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Sponsored and endorsed by Aase Wivestad, Libraries Counsellor, Vestfold Municipality, Norway
Sponsored and endorsed by David Muscat, Head of National Literacy Agency, Malta
STRETCH GOAL--11,000 EUR
If we can get the backing to 11,000 EUR/ 12,800 USD/ 105,000 NOK, we will translate 'Where am I from?' and create an eBook (PDF) in the most requested language! It will be given to all backers who would like to have it.
Through stunning murals by artist Platon*, ‘Where am I from?’ will take our young ones on a quest in search of common origins. Crafted for children roughly from 3+ years old, the story portrays children with different racial backgrounds, living in countries from all six inhabited continents.The children gather together and try to find a universal answer to the question 'Where am I from?', an answer which isn't true just for them but true for everyone. You can read the story in the section 'The story & book details'.
New to Kickstarter? You're in good company. Around the world, over 14 million people have contributed to all kinds of Kickstarter projects. To fund this innovative book project, we need to raise €10,500 in about thirty days. Crowdfunding lets people like you make a big difference for causes you care about. When you make a pledge, you're promising to help us reach that goal. But we can only accept the funds – and start painting – if we can raise the money by Wednesday, August 15th. Let's get started!
Our hashtag: #WhereAmIFrom
*Throughout the campaign's page we feature various murals that the artist has painted in the past in order to showcase his talent. Once this campaign is fully funded the artist will paint original graffiti to compliment the book story.
- The essential guide 'How to Raise Confident Multicultural Children' written with full chapter contributions by Dr. Ute Limacher-Riebold, Dr. Brigitte Vittrup, Vivian Chiona, Psychologist & Counsellor, B.Sc, M.Sc., Brian Vassallo, visiting lecturer at the University of Malta, B. Psy, Diploma Inclusion, M.Sc.
- 'Filling the Parcel', a short story for adults, published in the anthology 'Unbroken Words'.
- 'The Magical Land of Sunny', a story for children and adults, shortlisted coming second at a writing competition, featuring an original illustration by artist Rifat Al Hasan.
In order to get your free e-books, click the big button below:
Where am I from?
'Where am I from?' brings a message of peace and unity while sparkling the children's curiosity about the different countries of the world, and of course, the beauty of street art and graffiti in its true art form. Like all picture books, it's meant to be read to a child and gives the adult reader the opportunity to fill in as much detail as they would like.
The murals will be painted in Athens by Platon, a most well known street artist in Greece. One might ask what does street art have to do with a children's book. Well, I was actually very surprised to see this has never been done before - marrying words with graffiti for a children's audience.
Street art is a tool for asking the difficult questions and expressing concerns on crucial matters for the society which is in par with the story. 'Where am I from?' brings home the concept that we are more alike than we are different. What better way than a picture book with a universal theme and positive message, packed with lovely graffiti, to introduce such concepts to our young ones?
Here is a lovely video with Platon in action.
The story & book details
FULL TEXT (before the final editing)
Where am I from?
All the children of the world gathered together to solve the greatest riddle of them all. For there can only be one answer to the question, ‘Where am I from?’
Eva goes first. She says, ‘I am from Malta! A small island country that looks like a rock! I swam and I swam and then I swam a little bit more till I got here!’
‘Well, that can’t be the right answer,’ Chen replies. ‘It is definitely China, where I came from! I walked and I walked and then I walked a little bit more, and I crossed the whole Great Wall till I got here!’
‘I can assure you it is Norway where I am from!’ Tobias responds. ‘Do you see these footsteps behind me? They were made by the trolls who followed and followed and then followed me a little bit more till I got here!’
Sebastian disagrees. ‘No, because I know it is Venezuela, where I am from! I climbed mountains and I hopped from island to island to island till I got here!’
‘I am from Nigeria, of that I am sure! I rode on the back of a lion under a bright, hot sun, and I went on and on and on a little bit more till I got here!’ said Osiobe.
Alice joins them and say ‘This does not sound right! My bed was in California before I turned it into a boat. I wore my precious doll in a baby carrier, and sailed and sailed and sailed a little bit more till I got here.’
‘And I got into the pocket of Australia’s friendliest kangaroo and we jumped and we jumped and we jumped a little bit more till I got here,’ adds John.
And then there was one boy, the youngest of them all. His name was Erik and he had been listening without saying a word. Erik starts to giggle. ‘You are all soooo wrong.’ He calls ‘Mummy, Mummy!’ and Mum comes along.
