BBC Online Coverage

Strong and Mighty Max Edition Two features on the BBC online website. Jahmani Swanson, Harlem Globe Trotter basketball endorses the children’s story on his visit to UK schools in November 2019. To see the short clip on the BBC news website, click here.

BBC Midlands Today

BBC Midland’s Today visited St Gabriel’s Academy Primary School in Rugby to film Jahmani Swanson, basketball sensation. Jahmani, otherwise known as ‘mani love’ (on his Instagram account) flew all the way to the UK from New York to inspire young people to believe in themselves and to ‘dream big’. Jahmani endorsed children’s story ‘Strong and Mighty Max’, edition two, and visited schools and a basketball club in Coventry during his short visit.

To watch the news report that aired on BBC Midlands on the 13th November 2019, click here


Jahmani Swanson, plays basketball for the Harlem Globe Trotters in New York and has become an internet sensation as he achieved his dreams of becoming a basketball star despite being born with dwarfism. Jahmani, is also known as Mani Love and ‘mini Michael Jordan’ as he measures just 4’5”.

Whilst in the Midlands he will be motivating children to celebrate their differences. His visit will endorse the writing of local author Kristina Gray, whose children’s story ‘Strong and Mighty Max’, features a character who was born with achondroplasia, the same form of dwarfism as Jahmani. The book encourages children to ‘dream big’ and to be kind to others who are born different. The moral lesson is that the size of your heart is what matters and not your physical height.

Kristina Gray’s son was also born with achondroplasia and attends, St Gabriel’s C of E Academy in Houlton, Rugby. She is excited that local primary school children are getting the opportunity to meet a global star.

“Jahmani’s visits to Rugby and Coventry will encourage children to dream big, whatever challenge or difference they may face. Just seeing Mani achieve his dreams at playing basketball against all the odds in very motivating for young people. It is also so important to encourage children to have a growth mindset and the value of kindness, especially with the rise of mental health issues young people face. My hope is that this message will be far reaching and I am so thrilled that edition two of Strong and Mighty Max alongside the #choosekindaward is being placed in 36 primary schools across Coventry and Warwickshire” (Kristina Gray, Author of Strong and Mighty Max.)

Jahmani will be based at St Gabriel’s Academy Houlton on the 13th November to run basketball workshops with the children and to help launch a #choosekind award for local primary schools across Coventry and Warwickshire. He will also be at Broad Heath Primary School for the day on the 14th of November to inspire children to ‘dream big’ and to celebrate their differences.

To watch Mani Love’s latest Instagram video, click here.

Strong and Mighty Max Edition Two- BBC Coventry & Warwickshire

BBC Coventry & Warwickshire produced a short video for their Facebook page to explain Strong and Mighty Max, edition two in just over 60 Seconds. To watch the video, click here.

BBC4 Documentary to feature Strong and Mighty Max

BBC4 will broadcast a documentary which features Strong and Mighty Max on the 20th August 9-10pm

Strong and Mighty Max will feature as part of the BBC4 documentary exploring the history of people with dwarfism through the arts.

In this visually evocative film, Richard Butchins will explore a hidden chapter in the history of art, revealing how the depiction of people with dwarfism in painting, sculpture and photography speaks volumes about society’s shifting attitudes towards disability.

 Strong and Mighty Max Book Cover

This short film focuses on art, but it will say much about the social history of people with disability and how they were viewed, and it will bring important new voices into the debate, featuring the untold historical memoirs of court dwarfs, the rarely heard voices of artists with dwarfism and the fresh perspectives of academics today. Source: What Larks TV

The Broadcast date is 20th August 9-10pm

Celebrity endorsements for edition two of Strong and Mighty Max

Sporting celebrities Ellie Simmonds and Jahmani Swanson have both agreed to endorse edition two of Strong and Mighty Max.

Ellie is a British Paralympian Swimmer who was born with achondroplasia like Max. She has become famous around the world for her Paralympic success, competing in S6 swimming events. She made her debut on the world stage at the age of 13, when she competed for Great Britain in the 2008 summer Paralympics in Beijing, winning two Gold medals. Her success continued in 2012 at the London Paralympics when she won another two Golds, including setting a World Record in the 400m freestyle. The most recent Paralympics held in Rio in 2016 Ellie went on to win another Gold, this time setting a world record for the 200m medley.

Ellie continues to be a great role model for young people, and plays a vital role as patron of the Dwarf Sports Association (DSA) where she spurs young people on to achieve their dreams in competitive sport.

Jahmani Swanson, otherwise known as Mani Love, became famous for his skills and talent on the basketball court. In 2017 he signed with the Harlem Globetrotters. Born with dwarfism, like Max, he is 4-foot-5 inches tall and is arguably the shortest professional basketball player in the world.

Both Ellie and Jahmani feature as positive role models in the learning activities at the back of the book, and you can learn more about their success by watching the videos which feature in the learn section of this site.

Edition Two of Strong and Mighty Max will be available later this year from online retailers: and The book will also be available as an e-book which can be downloaded from amazon. To register your interest in the second edition of this children’s story, click here.