The Ghanaian Goldilocks is a modern twist on the classic fairy tale, and it's set in Accra, Ghana. Goldilocks is actually the nickname of a cute and clever kid named Kofi whose hair is light as a result of the extended time he spends playing in the sun daily.
It's a story that really did kind of write itself. I've had the pleasure of spending a good amount of time in Ghana in the past, and I believe the story I've written with the classic tale as a referential basis really yields itself beautifully as an authentic and engaging learning experience in west African culture and principles for all ages.
In my opinion, having the opportunity to contribute to the materialization of this book is a powerful one. It's not every day we see a take on a classic tale whose main character is an African boy. The Ghanaian Goldilocks provides a peek into Ghanaian culture and staples in a familiar framework. It allows the reader to experience a gorgeous country in west Africa through the eyes of a cultural insider.
I am the owner, Director & head teacher at my school The English Schoolhouse in Rome, Italy. Recently I had a private lesson with a pair of sisters, Rebecca & Livia (ages 7 and 5 respectively) & thought it'd be cool to get their feedback on The Ghanaian Goldilocks. First I showed them the cover...
and then I read the story aloud to them both. It was fantastic to hear them interject, wonder & reflect as they engaged with the text. "That's porridge!" Livia exclaimed as I read the portion of the story that details Kofi dipping his fingers in three separate bowls of fufu, a traditional Ghanaian soup dish. They had no visual to rely on except for the cover, but their existing knowledge of the traditional fairytale helped them to make important connections and ultimately learn about a new culture with which they weren't familiar prior to the story.
After reading the book aloud, I asked the sisters to write a quick book review of The Ghanaian Goldilocks. Let's hope all future readers agree with them...
With rave reviews like these, who could argue that this book doesn't need to be in the hands of young readers all over the world?!
Funds raised from this campaign will go toward illustrating and publishing The Ghanaian Goldilocks as well as printing the initial copies of the book.
I'm lucky to have a great partner in this project. Back in early fall I ran across an image of The Fugees that had been illustrated by Phil Howell. A little more research and, well let's just call it what it is, mild stalking (mostly of his blog), led me to some additional impressive illustrations he's done, and convinced me that he was the guy who needed to illustrate my first children's book. I reached out to Phil on Twitter & then shot him an email telling him the premise of my book and asking if he'd be interested in illustrating. I was pleasantly surprised when he quickly and wholeheartedly agreed.
Phil was kind enough to design the cover of the book specifically for the purpose of this Kickstarter project, and has agreed to illustrate the rest of the story during the course of this campaign and right after it is complete.
And how do you know that the story is just as good as the illustrations?
Here's a sneak peek of the story...just the first few lines--
In the West African city of Accra not so long ago, in a country that was once called Gold Coast but is now known as Ghana, there lived a young boy by the name of Kofi. It is a name given to many Ghanaian boys who are born on Friday. Much like other children around his age, Kofi delighted in games and fun. He could most often be found down on the beach with his friends finding seashells just the right size for playing Pombo, perfecting his handstands in the water, or lying belly up in the sand wondering about the things his mama said would take time to understand. When it was time to call her son in for lunch or dinner, Kofi’s mother Abena rarely had a hard time spotting him. Having spent the better part of each day outside, the sun had soaked up the dark pigment in his hair, eventually leaving him with a healthy patch of nearly blonde coils. As Kofi grew, so did his hair. It grew and grew until it resembled the dreadlocks of some of the fishermen who caught and sold seafood by El Mina castle in Cape Coast. ..
I hope you'd like to read the rest of this story, and if you would, I'd like to ask you to consider throwing in a donation. With the Kickstarter approach, it'll take a village to publish The Ghanaian Goldilocks. I give my sincere thanks in advance to anyone who donates to, likes, and/or shares this campaign.
The e-version of an additional book, F is for Fufu, an alphabet book based on The Ghanaian Goldilocks, will be given to supporters of this campaign who donate the minimal amount to receive it...
as well as this fantastic alphabet chart based on The Ghanaian Goldilocks
Risks and challenges
Phil Howell is pretty awesome, and that makes him pretty popular. He's worked with the likes of Kanye West, MySpace, Blink 182, Simply Apple, The Birmingham Royal Ballet, Sky TV, Warner Bros. Music Group...the list goes on and on. I'm a girl from Texas who owns the best school in Rome, but I'm no big shot. Phil's got a lot on his plate, and he's promised to work with me diligently on getting this book done as soon as humanly possible...but if Kanye comes a knockin'...
And then there's the creative vision thing. The cover/poster alone that Phil designed and completely nailed for The Ghanaian Goldilocks took six revisions...not because the first five weren't good enough, but because finding the image that's just right and sits perfectly well with both the writer and the illustrator can be tedious. Most children's books are laid out over sixteen pages. The goal is to have this book illustrated by early February and in print by March. Fingers crossed Phil and I will be on the same page the whole way through.
The last challenge comes with the timing of this project. It's around the holidays, and I know money is tight for a lot of people. I'm hoping that potential donors see this as an opportunity to pre-purchase and support an exceptional book that highlights a country, continent, and culture that are sorely underrepresented in the world of children's literature.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (50 days)