Square Zair Pair is an LGBT themed children’s book written by Jase Peeples with art by Christine Knopp about celebrating the diversity of couples in a community. The story takes place in the magical land of Hanamandoo, a place where square and round Zairs live. Zairs do all things in pairs, one round with one square. But one day when two square Zairs pair for the first time, the village initially rejects them before learning a lesson in kindness, and acceptance – ultimately realizing different pairs of Zairs make their village stronger.
The story came to me years ago, after a friend told me he and his husband were having trouble finding many children’s picture books with positive LGBT themes they could share with their daughter. I wanted to help by creating a new unique tale for families that might be looking for just such stories, and so I sat down to write Square Zair Pair.
As the son of a librarian, I spent many hours thumbing through picture books in my youth, and many of the stories I read back then – stories about fairness, kindness, and doing the right thing – impacted me in a positive way. Those stories have stuck with me throughout my life. However, there were never any stories that positively highlighted the ways in which I was different as a gay person. It’s my hope that Square Zair Pair can also help young people who feel they are different, realize their differences should be celebrated, and regardless of who they "pair" with, love is a beautiful thing.
Where Will The Funds Go?
The funds raised from this Kickstarter campaign will be used to cover the costs of illustrating the book, printing and shipping the initial run, as well as creating the rewards. The book’s first printing will provide enough inventory to place it for sale at local bookstores and online. Ultimately, the goal is to get the book published and in the hands of as many young people as possible. The more money we raise, the more books we can print, and that means more young people receiving the message that differences between "pairs" should always be celebrated, never shunned.
In addition to being among the first to receive a copy of SQUARE ZAIR PAIR, there are several special incentives for supporting the project including original paintings by the artist, Christine Knopp, and an audio book version of the story read by Samantha Newark – the original speaking voice of Jem from the animated series "Jem and the Holograms."
Let's Add a Stretch Goal in the Spirit of LGBT Icon Harvey Milk!
We're so happy to see the outpouring of love and support for the tale of the SQUARE ZAIR PAIR -- as well as their message of kindness, acceptance and diversity. As we round the corner into our final days of the campaign, we wanted to add a stretch goal in the spirit of both the Zairs and LGBT icon Harvey Milk. If we reach $12,000.00 we will donate a full set of books (one for each class, plus two copies for the campus library) to the Harvey Milk Civil Rights Academy in San Francisco, California. The elementary school is located in the City by the Bay's iconic Castro district, a few short blocks away from where Harvey Milk (the first openly gay person to be elected to public office in America) opened Castro Camera in 1972 -- a location that became the center of the neighborhood's growing gay community and the headquarters for Milk’s gay rights campaigning.
We believe the story of the SQUARE ZAIR PAIR furthers Milk's message of hope; hope that those who feel they are different can find happiness and acceptance in the community they love. We would be thrilled to have the tale of the SQUARE ZAIR PAIR firmly represented in one of the neighborhoods where the modern LGBT civil rights movement was shaped.
"You have to give them hope. Hope for a better world, hope for a better tomorrow, hope for a better place to come to if the pressures at home are too great. Hope that all will be all right." -- Harvey Milk
Risks and challenges
The risks and challenges for the project are very minimal. All the artwork and the layout of the book are nearly complete and will be sent to the printer as soon as this Kickstarter ends. Estimated delivery September 2015.
Both the artist and the author have long histories producing work for high-profile companies, including Disney and LGBT outlets such as "The Advocate" and "Out" magazine. Both the author and the artist are fully dedicated to making SQUARE ZAIR PAIR a success on every level.
- (30 days)