Inclusive Picture Books for Diverse Young Adventurers
The imperative to increase BIPOC representation within the travel industry inspires new picture book series Aya & Pete, which chronicles the adventures of young Black girl Aya and her stuffed sloth Pete as they explore global cities. It’s a wise time to launch, as parents look for diverse learning sources to supplement kids’ education at home.
The Amazing Adventures of Aya & Pete was created by mother-daughter duo Serena Minott and Asha Gore. Minott cites her own struggles finding picture books with BIPOC heroines as the series’ driving force. “I thought, if I’m looking for these books [with BIPOC protagonists] […] there must be other families out there in the same position,” she told US magazine Travel + Leisure.
The series launched with three books, sharing Aya’s journeys to Paris, London and New York. Each book features illustrations of key sites, as well as mini lessons on the culture and language of each destination. Kids learn about French pastries, the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace, and New York’s Museum of Natural History, among other things. Diverse characters punctuate the illustrations – underlining the fact that Paris, London and New York are rich, multicultural cities.
As we’ve discussed on The Brief, parents are clamouring for books that introduce their kids to diverse cultures and characters. The Aya & Pete series fits into this multicultural family bookshelf, while also introducing children to the idea of travel.
Pre-trip education for kids is a key growth space for the travel industry, and one that’s likely to continue into 2021 as pandemic restrictions continue to stymie travel. For more on introducing children to travel, see Gen Alpha Influences Family Travel.