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In a vibrant village in rural India, no one will ever forget the night Sonali danced.
71 backers pledged $3,291 to help bring this project to life.

About

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$3,291

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illustrator's (Frank Lunar) portrayal of Sonali
illustrator's (Frank Lunar) portrayal of Sonali
Based on a true story, Sonali is a children's book about a young girl who follows her passion for dance and learns to find strength and grace in life’s challenges. 

The book is set in rural India, where the story began. The text is pure and powerful, and the artwork beautifully captures the spirit of the character as well as the setting. We hope that Sonali’s story will inspire children and their families, and bring new protagonists into the spotlight. 

If you would like to see this kind of story, help us bring it to life!

What is the story behind the story?

One night while Victor was visiting family in rural West Bengal, his cousin

asked him to come along to a rare concert. So Victor tagged along, and he’s glad he did. Amidst the evening of art - singers, dancers, poets - one performance fed his soul like none other. 

As Victor began to ask fellow village members how the dance performance came to be, he was inspired by what he learned. By the following night, he had written a rough draft of the text that would plant the seed for the book.

Since then, Sonali has captured the imagination of a South African illustrator, and numerous supporters in India, Bangladesh, and the United States. This international team now could not be more excited to create a beautiful final product and bring it to your bedside table.

Who is it for? 

Sonali is for ALL children (ages 5+, with the help of an adult reader) and their families. In addition, we think Sonali will be particularly meaningful for South Asian families and/or families that want to expose their children to other cultures, children with disabilities, and of course, any family that includes a strong and determined young lady.

Who is involved?

Victor Roy (author) is a Bengali American who loves stories, raised on the tales of his parent’s India. Cafes and moleskine notebooks (and at times, post-its) are usually involved in his creative sparks. Working with children has given him some of his favorite moments as a medical student. He’s currently a nomad, though he’ll soon call the UK his home. 

Frank Lunar (illustrator) is a South African artist, born and bred in Cape Town. Most of his art is done over several cups of coffee and good music. He currently lives in Observatory, a quirky corner of Cape Town. 

Co-curators Alysha and Tina are shapers of the creative direction of the project.

Alysha Aziz (co-curator) is a Bengali-American student and activist with a mind full of stories. She met Frank and Victor on a Fulbright scholarship to South Africa, and was immediately hooked by the tale of Sonali. She cannot wait to share the final product with communities craving a new and vibrant protagonist.

Tina Roy (co-curator) is a lover of dance, having learned and performed Indian classical styles since a young age. Eclectic music and a good rhythm ignite her creative spirit. Choreography follows close behind. Being a co-captain of her college's Indian fusion dance team gave Tina the chance to share this spirit. Now, she's excited to connect this story to communities of dancers and performers around the world.

What will the funding help support?

Funding from this project will help support our artist in creating the 30+ illustrations that will compose Sonali as well as cover costs of design, layout, publicity, and publishing (currently in the United States).

Stretch goals of $8,500 would allow us to translate the book into Hindi and Bengali, and identify sites for distribution (primary schools, schools for children with disabilities, etc) in India and Bangladesh as well. 

The higher we go, the bigger we can dream! Who knows: may be even an entire line of children's stories that cross traditional boundaries of plot, geography, culture, and medium!

**Update as of 10/9/2013**

We're so excited that we've neared our $2500 goal in just two weeks! It's been amazing to see the support and sharing of this project in such a short time.

But we want to keep the Sonali dance going, because each new backer (besides having the chance to get the book) will help grow our impact.

Additional backing will go towards:

1) Translation and publication of the book into Bengali. We would need funds to publish a separate translated version - three members of our team (Victor, Alysha, and Tina) are fluent in Bengali so we can figure it out, along with help from some pros!

2) Direct donations of the book to public schools and libraries for children in West Bengal (India), Bangladesh, and Cape Town (South Africa). The more we raise, the more copies we can purchase and directly donate to schools, libraries, and other organizations that work with children. If you have relationships with organizations that might be helpful, let us know!

We'd love to hit $4000, though we're mainly counting on sharing this through our existing networks to get there.

 

Risks and challenges

As with any project, ours comes with risks and challenges. However, we promise to be entirely transparent and honest with our backers about any hiccups or delays we may encounter over the process.

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Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Team Sonali is grateful for your support - we'll send virtual hugs and do a dance move in your honor!

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Physical paperback // Hold the real deal in your hands and turn the pages of vivid images and text. (ships free in the US)

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    39 backers
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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    A limited edition hardcover // Remember your childhood and feel the weight and delight of flipping through this beautiful version. (ships free in the US)

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    16 backers
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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Glossy Print + Limited Edition Hardcover OR 4 paperbacks // In addition to the book, you'll get a 8.5"x11" glossy print of a Sonali illustration to hang on the wall or put in a frame OR choose to get 4 paperbacks and give a few as gifts! (we'll follow-up on your selection)

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    *Dedicated* Limited Edition hardcover + glossy print // For helping Sonali take big leaps, you'll be specially recognized in a dedications page of the book.

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Funding period

- (30 days)