Librarians, educators and book festival panelists are calling for more diverse picture books to reflect the changing face of America, at a time when, according to Pew Research Center, “half of Americans younger than 5 were minorities in 2013… ”.
Characters Engage Books wholeheartedly support these aims and have now published “Color Teds: Tia Needs New Friends”. This e-book is the first in the “Color Teds” picture book series for 3 to 5 year olds, featuring the adventures of 8 young ethnically diverse teddy bears.
About the Color Teds
Color Teds come in many beautiful colors, just like kids.
These teddy bears have been designed to reflect the backgrounds of all young readers, be they black, white, Hispanic, Asian, Pacific Islander, Native American, or of mixed heritage. According to African American co-author Michele Hunt, “seeing their own ethnicity reflected in little protagonists makes kids feel that they matter. It also makes it easier for them to identify with our cuddly characters.”
Children can relate to their stories too, because this teddy bear world is very much like their own, and the Color Teds experience the same things kids go through.
About the book
The theme of the first book in the Color Teds series is “belonging”, and young teddy bear Tia is moving to a new home. Leaving her best buddy Ben behind is difficult enough, but Tia also has to overcome her shyness, and a language barrier, before she manages to make new friends. In the end her new pals, and a wonderful surprise, make Tia’s new home feel like home again. “Tia Needs New Friends” addresses some of the fears children face when they have to move, and helps them understand that finding new buddies isn’t always easy. But Tia’s perseverance and willingness to communicate, despite her shyness, are meant to encourage kids. If a shy little teddy bear can make new friends, so can they! Tia’s new pals also set a wonderful example. They accept others with a button-eyed colorblindness that lays the foundation for all future Color Teds stories.
An entertainment brand for change
Although the Color Teds are making their debut in a picture book, they were also designed for an animated series, a video game, a virtual reality, toys, greeting cards, and for character based licensing, to spread their message as widely as possible.
In a nation where diverse characters are still greatly under represented in the entertainment
sector, these teddy bears hope to add a little color, the cute and cuddly way.
The first Color Teds e-book is available at: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B016P77QMG
To find out more about the Color Teds, please visit their website: http://www.colorteds.com/
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