It is “vital” for youngsters to be taught that their ambitions should not be shaped by their background, the author of a children’s book has said.
Esther Marshall, who has written Sophie Says I Can, I Will, has said that she was motivated to write the book after she noticed while reading to her son “that all of the books were heavily focused on male role models”.
She is currently trying to raise £10,000 to supply more than 2,000 copies of the book to vulnerable children and children of key workers and has raised over £6,000 so far.
Marshall said: “I just think it is vital for young children to know from a young age that they can do what they want, it doesn’t matter about their background.”
She added: “It doesn’t matter your gender, your race, your religion, your class, you can go out there and do what you want to do.
“That is why what we tried to do in the book is bring in all kinds of diversity so that any child can look up to any form of role model.”
She added that the characters that children look up to do not necessarily have to be “a white male or white female”.
Last month the author attended an event with The Queen’s Commonwealth Trust where she discussed the book with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
She said that they were “totally behind” the project.
“They were like, ‘this is so important, there isn’t stuff out there like this’,” Marshall added.
“I gave them a book for Archie, they said they loved it and they would take it.”
Sophie Says I Can, I Will is aimed at children between the ages of three and nine and is an empowering story of a girl going on an adventure with her bunny.