About this project
Welcome to the Flamingo Rampant Book Club! Over the course of a subscription year, we will send you six BRAND NEW books - one every other month, each written specifically for this book club. These books will celebrate the great and wide variety of LGBTQ2S kids, families, and communities. That means when our books feature lesbian mums or gay dads, they get storylines: travels, adventures and mysteries to solve, rather than entire books pointing out that we exist. That means fully half of our books every year will center Black, Latin@, Indigenous, First Nations, Asian/Pacific Islander, Middle Eastern, and mixed-race people and cultures instead of making them minor, one-line characters - and these books will be written by people of color. It means our books will celebrate gender-independent kids and adults as their whole selves, however they identify. It means Flamingo Rampant books will uplift and affirm families that include extended relations or relatives of heart or choice.
The first year of books we have planned is so exciting! Some of these titles are just working titles, and concepts are subject to change, but we're keen to tell you about what we have in store. They include:
- M is for Mustache, a Pride ABC book written by playwright, activist, and badass mama Catherine Hernandez. M is for Mustache features not only items of Pride - like beads, flags, glitter and stick-on mustaches - but also values of pride: liberation, justice, community and magic.
- Newspaper Pirates, a mystery adventure about curious Barney who goes on an apartment building adventure to see who's filching his Daddy and Papa's newspaper. Red-headed Barney, an only child, follows up on clues and hunches until he gets to the bottom of things,
- a Onkwehon:we (Indigenous) story of a gender-independent young child finding the power in his long hair by Mohawk and Cayuga artist and shaman Kiley May. In this book, a young boy who values his long hair and femme ways finds the strength to peacefully affirm his own expression of gender,
- Home Together, a travel story, in which Mama and Amma - recently married - take their newly-blended family on an alternative honeymoon trip to New Hampshire and Dharamsala, India so everyone can see where each grew up,
- Is That For A Boy Or A Girl?, by S. Bear Bergman (that's me!) an inclusive and feminist book showing twelve awesome kids speaking in first person rhyme about how they and their activities/interests/clothes interrupt the pink/blue dichotomy in some way,
- and more! Surprises and delights await you!
Look at all the press we've gotten! Clink the logo to see the story:
Dear awesome parents, teachers, librarians and caregivers,
As a parent of a rising kindergartener who loves books and stories, I spend a lot of time looking for books that I feel good about. I look for books that represent our family and friends in positive, celebratory ways. I look for books that center girls and kids/families of color, books about adventures or triumphs rather than bullying, and books that show LGBTQ2S families or gender-independent kids.
I don't find them very often. And with feminist and independent bookstores going out of business day after day, friendly clerks with deep knowledge of a genre are less and less available. In many parts of the world, the only way to get kids' books with LGBTQ2S themes is to fumble around on Amazon and hope that whatever arrives matches our values and meets our needs.
Whoever the people in your family are, or may someday be, these Flamingo Rampant Book Club! titles will be fun to read and beautiful to look at. Separate from their educational value, these stories are awesome. But if someone in your family, school or community is gay or lesbian or bi or trans or queer or gender-independent, these books will be validating - it's great to see people just like us in books! If your family or community doesn't contain, or know, anyone in the LGBTQ2S communities? Then the FRBC! stories will be normalizing. If a kid from Omaha reads a book about the ocean, she learns that the ocean is a wonderful thing that exists in the world, and which she will get to enjoy someday. The same is true here - LGBTQ2S people become the friends we just haven't met yet.
Our subscription will start in Jan/Feb 2015, and Kickstarter backers will receive a book every other month plus the special fabulous add-ons that await if we reach our stretch goals! (and don't worry if your address might change. Our fabulous Flamingo Facilitator, Rudy, can handle it.)
We can't wait to have you in our club! We're already pretty stoked that you're in our communities.
Thanks and love,
S. Bear Bergman
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STRETCH GOAL #1: 62,000
If we reach the $62,000 stretch goal (625 families or organizations subscribed) then everyone subscribing to a book series will receive a charming coloring book showing birds, insects, fish and animals that create families or express their genders in all kinds of ways. Slime molds have eleven sexes, emu dads raise the babies with other emu dads (and no assistance from the mothers that laid the eggs), lemur families are female-led chosen families, and so on. The coloring book will feature line drawings, fun facts, and a few simple puzzles for older children.
STRETCH GOAL #2: 78,000
At this level, with 780 subscribing families or organizations, everyone (everyone, everyone!) gets a storybook app. Readers will be able to listen to the story read to them in English, Spanish, or French with words appearing below, or read by themselves with touch technology to pronounce words they can't read yet. Which book? We're not sure yet! But it's going to be pretty great, you guys.
STRETCH GOAL #3: 100,000
If one thousand families or organizations subscribe, Flamingo Rampant Book Club! will release an American Sign Language-integrated video storybook, available for free to anyone with access to the internet, of M is for Mustache (or Pride ABC book) by Catherine Hernandez. Children will not only learn their letters in ASL, but also signs for such important LGBTQ2S concepts as pride, justice, liberation, ally, magic, and of course glitter.
STRETCH GOAL #4: 140,000
ALL BOOKS BECOME HARDCOVER! Currently, we're hoping to be able to do one or two hardcovers, depending on how many subscriptions are claimed. At the 1,400 subscriptions point, you get a hardcover, and you get a hardcover! Everyone gets hardcover books!
Risks and challenges
After our successful Kickstarter three years ago, in which we launched the press and published Backwards Day and The Adventures of Tulip, Birthday Wish Fairy, we have learned a lot about printing, publishing, and fulfillment. The biggest concern at this point is time delays related to creative work taking longer than we've scheduled or anticipated to get things perfect. If that happens, some portion of your subscription may be delayed, but are committed to getting you the books, even if it takes a little longer.
All books will be shipped from the Flamingo Fulfillment Nest in Philadelphia, PA, overseen by Flamingo Facilitator Rudy Flesher. Rudy will be in charge of packing and shipping all your books with love (and also glitter).Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Assuming we fund (fingers crossed, please tell everyone you know about this project if you'd be so kind) you'll get what Kickstarter calls a "survey" sometime in the late fall (to reduce the amount of address-correcting as much as possible) The survey will allow you to specify any name or address you like for the recipient. There will also be a link to a cute card you can download and print, if you intend this as a gift.
I don’t know. We’re exploring some options for that, but I can’t guarantee it. If you’re really keen, I have to recommend that you subscribe now and hang on to them.
If it funds and the project launches, yes.
Paying artists and cultural workers. I know, sounds crazy, right? But we’re paying everyone a real amount of money (not a token payment) for their work the entire way: writers, illustrators, book designers, graphic artists, web designers, and our fulfillment faerie. On the other hand, we don’t want the subscription to cost a ridiculous amount. In order to balance both sides of the equation, we need 450 families to sign up for a full subscription (or the fundraising equivalent) so we have a big enough economy of scale and can pay everyone properly for their work.
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