About this project
THANK YOU FOR YOUR AMAZING SUPPORT! WE HAVE ADDED A STRETCH GOAL!! TRUE TO THE SPIRIT OF THIS BOOK TO EMBRACE DIVERSITY - WE WILL TRANSLATE THE BOOK INTO BOTH FRENCH AND SPANISH IF WE CAN REACH $35K!!
RARE IS EVERYWHERE is a beautifully illustrated children’s book that showcases genetically rare animals such as the white tiger, brown panda, pink grasshopper, black jaguar, blue lobster, and many others. The vibrant illustrations and lyrical text highlight the splendor of each animal, encouraging children to celebrate differences and realize that what makes us unique, makes us beautiful!
The Story Behind the Book
I am a nurse with nearly twenty years of experience in healthcare and a parent of two children. In my nursing career, I have had the opportunity to work with families in all phases of life. As both a nurse and parent, I have come across many children who feel different for some reason - whether they have allergies, ADHD, diabetes, autism, a rare disease, a unique family background, or something else that makes them feel different than other children - I have witnessed the loneliness that these children experience. I have long wished I could show them that they are not alone - that being different is actually much more common than they realize.
Using Science to Explain Diversity
Before I became a nurse, I studied wildlife biology. I learned that there is so much diversity within species - not all tigers are orange, not all cheetahs have spots, not all pandas are black and white. I realized that by showing children a birds-eye view of the animal kingdom, I could help children understand that the experience of being different is actually universal. Plus, by showcasing animals that look different in some way from the animals that we are used to seeing, the book challenges children to embrace diversity in themselves and others!
About the Book
The book will be hardcover, 32 pages in length, 11.25 X 9.5 in, and printed on high quality paper in full color. The book showcases 11 incredible animals, and it uses kid-friendly language to explain what genes are and how they shape our appearance. For each animal, there is a full-color vibrant illustration that features the animal with a genetic change as well as the animal of its species that we are used to seeing, such as the white tiger together with orange tigers.
Each illustration is accompanied by a lyrical rhyming poem that conveys facts and trivia about the animal as well as a joke corner that will capture children’s imaginations while teaching them about genes and diversity in the animal kingdom. The book will also include an informative glossary where children can learn more about each animal and the genetic changes that shape their appearance. There will also be an accompanying activity book that provides children with the creative space to reflect on what makes them unique and express themselves visually and in their own words. At the book’s website, RareIseverywhere.com, children will be invited to upload their own drawings of rare animals, share what makes them unique, and even create a rare animal from their imagination.
The Rare Underdog
Genes are the cause of most rare diseases, and rare diseases are the underdogs of health care. Governments and pharmaceutical companies invest very little money in them relative to other conditions, despite the fact that 1 in 12 people has a rare disease! That’s why I’m going to donate nearly all of the proceeds from future sales of this book to the Rare Disease Foundation, an international organization that helps people - especially kids - with rare conditions. The Rare Disease Foundation has some pretty amazing accomplishments under its belt: in 6 years, its work has resulted in the discovery of 9 new potential treatments, 15 new disease genes, and hope for thousands. With respect to the Kickstarter campaign, I will work with the Rare Disease Foundation to distribute books to children and children’s hospitals around the world.
How You Can Help
Please consider supporting the RARE IS EVERYWHERE book project in any way that you can. My dream is that CHILDREN EVERYWHERE will have the opportunity to read this book and come to appreciate their own rare beauty and the incredible diversity of the world we live in!
My name is Deborah Katz and I have spent the past 18 months writing and illustrating this book in order to help children who feel different in some way celebrate their uniqueness and realize that they are not alone in the world. I strongly believe that books have a way of reaching into the deepest parts of ourselves to help us see the world in a different way.
I am a nursing professor and have worked as a medical writer and editor for more than a decade. I previously wrote and illustrated a handbook on organic gardening for children, and have authored and edited many professional publications. I am also an artist whose work has been showcased in local galleries and featured in educational materials. Before moving into digital illustration, I painted using mixed media - photography, fabric, watercolour, and acrylic mediums - and these influences have now shifted into the digital realm. I have combined my passions for writing and art here in the creation of this book, in the hopes of making the world a better place for children and their families, one book at a time!
Risks and challenges
The work for this project is entering the home stretch. The illustrations and text for the book are complete and the activity book is in its final stages of completion. What's left to do is work with an editor and book designer to finalize the text and layout, and convert the book and activity book into digital formats.
An editor and book designer have been identified, and if the Kickstarter campaign is successful, I will be able to pay for their services to get the book ready to send off to be printed and shared digitally. Funds raised from the campaign will also be put toward an initial print run of 2,000 books. I have also identified a web developer to help me create the functionality in the book's website for children to be able to share their thoughts and artwork with the world.
I don't anticipate significant obstacles ahead, but recognize that there are always challenges that come up in any creative project. That's one of the reasons that I decided to get some help --I have been working with a self-publishing consultancy duo at "Behind the Book" that has decades of experience in publishing. They have been there for me every step of the way and I will continue to consult with them to ensure that things go smoothly as the project moves ahead.
Credits: Mondo Singh, videography & Alex-Abdel Malek, photography, Derek Machin, soundLearn about accountability on Kickstarter
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