During the pandemic the academic and social losses were huge, including the opportunity to connect with other people who are similar and not like you.
The latest venture by American singer, songwriter and actress Tori Kelly aims to inspire reading through diversity.
Kelly, who became famous in the ninth season American idol and has two Grammy Awards, recently released a children’s book called “Curly Girl Blues” for children who, like her as a child, feel different from the rest of the crowd. At the center of the book is a girl named Emma, whose hair is different from her peers. Throughout the book and with the help of music Emma learns to appreciate and celebrate her hair.
“I wanted to inspire other kids to accept what makes them unique and love themselves,” Kelly says, explaining that she felt like a stranger until sixth grade when her mom taught her to love her own curly hair.
“Growing up, there weren’t a lot of Disney characters like me. Now I am in a position where I can contribute and help children see themselves in mass culture, ”Kelly explains.
Music in reading
As a child, reading was an important part of Kelly’s life. Her parents read to her regularly, flipping through pages of favorite children’s stories such as “The Tree That Gives” and “The Hungry Caterpillar.”
It was important for Kelly that her book was just as lesson-based, but that the music in it was significant. When Emma develops this blues with curly hair, she bursts into song. Kelly explains that it allows parents to engage with their children while reading.
“There are a lot of similarities between thinking about how to read something and writing music,” says Kelly. “It’s about how something sounds, so I was also focused on that when I read the book aloud. I want parents to be able to sing to their children while reading. ”
By sharing her own story through Emma’s prism, Kelly hopes to give the children a hero they can see themselves on, and induce self-esteem.
“I hope the kid reading this feels a little less lonely and a little more loved,” Kelly says. “I would be happy if only one child feels less lonely and understands that they are seeing him.”