EXPLORING LONDON with Ama and Neri by Peléna Cosme is an exciting new children’s picture book that introduces young black families to the many adventures they can have around the diverse city of London.
Focussed on two sisters affectionately nicknamed Ama and Neri, the sweet siblings aged 5 and 3 go out for a day at London Zoo with mummy whilst daddy works. Going out with more than one child can be daunting and author Pelena wants mothers to gain more confidence through inspiration and sharing information.
Friends and family are always asking me to recommend places to go with their children and I have become an unofficial homegrown tourist guide for them which is amazing.
Encouraging the importance of exploration for health and educational purposes, the story sees big sister Ama come to the rescue of little Neri just before the zoo closes! This charming story comes to life with bright and beautiful illustrations perfect for preschoolers and parents to enjoy. The rhyming style is melodic and memorable to the young listeners.
The book was inspired by author Pelena Cosme’s real life experiences with her two daughters, as an active and outgoing mum she often found herself in spaces such as the zoo, farms, galleries and museums but did not see many Black and Ethnic Minority (BAME) families.
“I decided to parent understanding my personality, as an extrovert being out of the home helps me to think, grow and be inspired. I’ve noticed too that my daughters are confident speaking, are engaged in active learning and are thriving overall the more we explore.”
Pelena touches on a valid point as a study by the Edelman Intelligence in 2016 found that 56% of children from BAME backgrounds spent just one day a week outdoors, compared to 70% of white children. Similarly children from affluent parts of society spend 81% of their time outdoors compared to 61% of children from more deprived areas. Economic factors making a difference in children’s recreation time is unfortunate and more can be done to highlight this fact for the benefit of all children.
Black Pound Day
The book was released on Black Pound Day on Saturday August 1 and already has keen interest from Africa and America via the book’s growing Instagram page which further shows there is still a need for diverse books around the world.
Exploring London with Ama and Neri also recommends top ten London treats – places to go around London that are family friendly and will create fun memories for the entire family. This is something that Pelena says she is used to. “Friends and family are always asking me to recommend places to go with their children and I have become an unofficial homegrown tourist guide for them which is amazing.”
Peléna is a mother of two on a journey of rediscovering herself after motherhood since having her daughters who are 18 months apart. A law graduate who has worked in media, education and charity, Exploring London with Ama and Neri is her first book that she is self-publishing having worked on it for two years. She is also an avid speaker making guest appearances on various community related podcasts, panels and events discussing parenting from a black British perspective, the impact of media on children and much more.
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