Welcome to the Deonna and the BIG Bully Kickstarter campaign
I just want to first acknowledge and thank you for visiting my campaign page for Deonna and the BIG Bully! I really appreciate the fact that you’re here, giving this project some consideration.
I hope you’ll look at the reward options on the right and make a pledge to help give children all around America a chance to learn how to stand up to bullies.
And please feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions or feedback. This project is a work-in-progress, so I’d love to hear from you if you have any input on the book.
About Deonna and the BIG Bully
A fierce young girl’s stand against hate
Deonna and the BIG Bully is a children's book about a girl who stands up to bigotry, hate, and the bully in the White House. It addresses the challenges of talking to kids about the wave of bigotry and hate that is spreading across the country and the importance of resistance and solidarity.
The concept and story
Pages filled with rhymes and colorful illustrations provide parents an enjoyable platform to address some of the most difficult issues of the day. Deonna and the BIG Bully teaches children that even when bullies are mean and loud, we can overcome their hate by standing together for what is right: equality, freedom, dignity, and justice for everyone.
Throughout the story, Deonna – a fearless, young, black girl – stands up to bigots and bullies. She also joins those who are targeted by Donald Trump and his supporters in protests against oppression.
The story moves from one Trump rally to the next, where Trump is riling up his supporters with hateful rhetoric against people with different identities: he targets women, Muslims, Mexicans, and black people. At each rally, Deonna expresses support for the people Trump targets, while bullies in the crowd try to intimidate her. But she stands strong and shows the bullies that she is not afraid of them.
But that’s not all she does. Deonna also joins protests with people who are being targeted by Trump and his followers. As a result, she begins to see that people from all backgrounds are standing together in solidarity against bigotry and hate. By doing so, they fight for a better world. They are fighting together for equality, dignity, freedom, and justice.
How this story come about
I’ve been thinking about a children’s book like this for a long time. However, I had no idea that Trump would play such a big role in it until recently.
After Trump won the election many people were in shock and began asking, “how do I talk to my kids about this?” It is a really tough question. How do we talk to children about all that is happening in the world and what to do about it when we often don’t understand it ourselves?
Social movements, like Occupy Wall Street and Black Lives Matter, have captured national attention for several years. However, most Americans were not convinced that they should support these movements, or they simply didn’t know how. I wanted to help parents feel more comfortable talking with their children about such protests and the importance of solidarity.
Additionally, seeing the resistance to the Trump campaign and witnessing mass protests following the election, I was inspired by all the activists escalating their actions in the face of rampant bigotry that Trump represents.
As an activist, I find it invigorating when new people participate in protests and community organizing! I know that once people are energized and find a politically active community to work with, it gives them a chance to learn from those most affected by bigotry.
I wanted to capture the momentum of solidarity and action in a book that parents and children could share together.
The book's message
We all have stories from childhood that impacted the way we view the world. I wanted to create a book in which words and images would push the limits of the type of politics that are acceptable for children. By doing so, I want children to have an opportunity to engage with a story about standing against all forms of oppression like misogyny and bigotry, especially because many of the movements against hate are wrongfully vilified in the media.
We cannot teach our children only to support protests for racial justice and gender equality that happened 60 years ago. Deonna and the BIG Bully teaches that these struggles are happening right now, and it’s important to join and support them.
The main message of the book is the importance of solidarity—listening to people who are most negatively affected by the society we all contribute to, and standing with them to correct injustices. This book provides a platform for talking to children about supporting people by following their lead in the struggle for equality, freedom, dignity, and justice.
Deonna and the BIG Bully guides young readers on a path of discovery. By standing against injustice, Deonna finds a community of people standing together against all forms of oppression, and she encourages other children to do the same.
Who this book is for
Deonna and the BIG Bully is written for children ages 5-8, but it is also aimed at two groups of parents.
First, this book is written for parents who are liberal and progressive-minded, who were enraged watching Trump’s campaign and all the support he has, and who were devastated when he won the election.
