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Children’s Book Encourages Black Families to Explore London's Hidden Gems

Updated: Mar 11, 2021

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. 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.

Inspiring black families to visit museums and galleries. Illustrated by Rasheed Yahaya-Zekeri.

The book was inspired by author Peléna 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 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.”

Peléna touches on a valid point as a study by the Edelman Intelligence in 2016 found that 56% of children from Black, Asian and Ethnic Minority children 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.

Exploring London Book
Exploring London with Ama and Neri by Pelena Cosme takes you on a journey around London Zoo.

We know how important representation is in encouraging underrepresented groups of people to attend galleries, libraries and museums. Too often Black Brits have commented that they lack an interest in visiting museums, because they have no role models and no interest (Telling it like it is, 2004). With books like Exploring London, we can create a cultural shift in the BAME community, by educating our children of the importance of understanding and contributing to how the past is written.

The book was released on Saturday 1st August, 2020 and already has keen interest from Africa and America via the books growing Instagram page which further shows there is still a need for diverse books around the world.

Communicating through storybooks and sharing the magic of local heritage sites across the country is a wonderful way to introduce children to the history of Britain and can be an entry point for parents discussing how this history relates to the rest of the world.

Peléna Cosme 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. Peléna 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.

Follow the work of Exploring London:

The Exploring London Book will be the perfect treat for little ones this Holiday Season.

Support a black business and buy the book here.


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