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Can this local author’s children’s book change the way we think about family?

Via Danielle Hess, for Beautiful News

On Wednesday, 25 October 2017 Beautiful News released Elena Agnello’s short-film that relooks the chapter on diversity and shows a variety of families through her storybook. To watch the video click here.

In South Africa, only a third of our children are raised in homes with both parents. Agnello from Cape Town, seeks to address the misperceptions and representations by rewriting the script on family diversity.

The mother of one is a children’s book author. Her first book, I Am Alex, was published last year and deals with diversity in family structures. When Agnello had her daughter she was surprised by the uniformity of the homes represented in literature. Having grown up in a household headed by a single mother, she understands the need for kids to see themselves and their unique family structures in the stories they read. “I think it’s vital that we have this conversation with our children,” says Agnello. “I wish that children would be taught more about others and their traditions.”

Her book is set at a birthday party and introduces readers to different families through the characters depicted as guests. Like Agnello, one child at the party has a single parent, while another is being raised by adoptive parents. The point is for kids to feel included in society and to develop a culture of incorporating others into their world views. Families aren’t defined by numbers or the closeness of relatives, but by an environment of care formed between people who love one another.

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