The Trump election was a wake-up call to many progressives about how bad racism, bigotry, and misogyny really are in America. But many people still don’t know what to do about it, or are reluctant to support the protest. This book shows that standing together is the right thing to do, and is the only way to win against hate.
Deonna and the BIG Bully gives you a tool to talk to your children about what it means to stand up for what is right. And that often means listening to the people who are most affected by what’s wrong in the world, standing by their side, and doing what they ask.
This is to bring you on a journey with the children in your life to make sure they know it’s right to support and join movements for equality, dignity, freedom, and justice.
Second, it is written for parents who are politically active and who support, or even join, protests and social movements. Hopefully, this book will provide you a story to read with children that will be close to your heart and reinforce your values. Let’s face it, there are not a lot of children’s books out there covering the social movements of today. I hope you enjoy it!
Here’s how you can pledge
If you read this far and want to offer some support to help me finish and produce Deonna and the BIG Bully, take a look at the column on the right. You can scan through the reward options, see what you like, and choose a pledge amount that works for you. Every little bit helps!
How funds will be used
Funds raised here will be used to cover the cost of writing, editing, illustrating, and designing Deonna and the BIG Bully; political consulting around the storyline and messaging; reward production and shipping; obtaining an ISBN number; taxes and fees; and publishing, distributing, and shipping books to you
If you love Deonna and the BIG Bully, here’s what’s next
For the campaign: help us spread the word!
- Talk about our campaign: You and your friends complain about how terrible Trump is, right? Well, that’s a perfect opportunity to mention this amazing project!
- Email: Haven’t seen those friends whose blood boils at the sight of Trump in a while? Email them. If they’re passionate about resisting Trump, misogyny, and bigotry, they will be happy you shared this with them.
- Share, Share, Share: Do you have Facebook? Twitter? Instagram? A Blog? Share and connect with us!
After the Kickstarter campaign
This Kickstarter campaign is more than just about raising some needed funds. Deonna and the BIG Bully is still evolving, and I am hoping to connect with people who will be engaged and provide feedback to help direct the final stages of the book. Also, I’m hoping this will be the first in a series of Deonna books. I would like to partner with artists and experts interested in working together on children’s books that cover a wide variety of social justice issues.
If you’re interested in giving feedback or exploring potential partnerships, please send an email to email@example.com.
Deonna and the BIG Bully is tentatively scheduled to be completed and sent out to you by early December. Some rewards may take a little longer to reach you, so read the reward descriptions for details.
About the creator
I am a writer, activist, and artist. I was born and raised in Rhode Island, which keeps me grounded in the culture of non-metropolitan working America. And, until recently, I spent most of the last decade living and working in New York City. There, I connected to people who were involved in global affairs and social justice activism. Regularly witnessing the vast differences between the beliefs and concerns of people from these different places motivated me to bridge some divides.
Not that I’m one for trying to convince everyone to agree with what I think is right – let’s be honest, Deonna and the BIG Bully isn’t converting any Trump supporters – but I do hope to move people who already believe in equality, freedom, dignity, and justice to dive deeper into their convictions and to act on them.
I try to help in that process by taking loads of information and complex ideas, and crafting them into easily digestible texts. This is what I did for adults with my first book: Another World IS Possible: Freedom, Economic Truth, and Creating a Society of Humanness. And it’s what I want to do for children now.
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Check out more of my work
Risks and challenges
The writing and illustrations are close to complete, so I don’t foresee many risks and challenges with finishing Deonna and the BIG Bully. However, there are risks and challenges in other aspects of the process.
The politics of this book are contentious. It’s always difficult to discuss issues of gender, race, religion, and identity – but it’s imperative that we do. And we can’t even begin to talk about Trump without trying to confront his bigotry.
In order to ensure that this book is politically-sound and respectful to the different identities represented, I’ve been working with partners whom I trust to review the book for nuances. If this Kickstarter is successful and the project gets funded, I plan to hire a professional editor to give even more attention to the politics and people represented in the book.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)