Meet Willow Willpower
Our founding editor, Sarah Cannata, has signed a global publishing deal with eco-friendly publisher, blOOturtle. Sarah’s picture book, Willow Willpower, will be released soon and here, she tells her story about how Willow Willpower came to be.
Inspiring kids to believe change is possible
Willow Willpower dreams big. She idolises Amelia Earhart, the first women ever to fly solo around the Atlantic Ocean. When Willow’s mother takes her to the museum, Willow dreams about becoming a pilot so that she can fly all around the world. Willow knows that with willpower and hard work, anything is possible.
As kids, we shape our opinions of the world from what surrounds us. When we head down to our local library or bookstore, many of us are faced with these issues when sifting through the children’s section:
- Gender stereotypes that ultimately, have an impact on what children believe is possible in terms of their career and futures
- Downright sexism that teach children that unacceptable behaviour and assumptions are okay
- Gender imbalance thanks to a lack of strong female characters who carry the story flying solo
- A lack of diversity
We’re only scratching the surface here and while these truths may be uncomfortable, change is possible but it requires every single one of us to do our bit. Consider this, a 2011 study of 20th Century children’s books found that on average, no more than one third of children’s books featured central characters who were adult women or female animals, in each year. Gender bias is real and we can do better than this!
The first Willow Willpower picture book will be available to purchase soon. We hope that you can support Willow on her adventures and expose the little people around you with something that looks and feels very different (in a positive way) – you can read more about how the idea for Willow came about here.
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