Face Equality International

The Importance of Representation in Children’s Books

The Adventures of Rory and Friends

Two weeks after our daughter River was born we noticed a small red mark starting to appear under her nostril. Instantly we thought it could be a birthmark and asked our Health Visitor. She told us to wait and see, which we did. Over the next couple of weeks it grew larger and started causing River issues with feeding, as it blocked her nostril.

a couple who wrote a childrens book

Luckily we found The Birthmark Support Group Facebook page, which enabled us to talk with other parents of children who have various Birthmarks. We were given lots of information around treatment which was extremely useful during River’s initial Hospital appointment. She was prescribed Propanalol and treated for 14 months until her Hemangioma had shrunk enough to stop treatment. 

During this time we noticed there’s very little representation for children who have Birthmarks in the way of Books, Toys etc. This is when My wife and I came up with the idea of ‘The Adventures of Rory and Friends’. We created a wonderful inclusive children’s picture book series that follows Rory Raccoon and his many friends. We decided to give Rory a facial Birthmark so children with one can relate to him and give them a character to see themselves in!

Our goal is to get our book into as many Homes, Primary Schools, Nurseries and Childminding settings as possible, to encourage teachers and parents to start up conversations surrounding facial differences, as this is not something currently taught. Hopefully this will encourage healthy conversations and make children more accepting, inclusive and reduce bullying. Also children with birthmarks will feel included and have a loveable character that they can relate to, as currently there are not any.

The Adventures of Rory and Friends will be available to purchase from Nov 2020 and all proceeds will go towards a second book. We have also designed and made a soft toy Rory Raccoon which will be available in December. 

Follow the journey of River, Rory and friends here: 

www.roryandfriends.co.uk https://www.facebook.com/Theadventuresofroryandfriends/

You can also get in touch with the authors here:


The Birthmark Support Group are members of Face Equality International, and more information, support and advice from them can be found here. Here at FEI, inclusivity is a huge part of our fight for face equality. Books are a vital tool to raise awareness and tell stories that reflect the real lives of people with facial differences. Find out more about inclusive books and stories, and why they’re important here.

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