UPDATE: We are so overjoyed that we've been able to reach our goal of 10k! Thank you so much to everyone who has trusted our vision. Our hearts are warm.
Now, looking ahead, any donations above the 10k will look to secure the future of The Be You Collection and allow us to expand our plans for the brand (we'll touch more on this very soon).
Exciting times ahead - let's see how far we can go!
There is currently a lack of children's picture story books that challenge the norms. Only a minority of children are currently able to see themselves in stories, whilst excluding those whose hobbies and desires break away from gender stereotypes.
Welcome, The Be You Collection: a series of children's books celebrating the importance of individuality. This collection will publish stories about little boys and girls (and anyone in between) as they find strength in their special talents. This collection will tell the stories that have historically been ignored.
These stories will champion the underdogs, the ones who feel ashamed to express themselves freely, and the ones who feel like they'd have to change in order to fit in.
This collection will teach children that love and acceptance comes in many shapes, colours, sizes and dreams. The Be You Collection aims to be a tool which can be used to teach understanding, as well as the importance of embracing one's true self.
We need you, to help turn our vision into a reality. All funds will go to production-related costs, and anything beyond the budget will look to secure, develop and expand our vision for the future of The Be You Collection brand.
From us, to our youth, we have one message: Be You
What is The Be You Collection?
The collection will be a five part series, each celebrating a new child for their individuality. Ben will be book number one.
Who is Ben?
Ben is a quiet boy.
He isn’t like the other boys in the village.
He doesn’t own an action figure.
He doesn’t like to take part in football.
He doesn’t want to play with trucks or cars.
What Ben doesn't realise at the time, though, is that the qualities that once made him feel alone will become the same very traits that ultimately unite his village.
Why is Ben important, and why do we need this collection on our bookshelves?
We need to be educating children about the beauty of difference. We need to be teaching children to be themselves and to express themselves in any way that makes them feel authentic, rather than following the prescribed gender narratives that permeate throughout fairytales and the average picture story book.
There are currently no children's books that are truly representing kids who deviate from gender binary norms. There are no children's books that are highlighting the importance of the tomboys and tom-girls in the playground.
Children who deviate from the supposed-norm need to be represented, and need to see themselves in books, now more than ever.
The Be You Collection aims to celebrate a plethora of diverse identities in today's kids, showcasing the ones that normally wouldn't be adequately represented in other picture books.
How did the idea come about?
After writing for publications such as SBS, The Guardian and the Huffington Post, Louis was pleasantly surprised to find young teens responding well to his pieces. These teens were eager to interact with his articles.
From this, Louis realised that he wanted to reach as many age groups as possible. How was he to encourage a young audience to embrace their hobbies and their individuality? It wasn't long before the idea of a picture book collection came to the forefront of discussion.
As this is an independent production, by three university students, there are a considerable amount of costs to cover:
- Production of books
- ISBN numbers, registration fees and related costs
- Anything beyond the budget will look to secure, develop and expand our vision for the future of The Be You Collection (ie. future books and expanding the 'Be You' brand).
Any contribution would be gratefully appreciated :)
Who are we?
Author - Louis
As a freelance writer, Louis has written for the Huffington Post, the Guardian, SBS Sexuality, the Sydney Morning Herald, Archer, Acclaim, the Australia Times and Thought Catalog, advocating for issues such as mental health, gender and sexuality. If you'd like, feel free to take a look at louishanson.com.
Here are some examples:
'The fight for more diverse school texts in Victoria continues' : SBS Sexuality
'About a boy (who paints his nails)' : SBS Sexuality
'The emotional life of men: 'you'll be right' isn't enough anymore' : The Guardian
Last year, he was fortunate enough to speak at a Victorian State Conference, advocating for the need to implement more diverse school texts in the Australian school curriculum.
He was also a participant in the all-inclusive documentary series, 'What Is Love?', featuring a diverse cast of LGBTQIA+ Australians as they share their thoughts and experiences. Channels like this are aiming to teach, show support, and highlight the strength of the LGBTQIA+ Australian experience.
He's also in his final year studying the Bachelor of Arts at the University of Melbourne, double majoring in Media and Communications & Screen and Cultural Studies.
Illustrator - Daisy
Self-described as a "full time designer, part time mind reader", Daisy is the creator of, and brains behind, saidbymedesigns, an online, graphic design platform showcasing portraits, popular culture and avant-garde creations.
Daisy is self taught and started to build her freelancing business straight out of high school. She has worked on projects with other creatives such as Client Liaison, on their 2017 world tour and Food Truck Fiesta, a community driven food truck festival that celebrates local talent and delicious food.
"I'm just so excited to share and be a part of this movement that our team has created; a movement that is not only necessary in today's society, but one that I admire and am oh so passionate about."
Finance/Business - Trent
Trent Harding has been managing the business, marketing, financial and communications aspects behind the project.
Trent is studying a Bachelor of Business at Monash University, focusing on Marketing Finance. He has worked in Financial Planning for almost two years and is currently working in the Growth Advisory sector for Grant Thornton as a Business Consultant while finishing his degree.
Having begun work in publishing at the end of last year as a hobby, Trent has now completely focused his attention on working for The Be You Collection.
“Being able to follow my passion for business, at the same time as working towards a cause that can impact and benefit the lives of so many, is amazing.”
Below are all our rewards for all our amazing pledges.
Be You Timeline:
We have attached our project timeline so the everyone who backs and believes in us can see where we are at in the development of our project.
Please Share our Project :)
The success of our project relies on spreading the word and raising awareness for our campaign. Please like and share our project on Facebook & Instagram so we can work together to create something special. Help us spread and promote this movement we are passionate about and hope you are too.
Risks and challenges
Currently, over the past 6 months, we have been working to create our dream. We have completely finished production of 'Ben, The Boy Who Paints His Nails' to ensure we are prepared to deliver our finished product to all our amazing backers.
Our partner Trent has set up the manufacturing process and we are ready for manufacturing as soon as we complete our Kickstarter.
Of course, there will always be a slight risk in the manufacturing of all products but we are dedicated to making sure every backer who pledges to our project will get our products delivered in April 2018.
Although, if a problem arises with the manufacturing process we will always keep our backers in mind and will notify them immediately.
You have placed your trust in us and we want to do everything we can to give you the best experience possible.
Our Thanks and Love, Louis, Daisy & Trent.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (35 days)