UNICEF launches Children First! Storybooks a collection of six books that promote reading and inspire children’s imagination. Written in Filipino and English text for children ages three and above, the books talk about different topics such as overcoming shyness, cultivating friendships, and reaching for one’s dreams. The stories are presented in colourful illustrations to fire up children’s sense of curiosity and wonder.
Child development experts cite the numerous benefits of a healthy imagination in growing children. By thinking creatively, putting oneself in someone else’s shoes and learning how to express themselves, children grow up to become better problem solvers, have higher self-esteem and have a better understanding of the feelings of others. These are all important in the early years when children begin learning about social, emotional, language and thinking skills which lay the foundation for the child’s future health, happiness, and development.
“Children learn language quickly and easily through hearing and singing songs, having stories told or read to them, repeating rhymes and playing games. Having a supportive environment in these early years will help children get ready for school and life-long learning,” said Lotta Sylwander, UNICEF Philippines Representative.
Written and illustrated by some of the most notable Filipino writers and artists, the collection also includes the storybook Anita, The Duckling Diva written by UNICEF Celebrity Advocate for Children Anne Curtis. Anita, The Duckling Diva tells the story of how one little duckling overcomes her shyness with the help of her family and friends.
“I’m very happy to have written my first children’s book, which I hope can help children particularly with their self-confidence and self-esteem,” Curtis said. “I believe that children should be given all the emotional and moral support they need as they grow so they can express themselves with confidence and explore their full talent.”
Apart from teaching important lessons to children, the books also contain a child-friendly version of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), as well as internet safety reminders for young people. Proceeds from the book will benefit UNICEF’s programs for children in the Philippines and around the world.
The Children First! Storybooks launch was made possible through the support of SM North EDSA and SM Cares. Visit the Children First! Storybooks Illustrations Exhibit at the 3rd level, The Block, SM North EDSA in Quezon City from February 20 to 25, 2016 and get the entire collection of Children First! Storybooks by donating to UNICEF.
For more details on UNICEF’s work and programs, visit www.unicef.ph.