wrapped up in a great book can be the starting blocks to growing positive self-esteem.

But, if that book isn’t relevant to the reader, that sense of pride from reading that book can be lost. As Artie Starrs, Global CEO, Pizza Hut, said, “we fear that love for reading is being stunted because of the lack of representation in books offered to children. Joining forces with Karamo and investing in our partnership with First Book is a powerful opportunity to successfully increase access to diverse children’s books.”

Pizza Hut First Book Bundle promotion, photo provided by Pizza Hut

Now through the end of the year, guests can include First Book donations to any Pizza Hut order. Additionally, guests can purchase a “First Book Bundle at Pizza Hut, where $1 from every bundle purchased will be donated to First Book.” These donations will be used to fund grants to purchase culturally relevant books.

Since so many kids and families love Friday night pizza, why not turn that weekly dinner into a reading event, too. Whether it is reading a simple children’s book, a chapter from a longer book, or just having a discussion about your favorite book, it can be the perfect vehicle to spark an interest in literature.

Small gestures can spark big change. Just, like Karamo’s book, everyone and everything is perfectly designed.

The First Book Bundle is available through Pizza Hut. Karamo Brown’s children’s book, I Am Perfectly Designed, is available at various retailers.

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The written page might be two dimensional but it should represent the colorful, diverse and complex world around us. Are you ready to open a book to that perfectly designed world?