Welcome to my Kickstarter campaign for the new children's book, "The Boy with the Rainbow Heart!"
*UPDATE* - Thank you, all, so much for allowing us to hit out goal so quickly! We are now working at donating more books to more schools and cities across the country! For each additional $1,000 that we go above our goal - we will be choosing a new city or school district to donate more books! The sky is the limit! THANK YOU!
Here's the short version of what I am trying to do:
I wrote a children's book, called "The Boy with the Rainbow Heart," in honor of my lesbian sister, Jessica, her children, and all children who find themselves feeling different in some way.
In short – this is a story (ages 3-9) about a young boy with a rainbow heart who turns the town of Gray into the town of Shine – through love, kindness, and by being himself. It is a book that teaches love and acceptance for all people – no matter what color your heart may shine!
I am running this campaign to drum up support (trying to raise $4,000 - but would love to go higher!) for the book to get published, printed, and into local stores/organizations/schools. *If we (all of you & me) hit our goal, we are going to donate books to each of the 44 elementary schools in the Buffalo Public School system. For each additional $1,000 above our goal, we will donate more books to other public elementary schools in other cities (I have some locations in mind already - but message me if you have a city that is special to you). I want kids to know that they have an advocate in "The Boy with the Rainbow Heart!" Thank you SO much for donating ANY amount you are comfortable with. I appreciate you very much! :) Let's change the world!
P.S. If you share this on any social media (facebook, twitter, instagram) please use the hashtag #ShareYourColors
"The Boy with the Rainbow Heart" is a short children’s book about diversity, love and acceptance for all people. The book is very abstract, almost “fable-like." The story revolves around a young boy with a rainbow heart who turns an entire town of Gray into a town of happiness and light through the power of kindness, love, and by being himself. The boy grows up in a town of Gray but because of his kind and colorful heart, he is able to change the town of Gray into the town of Shine!
In 2014, I graduated from the University at Buffalo (UB) with a Masters in Social Work. During my time in the social work program, I was a school social worker intern at two local elementary schools over a period of two years. I vividly remember the lack of diverse children's books available for students - and I specifically remember thinking that there were no LGBTQ themed children's books in each school. The lack of LGBTQ books for children is a problem that needs to be addressed and I hope this book plays a role to fix it.
The biggest reason I am making this book is because I remember seeing what it was like for my sister (who is gay) growing up in school. My sister really struggled when she “came out of the closet” as a teenager and I am hoping this book will be a good resource for kids, parents, and teachers as they try their best to navigate through similar issues.
This book is really important to me. I designed the book so that children of all genders, cultures, and ages can relate to the boy. I also specifically wrote the story so that it was abstract and friendly for the classroom - as I realize the sensitive nature surrounding children developing their sexual identity. I did this because I want this book to be used in schools - and I believe children learn best from colors. I do believe that it is a perfect book for schools to share with their students and families and it is a great resource to help children and parents inside and outside of the classroom. The intended audience is for young children (ages 3-9) but it could be a great resource for children of all ages - as a sign and symbol of acceptance and as a source for a great discussion about love and acceptance for all people.
It's important to make sure our schools are providing children's literature inside the classroom with LGBTQ characters and themes for children who may be LGBTQ themselves. I believe that it will allow them to see themselves represented in a variety of positive ways through books as they grow up and develop self identity. It is also important for children who do not identify as LGBTQ to read and see LGBTQ characters in children's books because it will help them see the LGBTQ community normalized.
The book was written for the LGBTQ community, but I also want the entire world to feel the love inside the boy's heart. This book will be dedicated to my sister, Jessica, who has had to overcome so much adversity in school and in society because of her sexual orientation.
Thank you for believing in "The Boy with the Rainbow Heart" and the power of love!
Want to learn a bit more?
Who is involved?
- I (Will Mason) am the creator and author of the project, Cody Weiler is responsible for the book formatting/editing/typography and Coraline Tran is our main illustrator. Cody and Coraline are incredibly talented artists/graphic designers and we are fortunate to have them involved with the project!
- A special thanks to Todd Ghidaleson for creating the Kickstarter video & a special thanks to Ben Cooper, lead singer of Radical Face, for allowing us to use his music for the video!
We need to raise $4,000 to cover the following:
- illustration costs
- packaging costs
- reward fulfillment costs
- ordering the hardcover print copies of the books!
What will we do once we fund the campaign?
- Our goal is to provide free copies of the book to every elementary school in the Buffalo Public School system (44 in total). If we raise more money, we will be able to donate more books to more elementary schools! We will also sell books to various schools across the globe!
- Once we receive the $4,000 (or more), we are going to purchase a large quantity of hardcover books, and we will begin packaging rewards (books, t-shirts, pictures) and shipping them out immediately! If we raise more than $4,000 - we will print more books - and we will donate them to other elementary schools in other cities!
- We will do our best to get everyone their rewards by the holidays - but please be patient if we encounter hiccups along the way!
What’s our schedule/timeline?
- August - Kickstarter Launch
- September - Kickstarter End
- October - Order books!
- November/December - Receive books and begin packaging rewards
- December/January - Send reward packages & books!
What does the book look/feel like?
- 8.5 by 11 hardcover, full & vibrant colored, 32 page children's book!
- Rainbow Heart T-Shirt (heart is right from the boy!)
- Original Sketch of the Boy (8.5 by 11)
- Hardcover Book (photo to come soon!)
GET TO KNOW MY FAMILY!
Risks and challenges
The risks involved with this project are very low. The book itself has already been written and illustrated and it is ready to go to the printer (we found a great one!). Our greatest challenge will lie in product fulfillment because it is new territory, but we have done extensive research, and we believe we will get everyone their books and rewards in a timely fashion. I love this project/book/cause too much to not give this the full effort and dedication it deserves.
Let's raise this money and get "The Boy with the Rainbow Heart" into the world! I believe now is the perfect time for our children to meet him...Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)