Feature
Co-authors and publishers, Robert Elliot and Danielle Jeffrey-Elliot of the book, Zuri & Xavi Little Learners: An Inspirational Alphabet Book
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Story Highlights

  • In an effort to expose children to inspirational and motivational expressions from an early age, co-authors, Robert Elliot and Danielle Jeffrey-Elliot, have written a book titled ‘Zuri and Xavi Little Learners: A to Z - An Inspirational Alphabet Book’.
  • The couple says the idea for the book came after not finding sufficient positive content within the diaspora to which their children can relate.
  • “When my husband and I became parents, we felt it was important for our children to be exposed to positive content with characters that look like them, so we used the likeness of our children for the illustrations in the book,” says Mrs. Jeffrey-Elliot in a recent interview with JIS News.

In an effort to expose children to inspirational and motivational expressions from an early age, co-authors, Robert Elliot and Danielle Jeffrey-Elliot, have written a book titled ‘Zuri and Xavi Little Learners: A to Z – An Inspirational Alphabet Book’.

The couple says the idea for the book came after not finding sufficient positive content within the diaspora to which their children can relate.

“When my husband and I became parents, we felt it was important for our children to be exposed to positive content with characters that look like them, so we used the likeness of our children for the illustrations in the book,” says Mrs. Jeffrey-Elliot in a recent interview with JIS News.

Illustration from the book, Zuri & Xavi Little Learners: An Inspirational Alphabet Book, written by Robert Elliot and Danielle Jeffrey Elliot

 

She adds, “It’s a little book of positivity – a gateway to knowledge, confidence and curiosity. It helps children to learn and review the letters of the alphabet, learn to sign letters A through Z and build vocabulary using words and images”.

As champions for inclusivity in their community, the couple added sign language illustrations of the alphabet as a way to promote baby signing.

Illustration from the book, Zuri & Xavi Little Learners: An Inspirational Alphabet Book, written by Robert Elliot and Danielle Jeffrey Elliot

 

“This offers infants and toddlers the ability to communicate before they learn to speak and it should make it easier for parents and baby,” she says.

Mrs. Jeffrey-Elliot, in identifying one reason behind designing the book, says the objective is to provide children with an equal opportunity to learn and experience all that the world has to offer. She says, “Exposure and inclusion should not be measured based on geographic location, income or abilities.”

Another reason behind the book is to foster improved communication between abled and disabled children.

The couple of two boys; a one and two year old, states, “We have disabled family members, and we have no intention of hiding this fact from our children. We envision a world where the ‘able and the disabled can communicate with little to no barriers.”

The book, which took eight months to complete, was published in February. 

The book, Zuri & Xavi Little Learners: An Inspirational Alphabet Book, written by Robert Elliot and Danielle Jeffrey Elliot

 

Since then, the couple has read sections of it at schools in their community to teach children and teachers the importance of positive imagery in books.

“We plan to schedule school visits to read aspects of our book to children, parents and teachers when we visit Jamaica in the near future,” Mrs. Elliot tells JIS News.

Prior to releasing their first book, the couple launched their company, Little Learners Publishing, LLC in October of 2018.

The couple is exploring ways of making the book accessible across Jamaica, indicating that this should become a reality by the end of this year. At that time, the book should be re-published and include Jamaican imagery to make it even more relatable.

‘Zuri and Xavi Little Learners: A to Z – An Inspirational Alphabet Book’ is expected to be on the island within the next few weeks.

Mrs Jeffrey-Elliot is a licenced realtor with a background in Biological Sciences. Her husband, who has a background in business works in the field of science and technology. They have been in the diaspora for over ten years.

Plans for the young authors include writing and publishing their second book and making a series out of their first book.

This move by Mr and Mrs Jeffrey-Elliot coincides with principles of the Disabilities Act which aims to make provisions to enhance the welfare of persons across Jamaica. The Act also promotes inclusivity of the disabled community by granting access of all kinds.

The couple plans to translate the book into braille so that children from the blind community may easily access the content.