“Promise me you’ll remember, you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, smarter than you think.”
~Winnie-the-Pooh A.A. Milne
It takes courage to change. As the first generation of parents to have social media, 24/7 news, and limitless references at our fingertips, teaching children to effectively use and balance all of the learning platforms available is not only a practical idea but a logical one as well. The big question is, how in the world do we do it?
Cue Book Prunelle, an online, interactive reading platform built especially for kids. It has proven itself to be a lifesaver for environmentally and socially conscious parents who want to raise their children with awareness and a sense of purpose for caring for the earth and all its inhabitants.
Created and inspired by CEO Blandine Carsalade, based on her own family, children, and experiences; “Most of the stories I wrote were inspired by my children and the things they did or said to me. I always put children at the center of my stories, and even when the topics may seem difficult to tackle, I always make sure to end on a note of hope. I want children to believe they can make a difference because they can and hopefully will.”
A fierce passion for reading began at an early age. “For me, reading has always been a way to escape and be free.” Blandine Carsalade was born in Kazadi Wunba in Congo and moved to France with her family at the age of two. Growing up with limited access to the outside world due to her strict upbringing Carsalade spent most of her time in the library.
While there, she started to read children’s books but quickly got bored and discovered the adult section. There she found; Hugo, Zola, and Balzac, but the most memorable book was The Count of Monte Cristo. “I dreamt about it for weeks!” she remembers. Staying true to her passion for reading and believing that education is a key to freedom, Carsalade got her Masters Degree in Book Publishing & Parenting and Education, after completing Business School.
The Mission behind Book Prunelle is simple: To be inclusive. The stories are written so all children can identify with what they are reading. Whether their skin is black, white, dark, or whether they are disabled, small for their size, big for their age…English, French, Spanish speaking, it doesn’t matter. Translated into approximately 80 languages, raising your child bilingual is forward-thinking and enables them to make their way through the world. “We offer children a way to scratch their digital itch that also plants the seeds of social consciousness as well as addresses tough issues in an entertaining, educational, reassuring, and ecological way,” Carsalade stated.
Vibrant pictures and mini-stories give the reader a choice from over 100 eBooks; the adventures of classic fairytales to new stories inspired by Carsalade’s own children. “It takes courage to tell your kids that the world is not an easy place to live. It is our responsibility to open their eyes, so I think it would be a good thing to go to charities, homeless and animal shelters with your kids. Show them that they are privileged and they can help the needy people.” At the end of each story, there are coloring pages to continue the magic and help integrate the lessons learned.
Feedback from readers is welcomed and encouraged on Book Purnelle’s Instagram page. The mini-story “Take care of the Environment” is an example of one of the eBooks that include; interactive features, several languages, and audio narration. “They are specifically made for kids aged 4-6: short and easy to read. In this mini-story, kids will find vibrant and colorful modern illustrations of the world and its wonders, and short sentences to teach them that we need to protect the environment to keep our world beautiful and breathable.”
“Research suggests that when we hear a story, not only are the language processing parts in our brain activated, but any other area in our brain that we would use when experiencing the events of the story are too. This allows us to use parts of our brain to process a story and how to solve it in reality, preparing us to better handle real-life situations”.
Conscious parents can do just that now with Book Prunelle, take a deep breath. Through these books, engaging conversations are created by entertaining children while enabling them to become enlightened citizens in a more responsible society. Carsalade noted, “Specifically, we help children build community consciousness and emotional intelligence through the magic of storytelling in its most effective form; through picture books.”