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Tuesday, May 28, 2019

More Diversity Needed in Animations and Books for Children

Big Kid by Janice Robinson-Celeste


NationwideSuccessful Black Parenting magazine is diving into the world of animation and is featuring cartoons with original stories and some familiar rhymes for children, but there’s one catch, all of the animations feature families of color. “There is a lack of diversity in the animation world,” says Janice Robinson-Celeste, Publisher of Successful Black Parenting magazine, who is a former teacher with a degree in early childhood education. “Many of the animations created empower children and teach them life skills, while others are traditional nursery rhymes that encourage repetition and call and response from children.”

The idea behind the animations is to give children pride in seeing images that are like them on-screen — representation matters. “Our first test was to produce an African-American Finger Family cartoon,” said Robinson-Celeste. The test went well and the Finger Family can be seen on the Ethnic Animations YouTube channel doing the popular dance, The Floss, between choruses.

According to Robinson-Celeste, all of the animations have companion children’s books. The first book produced is Big Kid coming out this summer. Big Kid, as the cover suggests, is about making small children feel powerful in a big, big world. “Children go through so much and with Big Kid, they can pretend to be as big as an elephant or a dinosaur to help them manage a scary moment,” said Robinson-Celeste. The book uses a public speaking technique to empower children to have courage. “Anyone can watch and learn from our books and animations,” said Robinson-Celeste.

Successful Black Parenting/Ethnic Animations is now a full publishing company. “We have several more animations being released at the end of the year,” said Robinson-Celeste. A new animation has just been released titled, Miles’ Stuffy Nose which teaches toddlers how to blow their nose. “Do you know how difficult it can be to teach a two-year-old how to blow his or her nose?” said Robinson-Celeste. “This animation and book will help parents.” Ethnic Animations creates one new animation each month, the animation that is currently in production teaches toddlers not to bite.

The only way to experience the cartoons is through Ethnic Animation’s YouTube channel. “It is my hope that anyone who ever wished for more ethnic imagery and diversity in books and on-screen will subscribe to our channel. That way they will be notified as we release new projects.”

Be sure to follow Ethnic Animations on YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

Learn more about the magazine at SuccessfulBlackParenting.com

Learn more about Ethnic Animations by visiting www.EthnicAnimations.com


Janice Robinson-Celeste