About this project
In a world full of bullying and constant comparison between ourselves and those around us, I want to tell Rojo's story in a colorfully illustrated children's book to help teach children the importance of accepting yourself for you who you are. Rojo's story will be told from a perspective of personal connection rather than just a "warm, fuzzy message." Young readers will experience feelings of sympathy, and might very well relate to and connect with Rojo's feelings of not quite fitting in. In the back of the book, children will be able to see images of the real Rojo in real life.
Rojo the Llama is a therapy animal in the heart of the Pacific Northwest. Transforming every environment he walks into, he brings joy, excitement and acceptance wherever he goes. Most people don't know the inspiring true story of Rojo and how this came to be.
Llamas are useful for a variety of purposes. They are used as guard animals to protect herds of sheep from coyotes, as pack animals for long-distance hiking and as show animals much like show dogs and horses. Rojo has never fallen into many of these categories.
Originally purchased with the intent of being a young girl's 4-H animal, Rojo was good at few competitions. At the fair he would let the girl put socks on all four of his feet, allow his head to be touched, and was very good for social interactions outside of his pen. However, during obstacle course competitions, when asked to jump, he would just walk around the obstacle and would not move when asked to back up. Good luck trying to walk him through a kiddy pool full of water!
Rojo has never been a hiker, and when it comes to guarding other animals, he is too independent to care about overseeing a herd. When it comes to being a "llama," Rojo was not cut out for it. Besides being an excellent grazer, there was no real future for Rojo in the "llama world." Thank goodness for the stranger at the fair who saw potential in him!
One year at the fair, Rojo was out of his pen allowing children to interact with this gentle giant in a very up-close-and-personal way. A gentleman came over to the now grown girl and mentioned how impressed he was with Rojo's calm and inviting demeanor. He mentioned Portland's DoveLewis Animal Hospital, and how she should consider certifying Rojo to become an assisted therapy animal.
The interaction was shortly followed by a lady and her son asking if it would be all right to pet the lovely llama. The son had no hair, hands or feet and as the mom pushed the wheelchair into the llama's locks, the boy twirled his arms in Rojo's hair. Beaming with excitement he exclaimed, "Mom, I pet a llama! I pet a llama!" In that moment Rojo had a purpose. The following year, Rojo and I, the young girl, became a certified therapy team and have been enriching the lives of our community ever since!
Risks and challenges
With this story being so near and dear to my heart, it is important that the images in the book reflect Rojo and his character. Thankfully, I have found an incredibly talented illustrator, Theresa Johnson, who lives right here in Vancouver, WA. We are collaborating to compose bright and whimsical images to bring to life the beauty of this story.
To maintain the artistic direction of capturing Rojo's character, I am going to self-publish. This means having all of the costs up front to pay for the illustrator, inventory, and shipping costs when the book is released on Rojo's well-established website. Rojo has the greatest fans in the whole world and I fully anticipate many of them wanting to purchase this book!
To give you all the opportunity to have a piece of Rojo in your home in Chicago, New York, LA or Ohio and everywhere in between is something I never thought I would be able to do! It is an honor to share my favorite llama and his inspiring story with you and your families!
Please help make this dream a reality and allow us to share Rojo and his llama love with the world!
Music: "SOLO ACOUSTIC GUITAR" by Jason Shaw
From the Free Music Archive
CC BY 3.0 US
Video clips from Koin 6: https://www.youtube.com/watch…Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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