‘Do you see this?’ Erik looked at the other kids and pointed at his Mum’s round belly. (image without words -> the children of the world take a close look at the belly and appear to be confused)
‘Miriam, my baby sister, is in Mum’s belly. And it is not long ago that I was in there, too. And I can assure you, all children of the world, like you, Eva, and you, Chen, and you, Tobias, and you, Sebastian, and you, Osiobe, and you, Alice, and you John, that it is from a Mum’s belly we ALL are from.’
(closing picture with the kids applauding and circling Erik's mummy and her belly with little baby Miriam being seen in the belly)
Unpublished work © 2017 Elisavet Arkolaki
The book will feature 12 illustrations-murals + 1 mural for the book cover. The artist will paint on walls, and will then proceed with taking high resolution pictures with a professional camera (350 DBI). These pictures will accompany the story. As a physical product, the book will be hardcover, 20 x 20 cm, sewn binding, 170gsm gloss art paper, 28-32 pages.
“A read that will capture hearts and minds!” - Natalie G. Owens, USA Today Best Selling Author
“Love love love the flow. It's so organic and authentic... it's just like a classic!” - Aunty Sab, author of 'We're the new Superheroes'
“Wow! I want to buy a book please! It's a Lovely story! The book is written with a pedagogical approach to learning, and useful for kids coming from all different cultures and backgrounds. I want to have this book and use it in my classroom. Love it!” - Lill-Edel Wilhelmsen, Pre-school teacher with 27 years experience in schools in Sweden and Thailand
“A short story with a big message! The author has dared to ask the age old question “where do we all come from?” and she has answered it in such a way that the reasoning and her train-of-thought can be followed by children. The way I see it, this story has the potential for helping children understand cultural differences and could even be used as a therapeutic tool in developmental psychology.” - Camilla Fredriksen, Psychologist, Sykehuset i Vestfold, Norway
“It's a fun read, multicultural, and teaches kids how we are all unique but inherently the same. I also like that the story is delivered in language that a child would use.” - Daniela Grech Sultana, author of 'Katrin and the Rainbow Fountain'
“I am so excited to see this project come to life. I am drawn into the concept and the theme of the book and am delighted to see an abstract yet realistic part of our children's lives explained to them in such an organic yet understandable way... it's pure magic.” - Lorinda Mamo, Graphic Designer, Creative Director and Lifestyle & Parenting Blogger at www.abirdwithafrenchfry.com
“I love the idea behind 'Where am I from?'. Not only does it answer children’s most burning question, but it also manages to introduce different cultures and nationalities with the use of a few well-chosen sentences. The rhythm and repetition throughout will also make it a firm favourite with younger children (and the parents who will have to read it multiple times at bedtime)!” - Maureen Saguna, Independent Content Writer
“Story telling in class should encourage asking questions, make way for discussion, arouse curiosity, and make sure the students have fun and are very engaged and interested in the story. Without a doubt, Elisavet makes sure that 'Where am I from?' brings all this in class and more. Looking very forward to introduce my students to this amazing book!” - Antonella Grech Gili, Primary School Teacher at St Albert the Great College, Malta
“A hugely original book for kids, family story-tellers and teachers. The tale is funny, authentic and tenderly touching. It promotes unity and cross-cultural understanding with no big, didactic words. And street art illustrations are such a brilliant idea! As a granny of multi-cultural, trilingual kids, I can’t wait to read it and discuss it with them.” - Polymnia Kossoras, Author of 'The Burning Midnight Sun'
Hi, I'm Elisavet Arkolaki (aka Liza), nice to meet you :) I'm a mother of two young children, a professional writer, online marketer, and a certified teacher of two foreign languages. I run the top parenting blog in Malta www.maltamum.com, I am the exclusive retailer in the country of two of the biggest international babywearing brands, and the Co-founder of a leading, multiple award-winning international translations company.
I've written articles for the Times of Malta (biggest newspaper in Malta), and I've been featured in Maltese media such as MaltaToday (second largest newspaper in Malta), Eve (biggest online lifestyle magazine in Malta), and Pink magazine (Times of Malta magazine publication). I've also been featured on international websites such as BilingualKidspot and Mamans d' Europe. You can read my most recent interview on BuzyMummy here.
I have also worked as a correspondent for SOUL (urban culture magazine, publication of the No.1 free press newspaper in Greece, AthensVoice), and I have contributed as a guest writer to Greka (urban culture magazine, publication of the No.2 free press newspaper in Greece, Lifo). Thanks to these writing opportunities, I have been able to visit and write about interesting places such as Bastoy, the first open, green prison in the world (featured on a Michael Moore’s documentary), street art events like the first Art Brut Event in Barcelona, and to meet and interview some of my favourite street artists like Miss Van, Pez, Rallito-X and Animal Bandido .
Platon is self-taught and started painting on walls when he was just 14 years old. Although he's been experimenting with all sorts of mediums (oils, water colours, crayons, pencils and so on), street art and painting characters is what he loves the most.
