Written by: Divine Reyes
Illustrated by: Benjor Catindig
Pitong Tsinelas is a story about coming together despite our differences. Its charming story of inclusivity and acceptance will resonate with children and parents from all walks of life.
The author Divine Gil Reyes thought up several other concepts (chairs and banana varieties) until the team put their heads together and realized that counting the “humble slipper” in pairs would create a more meaningful story. This idea reminded her of childhood memories when she and neighborhood friends would venture outdoors and play on the streets. They would walk from one house to another to pick up more friends. This inspired illustrator Benjor Catindig to focus on depicting the characters’ feet and the different paths between their stops. Without showing their faces, he expressed their personalities through the material, color, and degree of use of their footwear. This approach further underscored how children are naturally inclusive. Having the butterfly and the puppy follow along completes the innocent charm of the illustrations.
Originally developed by Tahanan Books for Young Readers in collaboration with the Save The Children Philippines under its First Read program, Pitong Tsinelas was created to help kids from 1 to 4 years old learn how to count through the concept of inclusivity. It’s never too early to introduce children to relevant social issues. After all, it takes a village to raise a child.