ZEBRABOOK against the grain tales
With her publishing house ZebraBook, Marie Thibaut de Maisières revisits children’s literature and combats stereotypes using good-natured humour. Meet a one-of-a-kind publisher.
women football champions,boys who cry and women lorry drivers. Many families wrote to us saying that our previous book was very pretty but showed a family that was unrepresentative of theirs (at the beginning of the book we meet a mother and a father at the maternity hospital), since they were single parents or a same-sex couple.We promised to publish a more flexible story, so that their children would not feel excluded from the mainstream model. In this new book, readers may personalize the parental figure in the story: dad, mum, Robert, godfather, granny...There’s another reference, too: a pair of little moles with a rainbow flag. So, yes, we are militant at ZebraBook, but fun-loving militants; life is too short to take oneself seriously.
What’s the story of this latest book?
— In your child will embark on a tour of our beautiful continent in search of the alphabet. To bring home its 26 letters, he or she will have to fry chips in Belgium, wind up cuckoo clocks in Switzerland, and have tea very politely with the queen of England.
Why did you choose a raccoon for the hero?
— Because it’s a clever animal, a builder and and an ecologist, which works well for either boys or girls.While the little girl has a bit longer eyelashes, they both dress in the same way: there’s no blue for him or pink for her!