When artists exhibit in galleries, they are often accustomed, out of politeness, to hear compliments. This isn't what he's after; his aim has always been to keep on moving forward, evolve as a person and as an artist. Compliments are nice but they don't push you forward. He finds that out in the streets, passer byers who look at his art can be more harsh and direct in their feedback. They'll tell you exactly what they think.
Through street art, Platon finds himself engaging in two kinds of dialogue; one with the public, and one with himself. In the latter, the people he has interacted with through his art act as a mirror that helps him look deep into himself and reflect over the issues that truly bother him. He can no longer hide, he feels forced to come back with answers.
His motto is 'Let the Walls Tell our Stories', and this is exactly what we are going to do through this project. Platon is also a father of a young child, rendering the subject and nature of this book close to his heart. This is in fact his very first book to illustrate, so you will part of many firsts in this journey.
Faraxa Publishing is a small traditional publisher based in Malta with award-winning books under its belt. Faraxa's books have achieved awards, nominations and honorable mentions in the New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Amsterdam, Paris and London book festivals. Faraxa is founded and directed by Joanne Micallef, a female entrepreneur I admire, who runs her own business while juggling the struggles of parenting her very own multicultural children.
Small presses like Faraxa tend to fill the niches that larger publishers neglect. The subject we are working with, multicultural kids and families, is somewhat untapped, whereas street art has never been used as a medium to fully illustrate children's books.
The way the artist and I want to create this book, the collaborative process from start to finish, is quite unique. Normally, traditional publishers do not give the option to authors to choose an artist. In fact, authors are not involved in the book production process at all. We wanted to do things differently, and we 've found a forward thinking publisher who can help us bring our vision to life.
And last but not least comes the community - you. With your help, we're going to release the first ever picture book that introduces our little ones to the beauty of street art, with the murals being fully integrated into the narrative of a story. By bringing this project to life, we will all make together a statement about the value of inclusive stories. All children deserve stories that teach them not only about how they are unique, but also about what connects them to all other humans.
As this is the first time ever for a children's book is to be illustrated with street art, we need to know if there is a market for it. There are a lot of upfront costs in publishing a book. Even more so, when the illustrations are to be painted outdoors on walls. There is also a lot of time to be dedicated on such a project, much more than in a casual children's book. So before we start, we need to know whether you love this idea as much as we do.
Where is your money going?
The goal we have set is the minimum amount we need for this book to happen. That amount covers:
Art supplies, Book Production, Marketing, Packaging, Shipping, Kickstarter's fee (5% for Kickstarter and 3%-5% payment processing fees of the total received amount) and a few cups of coffee for the team to keep us going :)
End of May 2019 - Platon will complete all murals.
End of July 2019 - the book production will be finalized.
August 2019 - release of the eBooks, book signings, shipping of the books.
* 'MURAL' rewards please allow some extra time as the books will need to be sent to the artist, signed and then sent back to you.
* 'THE ART COLLECTOR' rewards please allow some extra time as the books will need to be sent to the artist, signed, painted and then sent back to you.
Video production: Angelique Muller, Andres Felipe Algeciras Marquez (animation)
Content editing and proofreading: Sophie Jackson, Divas at Work Editing Services
Special thanks to Ute Limacher-Riebold, Brigitte Vittrup, Vivian Chiona and Brian Vassallo for believing in this project right from the start and contributing to our free guide for multicultural children, Joe Biel from Microcosm Publishing, Steve Tanner from Time Bomb Comics, Therese Jung & Fredrik Edh from Jung Design, Vinzel Frago from Locale City Guide Philipinnes, Joanna Manousiadou Santos, Tzo Xaralampopoulou, Millie Slavidou, Rifat Al Hazan, Jay Miltetsky, the reviewers, our friends and our families for their immense support.
Risks and challenges
All projects have some level of risk, and ours is no different. In an effort to maintain high quality standards and reduce the overall cost of production (and ultimately lower our funding goal) we are working with an experienced publisher. I have excellent interactions with the Director of the publishing house, and with the artist, whom I know personally since our early twenties.
The printer is located in Malta, EU, close to the Faraxa Publishing's office, thus minimising waiting time for printing proofs and final book copies to the absolute minimum. This also ensures that the material used in the books and the production procedures conform with EU standards and regulations.
As with any Kickstarter, if we are wildly successful there may be some delays with fulfilment. Unavoidable personal mishaps, acts of God or dumb mistakes could also throw us off schedule. If we do experience any such delays, we will keep Kickstarter backers updated. Other than that we do not expect delays, and we are committed to follow the timeline we shared with you.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (29 days)