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Children aren’t put off if characters in a story don’t all live happily ever after

Julia Molony


Children relish books that tackle unhappiness, unconventional lifestyles and death, so why do we insist they consume a diet of saccharine stories?

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Michael Rosen’s Sad Book is a raw and candid exploration of grief over the death of the author’s young son to meningitis

Michael Rosen’s Sad Book is a raw and candid exploration of grief over the death of the author’s young son to meningitis

peppa pig

peppa pig

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Michael Rosen’s Sad Book is a raw and candid exploration of grief over the death of the author’s young son to meningitis

During a week of turmoil and grief at home and abroad, news outlets have been draped in a pall of black. So one small, colourful story stood out. The cartoon Peppa Pig, now a modern British institution, will feature, we are told, its first lesbian couple.

Diversity of representation is a dominant concern of contemporary children’s entertainment, both on screen and in books. And for good reason. We live in an increasingly heterogeneous society. Fair representation of minority groups is crucial to promoting inclusion and cohesion.


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