More books with Indian characters featured in the local bookstore

My Reflection children’s bookstore in St James has expanded its range to include children’s books which feature more Indian characters.

Owner Nneka Ruiz Montalvo made the decision after working with Canadian Indian educators in Toronto on January 19.

Montalvo seeks to have a powerful impact on the children of Trinidad and Tobago who she hopes will see themselves in the books they read with the help of her store.

The statement read: “The bookstore is thrilled to offer books in which Indian children can see themselves in such cool roles as an Avengers superhero, a fearless activist and even a science-loving mermaid.”

This adds to the wide range of books featuring African, American and Caribbean descent characters that were introduced to the bookstore in 2021.

Montalvo said, “Representation is important. Children feel affirmed, validated and inspired when they can see themselves in the books they read. Due to our colonial history and the fact that we import the majority of our books, many children from African or Indian communities rarely see characters that look like them in the books they read. My mission is to change that!

“Books are meant to be both mirrors and windows. Children experience the “mirror” when they see someone who looks like them in the books they read, in terms of their ethnicity, cultural background and belief system. This “mirror” experience is very important for a child’s self-image. Children experience the “window” when they read books with characters different from them. When African or Indian children are only exposed to books with Caucasian or animal characters, they never get the “mirror” experience. »

The bookstore mainly offers texts featuring characters in science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics (STEAM) to inspire the next generation.

She said, “For our country to grow, it’s essential that the next generation work to build careers in STEAM. Rather than trying to push your kids into these areas or lecture them, introduce them to entertaining books with fun, relatable characters. who are passionate about STEAM”.

For more information on My Reflection Children’s Bookstore, visit or head to the Red Edge Shopping Center in St. James. You can also follow @myreflectiontt on Facebook and Instagram for updates.

About Joey J. Hott

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