Enid And Her Two Mums author Jessica Skogstad wrote a little children’s book with a big message for everyone.
“It's crucial for us to teach kids to accept each other and embrace diversity," says Melbourne English teacher and author of Enid And Her Two Mums, Jessica Skogstad. “People aren't born discriminating against others. That ugly trait is taught.”
Jessica wrote the story for her niece, Quorra, who has two mums. “The push to write the book was when my niece started asking why the other kids have dads and she doesn't. On top of that, I had ordered one of those books where they include your child's name in the story. And Quorra's arrived and was all about Quorra and her dad.”
Struggling to find a story that reflected Quorra’s own family, Jessica decided to write one herself. ”My sister loves the book and was so happy when I wrote it. It's kind of a tribute to her family and reminds her that her family is perfect the way it is.”
Written in a simple rhyming scheme and beautifully illustrated by Tara Reynolds, the story follows Enid’s walk to school as it turns into a journey of discovery and acceptance.
Questioning why her family looks different to what she considers normal, Enid learns that families come in all shapes and sizes and finally concludes that differences are OK, because what makes a family is love.
Whilst the book is aimed at younger children, Jessica says it’s good for encouraging conversations at all ages. “I read it to my one and a half year old son and four year old niece. But my cousins that are around ten found it good to read on their own.”
Released in paperback in December, “the reaction to the book has been mostly positive. It's so heart-warming to hear about how much it has meant to so many families that read it to their kids!”
Jessica believes the government has an important role to play in teaching kids about acceptance and diversity. “For kids to realise all families are equal, then all families need equal human rights. It's completely insane that this is still even an issue! I don't want my niece to ever feel like she is "different", but when the law prohibits her family structure from uniting in a practice as common (as marriage), of course she will question why her family seems different.
Published for Kindle and in paperback by Melbourne company, Aly's Books, you can buy copies of Enid And Her Two Mums direct from Jessica’s website, which offers signed or unsigned copies and free shipping worldwide, or through Book Depository, Amazon & Barnes and Noble.
Images courtesy of Jessica Skogstag.