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Stretch goals :
"Zenji Heals his Muzzy Bug" is a exciting adventure of self-discovery and healing that sparkles with the magic of mindfulness. Children will adore the story and parents will love getting them to sleep quicker than ever before.
Zenji: Zenji is one of the Buddabugzz, a flying furry creature who experiences the same ups and downs that little children do. Normally a happy, adventurous character, Zenji is down in the dumps today because he has caught a nasty bug that’s left him feeling muzzy and cranky.
Karma: All the Buddabugzz have an inner voice called Karma who is always surrounded by a halo of magical light and looks exactly like their owner only much, much smaller. A voice of reason who helps them work things out, Karma teaches the Buddabugzz invaluable lessons through mindfulness exercises. He helps Zenji believe in the power of focus and shows him that anything is possible when he puts his mind to it.
Everyone has their own Karma inside them. I hope my book will help children identify and personalize their inner narrator, recognize it as an extension of who they are and realize the potential of their own thoughts.
Zenji is feeling miserable because of a muzzy bug. Help is at hand however, as Karma pays a visit and brings him on a guided meditation where Zenji shines healing light on the muzzy bug and heals himself from within. Zenji journeys inside himself both physically and emotionally. He relaxes with each breath and falls asleep feeling much better.
By listening to Karma’s advice, Zenji learns to cope with illness in that moment and is brought to a calmer place in his thoughts. Through rhyme and visualization Zenji and his Karma teach children mindfulness skills that, if practiced regularly, will benefit them for their entire lives.
This journey of self-discovery and empowerment also introduces children to basic biology, teaching them that their breath and blood flow are important parts of who they are.
Mindfulness is the art of paying attention on purpose, without judgement in the present moment. As well as improving our well-being, it helps us to concentrate and sharpen our focus. It instills compassion and kindness.
- I realized the impact of mindfulness practice during a period of bereavement. It was of huge comfort to me. I saw how beneficial it could be in all areas of life and wished I had learnt these techniques when I was young.
- I have made it my mission to bring mindfulness to children in a way that appeals to them. My goal was to figure out a way to introduce it to children using characters that would be as much fun to spend time with as their favorite cartoon or movie heroes.
When kids are better able to deal with stress, they have more room in their lives to be creative, connect with others, make good decisions and be more open. Better yet, learning mindfulness techniques early in life may help prevent stress and anxiety disorders from ever developing at all. Mindfulness practice gives children the tools to maximize their potential.
This book does not claim to be a magical cure to all ailments but rather an exciting inclusion of mindfulness and well-being into your children's lives.
Irish people are well known for their ability to tell a story, its in our blood! But too often these days, children’s stories exist only for their entertainment value. My goal with Zenji Heals His Muzzy Bug was to create a fun, exciting adventure that would also benefit children emotionally.
Keeping the vocabulary playful and the sentences short and simple brings the story alive for the reader, stimulating their imagination and encouraging young bookworms to think about how their minds and bodies work. Most importantly, Zenji’s adventure will help your child associate bedtime with feelings of calm and relaxation.
Shush… Don’t tell the kids! This awesome story is so chock full of adventures, pictures and rhyme that your kids will never suspect that everything in Zenji Heals His Muzzy Bug has been meticulously designed to send them off to sleep quickly and calmly!
The breathing exercise Zenji learns is written in verse so that it stands apart from the rest of the story. It’s no surprise that children are more likely to respond to suggestion rather than instruction and Karma’s breathing rhyme allows its readers to partake in Zenji’s mindfulness exercise alongside him without feeling like they’re being told what to do.
Rhyming also makes things easier for kids to remember so, with practice, they will able to recite and preform the exercise, even if their book is not available.
Everything in the Buddabugzz world is designed with a child’s perspective in mind. From the backgrounds’ dark, muted colours that create a feeling of calm and encourage sleep, to making the characters as lifelike as possible so that readers can really feel their presence, the illustrations tell their own story and aim to captivate your child’s imagination.
Zenji Heals His Muzzy Bug’s Kickstarter edition will be a perfect bound 7" x 10" book (254mm x 178mm) which is slightly smaller than A4, printed in full colour with 32-pages plus covers. The covers will be printed on 300/350gsm paper with the internal pages on 170/200gsm.
I am looking for €10,000 to print a minimum run of 1,000 copies of Zenji Heals His Muzzy Bug. Although I have written and illustrated the book myself, there are other costs involved such as editing, CGI animation, ISBN numbers and registration fees, marketing and promotion. I will also produce a website to provide a portal for fans of the books to keep updated with Zenji and his Buddabugzz friends.
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This Kickstarter Campaign is raise funds to publish Zenji Heals His Muzzy Bug. But I have massive plans for the future.I aim to create a whole series of Buddabugzz books and toys. I am currently working on six other Buddabugzz titles, all in various stages of development.
The Buddabugzz Series concept:
- Each book centers around one Buddabug that faces a problem that a child may encounter in day to day life, such as anxiety, shyness, Illness, bullying, disruptive behavior, confidence or low self-esteem. “Zenji heals his Muzzy Bug” covers the concept of healing and coping with illness.
