Founded by writer-educator pair S. Bear Bergman and j wallace skelton, Flamingo Rampant makes books that are both nutritious and delicious: fun stories and beautifully illustrated children's picture books containing important values like racial justice, disability pride, kids taking action, and most of all loving, positive LGBT2Q+ families and communities. When traditional publishing produced mostly difficult stories of harassment or bullying and insipid books whose proud "message" was that gay parents aren't necessarily bad, Flamingo Rampant went... a different way. We show LGBT2Q+ kids, families, and communities that are full of fun, celebration, adventure, shenanigans and lots of love.
In 2018, we've got 16 beautiful books under our (very stylish) belts and we've learned a lot. In celebration of all our learning, individually and together, we bring you new creations, new pictures and new ways to build important, fun stories:
Flamingo Rampant 2019: Discovery!
What do we have in store? (note: stories and concepts may evolve, contributors may change, these may not be exactly the books you receive but you will get books and they'll be delightful. Promise.)
- THE GREAT SPACE ADVENTURE, by Ryka Aoki (with illustrations by Cai L. Steele) about a nonbinary kid who takes a splendid space adventure and returns home to discuss their discoveries (including that Neptune smells like farts!)
- an untitled book of colors, carrying on our tradition of making a learning book for our smallest fans (like our Pride ABC book M is for Mustache and our birthday counting book Bell's Knock Knock Birthday). This book, written by Kanoa Kau Arteaga and illustrated by Keaolani Bogac-Moore, will introduce young readers to color names and color concepts in English and Hawai'ian as an older brother teaches some rowdy younger siblings and friends on the beach.
- POWER POEMS FOR SMALL HUMANS, a collection with poems by Britta Badour, Jillian Christmas, Andrea Gibson, Andrea Jenkins, Kai Cheng Thom, Amir Rabiyah, Theresa I. Soto, Leroi Newbold and more! These poems are designed for kids to be able to learn easily and say to themselves when they need to find their own power before they do something challenging - make a new friend, stand up for what's right, handle their anger, say they're sorry, and more.
- BRIDGE OF FLOWERS by Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha (with illustrations by Syrus Marcus Ware), in which siblings of divorced parents who move between households solve an access challenge for their queer disabled community with style and verve by using what they find in their very different homes.
- IT'S A WILD WORLD by S. Bear Bergman, with illustrations by KD Diamond, featuring the three co-presidents of their elementary school Gender and Sexuality Alliance presenting a special service project - a guided tour of the local zoo featuring some of the animals, birds, and fish with diverse sex characteristics, mating patterns and family structures.
- CASEY AT THE BAT by Kit Yan (illustrator TBD) in which a young trans boy works so very hard to be a star player now that he's finally allowed to be on the boys' team. When he makes a big mistake, his family helps him find his confidence again.
But wait, there's more!
This year also sees the return of some Flamingo Rampant classics, our first two books: THE ADVENTURES OF TULIP, BIRTHDAY WISH FAIRY and BACKWARDS DAY. Now updated with fewer words, a more manageable size, a more accessible font and brilliant surprises in the illustrations, the books that launched Flamingo Rampant will return to delight young people again. *You'll be able to add the pair to your order after the Kickstarter closes, when we get closer to shipping.*
So that's the story. Now we need you to click the button and back the project to make sure we can get these books made.
We can't rely on traditional channels like bookstores to sell enough books, since bookstore shelf space is at a premium and there are fewer and fewer independent stores. Big box bookstores carry the most commercially viable titles, and that means that our beautiful, celebratory LGBT2Q+ stories don't get a chance to meet potential customers out browsing. Your support means we don't have to worry about making palatable, "safe" books. Your support means Flamingo Rampant can show LGBT2Q+ kids and families and communities doing everything we do, being everything we are - beautiful and proud and fierce and free.
Nice things people have said about Flamingo Rampant books!
Reflected on the page The Globe and Mail
Risks and challenges
- everything we make is made by LGBT2Q+ people, who experience higher incidences of trauma and life disruption. Sometimes people need more time.
- ditto Black, Indigenous, and People of Color
- ditto disabled people
Everyone signs on the projects with every intention of getting things done, done well, and done on time but sometimes one of those has to go. So projects have been known to be late.
Other than that, and assuming that the price of paper doesn't skyrocket unexpectedly in the first half of 2019, we've got a reasonably good handle on this. But no matter what, we're making books. Pinky swear.
- (30 days)