UNICEF launches Children First! Storybooks

Author Anne Curtis talks about Anita, the Duckling Diva

United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in the Philippines recently launched a collection of six books written in Filipino and English for ages three and above to inspire children to read and build their imaginations.

Children are all ears as Anne Curtis talks about Anita, the Duckling Diva
UNICEF celebrity advocate Anne Curtis authored one of the six books, and this fact captured public curiosity and gave the other books much needed attention to help the UN body promote its goal. Entitled Anita, the Duckling Diva, Anne read from her book amidst a group of children who were all ears, asking questions about the inspiration for Anne’s story. Illustrated by James Abalos, Anita, the Duckling Diva tells the story of a duck named Anita, who is bullied by her peers when she sings – until she proves them wrong when she enters a singing contest. Inspired by her real life experience, Anne gives this little duckling the voice by which the young generation can get inspiration from.  

“I’m very happy to have written my first children’s book, which I hope can help children particularly with their self-confidence and self-esteem,” Anne shares. “I believe that children should be given all the emotional and moral support they need as they grow so they can express themselves with confidence and explore their full talent,” she enthuses.

Anne Curtis gamely answers questions about her first book
“Children learn language quickly and easily through hearing and singing songs, having stories told or read to them, repeating rhymes and playing games,” explains Lotta Sylwander, UNICEF Philippines Representative. “Having a supportive environment in these early years will help children get ready for school and lifelong learning,” she adds. The Children First! Storybooks is composed of a series of stories by some of the most notable Filipino writers and artists of storybooks in the country. The organization aims to promote the importance of teaching lessons to children through materials that contain a child-friendly version of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, as well as Internet safety reminders for young people. Through books, children can put themselves in someone else’s shoes and learn how to express themselves as they’re growing up. Children who grew up with books and storytelling have been proven to become better problem solvers, have higher self-esteem and have a better understanding of the feelings of others.

The author busily signing books
With the support of SM North EDSA and SM Cares, the Children First! Storybooks were on exhibit last February 20-25. For a minimum donation of P500, you may get the entire collection of Children First! Storybooks with this offer to last until March 6. Visit to get the full list of locations where you can drop off your donation. You may also purchase the storybooks individually or in sets by checking out UNICEF Philippines’ e-Bay store at or visit the UNICEF Philippines office at 31F Yuchengco Tower, RCBC Plaza, 6819 Ayala Avenue cor. Sen. Gil Puyat Avenue, Makati City. For more information, call 758-1000 or email [email protected] 

Topics: UNICEF launches Children First! Storybooks , Unicef
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