The Coolest Children's Book Ever
The Coolest Children's Book Ever
An African children's story that teaches kids the importance of hard work and self belief, with an innovative one-for-one model
An African children's story that teaches kids the importance of hard work and self belief, with an innovative one-for-one model Read more
About this project
About Joseph and the Paw Paw Tree
Joseph and the Paw Paw Tree is an empowering story that teaches kids to believe in themselves and work hard to achieve their dreams. And with each purchase, one book will be sent to you and one book will be sent to a child in East Africa. The story takes place in a rural African village, where Joseph lives with his father, sister, and brother.
Joseph's father gives him and his siblings papaya (paw paw) seeds to plant and tells them that for these seeds to turn into trees that bear fruit, "it takes hard work everyday, and no matter what, you have to believe in yourself."
While Joseph's siblings stop watering their trees because they stop believing, Joseph never loses sight of his goal: a swing. He keeps believing and keeps watering his tree even when his brother and sister call him foolish. And eventually his persistence pays off!
The story teaches kids the importance of hard work everyday, and also to believe in themselves.
To see and read the whole story, please click on the "story" section of our website: www.a4abooks.com
Why we're doing this
We think that the best way to create the future we want is to empower our children, the future leaders of tomorrow. The message of a good children's book can be profound and last a lifetime, especially in remote villages in East Africa where kids aren't exposed to many books, let alone anything relevant to their circumstances.
We wanted to create a book that kids in villages can identify with and teach them about cultures far away. And we also wanted to create a book that could educate our children here about a distant place and culture that they're taught very little about in school or home. This project was born from our desire to create something for our dear friends in the village of Matoso, Kenya, while also teaching our nieces and nephews here about places far, far away.
How we're doing this
We wrote a children's story, and are selling it using a one-for-one model, sending one book to you and one book to a child in East Africa for every book purchased.
We wrote this story for our young friends we met in East Africa, and after working through many drafts, we've finally perfected it. The name was changed from Joseph and the Papaya Tree to Joseph and the Paw Paw Tree because kids didn't know what a papaya was! They use the word paw paw instead of papaya. And we had to change some drawings as well, as we found out that a papaya tree wasn't strong enough to support a swing.
We took a few copies of the first iteration of the book to East Africa on our last trip and really learned from that experience just how needed these books are. It really strengthened our commitment to this endeavor seeing the look on the kids' faces when they got a book.
What we've learned
During that trip to Africa we discovered a way to really make a difference to these kids. For the lucky few who got a copy of the book it was the first and only book they owned. After seeing how appreciative those students and their parents were for the simple gift of a children’s book, we then committed to bringing them more, a lot more.
But we also learned some other things. We took a soft copy of the book, and within an hour it was all messed up. To live a long life in a rural setting, our children's books need to be hardcover. And most importantly, to actually logistically do this, we need to order books in enough bulk to drive down the cost per book to actually make this doable.
Why We're Raising Money
We are raising money so we can order our first shipment of these books in bulk, and to get them made with a hard, durable cover so that these books last for many years to come.
Risks and challenges
The biggest potential obstacle will be delivering the books to the rural schools. To overcome this challenge we will ship the books in bulk to a partner in the region who will then, in conjunction with our Board Member in Uganda, either ship or personally deliver the books to each school (depending on whether there is reliable mail service to the location).Learn about accountability on Kickstarter