- All Buddabugzz are named after significant Buddhists throughout history. In this book, Zenji is named after “Dōgen Zenji” a Japanese Zen Buddhist (1200 –1253).
- All Buddabugzz have a guardian called Karma, a glowing replica of themselves that can be summoned whenever needed. Karma is always at hand to protect, guide and comfort. This character was created to encourage children to listen to their inner voice, and to believe in their inner strength. I named these guardians Karma, as I felt that they symbolize this ancient Sanskrit word. Karmic laws teach us to focus on the present, be kind and patient, and that the past, present and future are all connected. These laws represent the guardians of Buddabugzz perfectly.
- In each book, Karma teaches a mindfulness exercise and brings their Buddabug on a magical adventure of self-discovery. As they listen, your children subconsciously mimic Karma’s exercise and in turn become relaxed, peaceful and prepared for sleep. Each magical adventure will help your child focus on the present moment, and ensure that they want to get to sleep so they can dream their own adventure by the end of the story.
- This 1st series of Buddabugzz books is part of a “Sleep-well Range”. These 7 books encourage sleep through mindfulness. I aim to develop a 2nd series that will promote alertness and mindful awareness during the daytime.
My dream is to eventually produce a Buddabugzz app, that will contain interactive mindfulness exercises, games to stimulate learning and guided meditations for children, but that’s all in the future. Right now I’m concentrating on introducing Zenji Heals His Muzzy Bug to the world via Kickstarter. So far the journey has been magical!
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Zenji's first TV appearance on RTE's Today Show - April 2nd 2015 http://bit.ly/1G8XcHR
Zenji was mentioned by Ireland's Top TV & radio host, Ryan Tubridy on RTÉ 2FM - 24 March 2015
- IMAGE Magazine - March 25 http://www.image.ie/People/Family/Brilliant-Mindfulness-for-Kids/
- Ireland Top Parenting Blogs: Mummypages.ie http://www.mummypages.ie/rtes-domestic-diva-launches-a-mindful-childrens-book-on-kickstarter
- HerFamily.ie http://www.herfamily.ie/
- The Irish Independent - “Breathe easy with Aisli’s Stories” by Kim Bielenberg. Link to article: http://t.co/Xa9LwIhNYs
- The Irish Times - “happiness isn’t a chore” by Aisli Madden. Link to article: http://ow.ly/JYy9M
- Buzzfeed - “Mindfulness for Kids? This New Kickstarter Project Is Set To Revolutionize Bedtime… Forever”. Link to article: http://ow.ly/JYxgR
- The Irish Independent - “Grief and Mindfulness” by A Madden. Link to article: http://ow.ly/JYxpC
- *Davidson, Richard J., et al. "Alterations in brain and immune function produced by mindfulness meditation." Psychosomatic medicine 65.4 (2003): 564-570.
- **Ott, Mary Jane, Rebecca L. Norris, and Susan M. Bauer-Wu. "Mindfulness meditation for oncology patients: a discussion and critical review." Integrative cancer therapies 5.2 (2006): 98-108.
- *** Singh, Nirbhay N., et al. "A mindfulness-based strategy for self-management of aggressive behavior in adolescents with autism." Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders 5.3 (2011): 1153-1158. Singh, Nirbhay N., et al. "Adolescents with Asperger syndrome can use a mindfulness-based strategy to control their aggressive behavior." Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders 5.3 (2011): 1103-1109.
- **** Hölzel, Britta K., et al. "Mindfulness practice leads to increases in regional brain gray matter density." Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging 191.1 (2011): 36-43.
- *****Gross, Cynthia R., et al. "Mindfulness-based stress reduction versus pharmacotherapy for chronic primary insomnia: a randomized controlled clinical trial." Explore: The Journal of Science and Healing 7.2 (2011): 76-87. Jacobs, G., Benson, H. & Friedman, R. (1996). Perceived benefits in a behavioral-medicine insomnia program: a clinical report. The American Journal of Medicine, 100, 2. 212-6.
- Evidence for the Impact Of Mindfulness on Children and Young People Katherine Weare, Emeritus Professor, Universities of Exeter and Southampton: http://mindfulnessinschools.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/MiSP-Research-Summary-2012.pdf
- http://www.apa.org/monitor/2012/07-08/ce-corner.aspx The American Psychological Association
- Mindfulness for parents of autistic children: http://www.academia.edu/641074/
- Meditation as a Potential Therapy for Autism: A Review http://www.hindawi.com/journals/aurt/2012/835847/
Risks and challenges
I have already written and designed all of the content for Zenji Heals His Muzzy Bug so, apart from a few editorial tweaks, there’s very little to do on the design front.
I am confident I will be able to meet deadlines as I have been designing for the publishing industry for over ten years and previously self-published my late mother’s text book “All about Home Economics” (www.deirdremadden.ie). Although I faced many challenges during the process, mum’s book was on the shelves within six weeks of starting the project, and over 10,000 copies have sold to date.
Unfortunately I do not have any control over the shipping companies or any delays that may occur on that side of things. I will do my best to ensure a smooth experience for all supporters from start to finish – that much I can guarantee! Feel free to ask any questions and I promise to get back to you as soon as possible.
- (32 days)