A story about a young boy who learns the responsibility of road safety at school forms the basis of the new publication from the Childhood Champions children’s book series by Melbourne-based author George Green.
The whole series follows the adventures of 8-year-old Ibrahim and his friends as they navigate their growing years in the hustle and bustle of New York City.
Mr Green, himself a New Yorker, said the point of difference with these young Muslim characters is their collective cultural diversity.
“I quite deliberately developed characters who, while they all live in New York City, come from places as far and wide as Malaysia, Puerto Rico and The Gambia,” Mr Green said.
“This is a reflection of the cultural diversity amongst Muslims where I grew up and it’s mirrored in cities like Melbourne and Sydney, too,” he said.
“But many Islamic children’s books are based on kids who live in Arab countries and although this is great, children from culturally diverse places such as New York City or Melbourne don’t necessarily relate to those characters.
And while the book has only just been released, Mr Green is already fielding requests from Muslim and non-Muslim schools, community and cultural centres to stage an author visit and book readings.
“The characters are Muslim yes, but the messaging in the stories are for everyone – kindness, sharing, teamwork and a sense of personal safety are attributes we all want to instil in our children regardless of race or religion.
“It’s great to be invited by schools and other educational institutions like the Islamic Museum who advocate for cultural diversity and inclusion, to speak to young people,” said Mr Green, who is also an accomplished youth motivational speaker.
The Childhood Champions book series is targeted at 6-12-year-olds and Mr Green has another five stories in the pipeline with plans to introduce a new Australian character.
In the meantime, Safety Patrol, together with the first two stories, No Ordinary Day and The Project are available online and through retailers including the Islamic Museum of Australia, HIYC bookstore and IBC.