This Assam author’s book teaches kids about race, size and gender inclusion

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Journalist, writer and IsMojo contributor Pritisha Borthakur is the author of the book Mural of the family stories of Puhor and Niyor named after his twin sons – Puhor and Niyor.

The book was released in September 2021 and has already sold over 9,000 copies, including over 5,000 copies sold in Australia, the United States, the United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates. The second edition of the book is on the way and the Sahitya Sabha plans to translate the book into Assamese and other regional languages ​​soon.

Published by Author’s Channel, ‘Puhor and Niyor’s Mural of Family Stories’ is a 1,404-word children’s book that was designed to address a new kind of societal debacle in the family system. The aim is to teach children that the family can exist in different forms and to show them how to accept the diversity of family backgrounds.

Borthakur came up with the idea to write the book after realizing that whenever she was looking for new books for her children or to gift to other children, she was struck by the number of children’s books that depicted families. traditional one-dimensional.

Being surrounded by close friends and family with young children who don’t look like this, Borthakur decided to write something for multicultural families or families with third culture children; they are adoptive or blended families, homoparental or single-parent families, careers.

“It’s the incredible tapestry reality of the world we live in. Their homes are filled with as much love as any other home, and my goal for this book is for every child to see their own family on these pages and knowing that – even though their family may look or do things differently – they have a place where they belong,” says Borthakur.

The book was written for a global audience and is aimed at children aged five to ten. It is embellished with colorful images of families of different types to appeal to children’s sense of sight and get the message across at the same time.

“I believe children are the best place to start because the ages between five and 10 are the most formative, where toddlers acquire habits, beliefs, and perceptions. With this book, I’m not trying to take away the work of parents in forming habits. I just want to do my part as a parent,” says Borthakur. It is important that we pass on the right values ​​to our children in order to build a better global society, more inclusive and tolerant that is fair to all, she adds.

Borthakur has received impressive reviews for his book from prominent figures in the field of literature, arts and children’s welfare. According to author Kula Saikia, recipient of Sahitya Akademy Award and President of Assam Sahitya Sabha, writing a children’s book covering such diverse topics in a simple manner is not easy.

“Borthakur’s book, ‘Puhor and Niyor’s Mural of Family Stories’, about different types of families, celebrates the uniqueness of various family situations in a way that is accessible and relevant to young children. Not only will they be able to see themselves in the book if they are part of a non-traditional family, but they will learn about the variety of families and all the kinds of love that can be shared within a family unit,” says Saïkia. .

“The single striking feature of the illustrated book is the simplicity of style. No attempt has been made to complicate the issues by unnecessary elaboration. Complex questions are to be answered at a later date when they mature. This book must be read by everyone, including adults,” he adds.

Poet, novelist, Sahitya Akademy award winner, Rita Chowdhury thinks it’s high time we introduced our children to inclusive books. “Most children will assume that the combination of parents, grandparents and siblings in their household is the default for everyone, until they have examples to understand that families are of varying sizes and types Diversity books help to establish that difference is not negative Diversity adds color and uniqueness to our lives and society and it is something we should all embrace and celebrate,” says Chowdhury.

“When we talk about the things that make us unique, we identify commonalities across cultures, race, abilities or religion – which allows us to shift our conversations about diversity to the things that unite us, rather than divide us,” she adds. .

Child rights activist, founder of UTSAH, Miguel Queah, who works actively with children and for their rights, found the subject of the book close to his heart, declares: “Beyond race, gender, color and ethnicity that have formed the basis of discrimination since the beginning of time, this book aims to shed light on a largely ignored issue. Borthakur emphasizes the need to understand that the diversity of people and families is what makes the world beautiful and colorful.

“The Family Story Mural of Puhor and Niyor” is a firm yet compassionate statement against all forms of discrimination based on sexual identity, gender, race and even differences of origin. It is a much-needed book that should be translated into as many regional languages ​​as possible, adds the activist.

About the book – ‘The fresco of the family stories of Puhor and Niyor’

The Puhor and Niyor Family Story Mural begins with an introduction to Puhor and Niyor, two brothers making a mural, telling the stories of different families. It begins with the presentation of Puhor and Niyor’s family as being a nuclear family, with a mother and a father. These twins demonstrate that there are all kinds of families (children with two mothers, two fathers, a single mother, a multiracial family unit, foster family, adopted children, pet parents, etc.) none more important than another, and all are beautiful in their own unique way. The story progresses by adding an illustration of each unique story to the mural.

The next family story begins with Ron, who has two fathers. His family adds an image of them picnicking in the park on a sunny day to the mural. Illiana has two moms, much like Ron with his two dads. Both of her mothers work in the community, volunteer at shelters and more. Elvis’ parents are of mixed ethnicity. Sahel is adopted. He is Israeli but his adoptive parents are Chinese. They learned Israeli to teach Saheil about his origins and also taught him Chinese and English. Demetria and Isaac are the children of a transgender couple. They are very active in the community educating others on how to live a healthy life. Although they were shy at first, the community now loves Demetria and Isaac’s parents after getting to know them.

Ultimately, the small community made up of different types of unique families, learn from each other about different types of people every day and don’t judge others based on their race, gender, sexual identity. , their disability or anything else. They embrace their differences and paint a beautifully colored mural that is as beautiful and colorful as the community itself.

Get a copy of Mural of the family stories of Puhor and Niyor here.

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