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Montpelier. Youth magazine: a “funny bird” to accompany children

The children’s magazine Zozoï designed in Montpellier is preparing its 3rd issue (©dr)

Of them Montpellier launched a review quarterly for children who jostles the stereotypes… We leaf through the “Zozoï” with you.

Forced isolation, reduced activity, it was enough for a great idea to take the time to germinate in the minds of two Montpellier residents during the first confinement. Julien Bertrand, former bookseller and Laïa Maxwell, university professor, decide to combine their talents to create “Zozoï” a magazine aimed at children from 5 years (and their parents) which aims to fight against all types of discrimination and to promote their critical mind.

“Breaking away the stereotypes”

“I found that in the youth publicationswhich I knew well as a bookseller, everything was very standardized, gendered”, laments Julien, “we wanted to bring something else, with a support that sweeps away the stereotypes a little”.

A fundraiser on the “Kiss Kiss Bank Bank” crowdfunding platform, and the adventure began a few months later alongside Laïa, who brought her very professional knowledge of “gender theory” subject that she teaches on a daily basis to her students in the Faculty of Arts.

Encourage children to open up to the richness of our differences through stories or tools based on positive parenting and non-violent communication.
Zozoï wants to encourage children to open up to the richness of our differences through positive parenting and non-violent communication.(©dr)

A bird with positive values

The Zozoï project, developed with the support of a handful of teachers, then materializes in the form of a magazine of around fifty pages including a central story broken down according to the theme, anchored around values ​​that are important to them. to heart: lliving together, ecology, feminism… The texts are written in twos or threes, then subjected to friendly proofreading by professionals working with young audiences, sometimes with disabilities, in order to ensure the consistency of the concepts transmitted.

“We must encourage children to open up to the richness of our differences”

The Zozoï team

Throughout the pages, the themes appear as a watermark: gender equality recorded by parity and the “non-hierarchical organization between the characters”, the discovery of cultures, made possible by the “points of view of children representing different realities”, the acceptance of the other, carried by a birthday story where you can dress up as you wish.

For the acolytes who have become editor and editor-in-chief of the magazine, it is mainly a question of “encouraging children to open up to the richness of our differences”, through stories or tools based on positive parenting and the non-violent communication. In particular, there are games or facial expression cards, published to teach children to express their emotions and thus better manage them.

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A touch of retro

Colored by the retro imagery of Chilean illustrator Alejandro Silva, whose graphics are inspired by Latin American frescoes and skilfully integrate collages and work on materials, Zozoï promises an opening onto a positive world, “where everyone is free to be whatever he wants.

Made “with pleasure and in an almost artisanal way”, with a retro touch, Zozoï is distributed to around ten independent bookstores. (©dr)

“Some primary school teachers have already opened the door to their class to the Zozoï by sharing it with their students”

For Julien, the little bird sketched by Alejandro and which gave its name to the magazine, embodies “the symbolism of all that”. “This imaginary being allows us to imagine possibilities that go beyond the frame, coming to rest on the shoulder of Noor, the main character and accompanying him on his adventures…”

“Made with pleasure and in an almost artisanal way”, the quarterly is slowly starting to find its audience. Some primary school teachers have already opened their classrooms to the Zozoï by sharing it with their students, and nearly 200 subscribed readers receive it in their mailboxes throughout France. If for the moment a dozen independent bookstores distribute it, its creators plan in parallel to reach a wider readership by including communities, media libraries, associations…

Meetings in March and June

The Zozoï will be at the rendezvous of the artistic event “la Maison des Queers” on Sunday March 26 at the Maison des Choeurs and the 6th season of the festival “La Grande Parade Métèque” at the Parc de la Guirlande from June.

The edition of the third issue of Zozoï “For a world of all colors” is scheduled for April, let’s hope this funny bird takes flight with this next publication.

> Practical. Website:
12 euros per issue (reduced rate 8 euros). 45 euros/year for 4 issues (reduced rate 30 euros)
The magazine is also available in Spanish.

Bookstores where to find the Zozoï
La Cavale – Cooperative Bookshop 24, Rue de la Cavalerie. Montpellier / La Géosphère – Travel bookshop 20, Rue Jacques Coeur. Montpellier / The Grain of Words, 13, Boulevard du Jeu de Paume. Montpelier. The Bad Reputation, 20, Rue Terral. Montpelier. Nemo Youth Bookstore, 35, Rue de l’Aiguillerie. Montpelier. L’Echappée Belle, 7, Rue Gambetta. Sete

By F.iM

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