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(CNN) — Sesame Street is again tackling tough issues — expanding its “Little Children, Big Challenges” series by introducing a new character.

Alex is a Sesame Street character whose father is in jail.

Alex is part of Sesame Workshop’s online tool kit aimed to help kids understand and cope with parental incarceration.

It is also a tool to help caregivers talk about the subject with children.

Some find the character a bit odd — but one in 28 American children has a parent in prison.

Sesame Street has used its characters to tackle other tough issues — like divorce, hunger and military deployment.