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"Umar" is about a young Leeds boy who is fascinated with keys, locks and doors and determined to learn to use them!
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87 backers pledged £1,424 to help bring this project to life.
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£1,424

87

My initial goal for printing, shipping and other costs has been smashed!  Your £10 pledge will help make the print run larger and it covers shipping costs.  And you will get a signed copy and a personal thank you note!  If you work at a nursery and might be interested in the higher level pledges please contact me and I will send you the current electronic version of the book to have a look at.  Thanks for your interest and support!

I've written a book for 2-4 year olds and I want to get it printed!  Umar is about a two year old boy named, well, Umar who is fascinated with keys and wants to learn to use them.  It shows him observing the adults in his life use them, how he is determined to get opportunities to use them, how he works hard to figure the intricacies of them out, how he copes with frustration and challenge of it all and finally the satisfaction of meeting his own goals.

It's a simple book and a simple story about a boy interested in something very mundane but I know it will appeal to young children.  The illustrations definitely help!  They were done by Molly Pukes, a brilliant artist out of Leeds.  Here is a preliminary sketch of her work!

As a white person working in a practically all BAME (Black, Asian & minority ethnic) nursery I am well aware of how few children's books reflect anything of our children's lives, their families, or their communities.  Ridiculously, only 1% of children's books published in the UK last year featured a BAME main character.  (Publishers like Tiny Owl and Alanna Max publish great books and deserve everyone's support though!)

Anyone who knows me is well aware I am huge nerd about young children, play and how they grow, learn and develop in all aspects of their lives.  I've cared for and taught them since 2007 in the US, Australia and currently the UK.  These topics really are "passion" for me (what a cliche!) and I strongly believe all adults need to learn more about early childhood development.  To that end, the book has an accessible introduction to how our brains grow in the first 3 years of life and important concepts like self-regulation and executive function.  I worked hard to make this section easy to understand and relatable to a wide audience.  

While it's not about him exactly, Umar is inspired by a real 2 year old boy who was in my Leeds-based nursery in 2018 who was indeed obsessed with keys, locks and doors.  He was so determined to use mine at every. single. opportunity.  He really wore me down at times!  As the months went on though he demonstrated to me what a capable and self-motivated learner he was.  By the time he left my nursery he was semi-officially "in charge" of letting other his Amu and Abu (mum and dad) and other families in and out.  He also figured out the locks to our toy cupboard and other rooms and I let him lock and unlock them for me almost every time.  Young children can learn to do so much if we give them time, space and support to follow their interests.

I am including the introduction to some early childhod development basics not because I want to join the chorus of people telling parents exactly what to do, rather this information has helped me so much in my own job.  Honestly, wIthout it, I would have never been able to see Umar's fascination with keys as anything more than a nuisance.  Understanding how young children grow and develop has helped me immensely in my professional and personal lives.  If it's helped me, I feel strongly it can help other adults as well.

I wanted to write a book that showcased Umar's intelligence and determination to learn about the world around him.  I know children will enjoy it but I also hope it helps adults begin to look at the young children in their lives a bit differently.  Thank you for reading this and considering supporting the first printing of this book!

All the money will go to printing costs as well as buying an ISBN so I can sell it properly in stores and other outlets.

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22 February 2019 

Early childhood author and trainer Janet Lansbury has graciously given a review of an advance copy of the book: 

23 February 2019

Sid Mohandas, Doctoral Researcher at Middlesex University and founder of The Male Montessorian offered this lovely review.

2 March 2019

More reviews!

Risks and challenges

This is my first time writing and printing a book so there might be unforeseen hiccups along the way but if you support this you will get your book(s) one way or another!

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge £10 or more About $13

    Signed first printing!

    Get an early, signed and delivered first printing of the book!

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge £30 or more About $38

    As many copies you want, at cost

    ONLY for those of you who work in nurseries, preschools, childcare centres, schools and any sort of setting that works with young children and their families, donate £30 or more and you can print as many copies as you want (at cost) to give to your families. There is a section in the book for adults that is an accessible introduction to early childhood development, executive function, self-regulation and how play is crucial in developing young children's future success in school and life.

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    Pledge £100 or more About $126

    Rights to print the book forever + more!

    ONLY for Nurseries and other Early Childhood Education and family outreach settings.

    Get your settings name and logo listed in the book as a sponsor until the end of time.

    Get the electronic files of the book so you can print copies for yourself to give to your families for as long as you want.

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Funding period

- (35 days)