in children's literature
In March 2020, as birthday parties, recitals, field trips, and other activities were being canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Aaliyah Hall decided to make a contribution to her community. Driven by a desire to create something that would happen EVERY day for kids—something that wouldn’t be canceled, something to look forward to with excitement—the then 9-year-old launched Dreamland with Aaliyah.
Dreamland with Aaliyah is the increasingly popular storytime event on Facebook Live where the effervescent Aaliyah reads stories of hope and inspiration to children and their families every single night. She intentionally chooses books, stories, authors, characters, and organizations that support her vision of representation in children’s stories.
In addition to the curated stories, Aaliyah seeks philanthropic opportunities to support organizations that are committed to supporting social change. After raising nearly $5,000 for No Kid Hungry and Moms of Black Boys United for Social Change, she hosted her most ambitious project to-date: an hour-long read-a-thon to honor BIPOC (Black Indigenous People of Color) Mental Health Awareness Month. She exceeded her donation goal of $5,000 to support the organization that is “committed to showing up for communities of color…with a particular focus on Black women and girls.”
Support for Dreamland
Aaliyah is supported by her 6-year-old sister, Ava Hall, who helps run SisterSister Studios, the home-based headquarters for the production. Aaliyah has gone live on holidays, “on location” from her family adventures, and even on her own birthday. She’s interviewed authors and community members and she has been interviewed by social media influencers like BlackBabyBooks.com.
Simultaneous with the growing popularity of the series, friends, family—and people who Aaliyah has never met before—have asked how they can show support. Aaliyah responded by creating a philanthropic component to her work and the response has been tremendous! Feeling truly inspired herself, Aaliyah plans to continue raising awareness and resources because she deeply believes that #representationmatters. She intentionally chooses books, stories, authors, characters, and organizations that support her vision.
Praise for Dreamland by Mixed•ish Actress, Mykal-Michelle Harris
Aaliyah was Tinkergarten's Reader-in-Residence, summer 2020
Aaliyah & her father, David, in a segment on the Drew Barrymore Show
At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, Aaliyah began reading a story every night on Facebook. Her topics have ranged from classic storytime books to ones that focus on contemporary themes and current happenings, including the celebration of Ramadan, Juneteenth, Earth Day, Pride month, Harvey Milk, Malcolm X, and Rosa Parks. She personally chooses books that allow her to thread important themes throughout her Facebook Live events—themes such as the importance of gender diversity, friendship, racial justice, mindfulness, and hope.
View Aaliyah's reading list of her first 150 books!
Connect with Dreamland!
The hub for all things 'Dreamland'! Rewatch Aaliyah's favorite storytime evenings from 2020, see Aaliyah and her family being interviewed by news outlets, and share her Kwanzaa 2020 videos with your loved ones!
Join our Dreamland team on Instagram for weekly inspiration, book recommendations, resources for kids and their families, and encouragement to keep dreaming and taking action for a better world.
Rewatch Aaliyah's 2020 nightly storytime videos & find uplifting resources and articles to support a diverse, representative collection of stories for your children, and anti-racist, pro-liberation parenting.