Lobster, moose and bagel deliver rights lessons
A P.E.I. lawyer is finishing up a children's book series on Canada's Charter of Rights with some help from a New Brunswick lobster, a Montreal bagel, a Saskatchewan moose, and Anne of Green Tomatoes.
Six books in the series are now published, and there are eight more to come.
"Each one is set in a different province or territory in the country," said author Dustin Milligan.
"There's one in the nation's capital and each addresses a different right or freedom in the charter."
The Charter for Children book series has its roots in an assignment from Milligan's first year in law school where he was asked to teach students in grades three to six about human rights. He noticed the limited age-appropriate resources available and decided to do something about it.
"Some of the characters involved are Anne of Green Tomatoes, Alanis Mooset, Justin Beaver, so it's just kind of quirky and fun," he said.
Milligan has taken some of his books into classrooms already, and is pleased with the results.
"That was the most rewarding part of the series, is like, hearing children say, talk about discrimination and equality and liberty, and talk about these freedoms and knowing that they absorb the ideas and concepts in the books," he said.
The books address issues such as aboriginal rights, minority language education rights, gender, and race issues.
Ken Gaudet, principal of West Royalty Elementary in Charlottetown, is keen to get the books into his school.
"Books that have a story to them like these books do, that are well illustrated, usually it's a good hook for the children," said Gaudet.
"Once we have the children's attention with the resource like this, then we can really develop the ideas and discussions."
Milligan will be meeting with educators in Ottawa for his national book launch next week. He hopes to have the whole series published in about a year's time.