BRITS have hit the town in Leeds, London and Cardiff as the UK teeters on the brink of a new lockdown, curfew and shut pubs.…
Taye Diggs believes that his new children's book couldn't have been released at a more perfect and necessary time.
The 49-year-old actor and author teamed up with Baskin-Robbins to bring the mystical world of the brand's new Creature Creations to life with the release of his latest book, The Festival of Creatures.
Available to view for free on the ice cream chain's website, Diggs wrote the story alongside his business partner and friend Shannon Stoeke, and the story focuses on the brand's monster, unicorn and mermaid caricatures as they learn about the importance of kindness, acceptance and friendship.
"I'm hoping that people will take away the idea of joining hands, being more accepting and looking at others that are different with acceptance instead of fear," Diggs tells PEOPLE exclusively. "It's just something that we constantly need to be reminded of because it's so easy to look at someone in any situation and just pass judgment."
In the story, young readers meet the three creatures and discover more about each of their unique personalities as they journey through a magical world looking for the ultimate ice cream event.
Though each mystical being originates from a different part of their colorful land, they quickly learn to embrace their new friendships as they discover that they are stronger together than they are alone.
The All American actor — who has written other children's books such as I Love You More Than … and Chocolate Me! — knows that this story is needed now more than ever to teach children the importance of acceptance.
"When you look at what's going on in society today … I applaud [Baskin-Robbins] for taking these first steps when everybody's actually very raw and emotional," he says, referring to current events such as the Black Lives Matter movement.
And Diggs credits his young 11-year-old son Walker — whom he shares with ex-wife Idina Menzel — for his love of writing books for children.
"I very much enjoy writing children's books," he says. "When [Walker] was born, I took a special interest [in writing] and I've had a really great time doing it."
For Diggs, writing this book was different than the other children's books he has written, as Baskin-Robbins approached him with the characters and setting already in place. He just had to come up with the story.
"It was really fun because usually when I write a book, I have the idea and then I can kind of reverse engineer it that way," he adds. "But this was a very cool, interesting and fun challenge."
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The Broadway vet also revealed how he talks to his son about current issues that could relate to the messages seen in The Festival of Creatures, including topics regarding race, where he says he lets his song, "lead the discussion."
"I'm learning with parenting, at this age, it's very easy to introduce issues that can scare your children before they can experience it themselves," he shares. "He's bright so we just honestly answered the questions that he asked without getting too violent."
Alongside the release of the heartwarming story, fans of the e-book can also continue their own adventure at home with brand-new DIY Animal Creations Packages inspired by The Festival of Creatures.
Ice cream lovers can choose from one of the book's three magical creatures — or mix and match all three — and the kit will come customized with toppings, wearable creature crowns, and two pre-packed quarts of chosen ice cream flavors.
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