First stretch goal is unlocked!! Thanks to the 200+ backers who have made that possible!
HELP US DOUBLE THE PRINT RUN!
We hope you'll join us in doubling the impact this little book is making. If we hit $24,625, we'll print 3000 books and get Riley's message of hope and healing into more schools, libraries, social service agencies, doctors' offices and HOMES! Really love the mission? Become a VALIANT SPONSOR today and you can be part of getting 50 powerful (and fun!) therapeutic books into your community!
Join our hero, Riley Bear, on the adventure of a lifetime as he learns to be brave like a cub. He has always been courageous and clever, but his journey with some safe big critters might just unlock his guarded heart in new ways. This super-cool cub is ready to rise to the challenge!
This project was born out of a lack of resources. Since 2004 I have worked in the world of foster care and adoption as a therapist, consultant and educator. I have really struggled to find anything playful and engaging that celebrates the strength of trauma-surviving kids while supporting parents and other adults who are helping these tough little munchkins heal, grow and learn to trust.
Studies show the staggering impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs). I have certainly found this in my work! Early trauma (including pre-birth) forces the brain to adapt. But people are incredibly resilient. We find ways to survive.
If the world seems unsafe to the needy newborn or cute little toddler, that little one learns to NOT need (literally, on a neurological level!).
So you start seeing the defenses of other animals...
the porcupine puffing out it’s quills, the tiger roaring and swiping it’s claws, the chameleon blending in, the turtle pulled up in it’s shell.
And those defenses take a looooooong time to come down. In the meantime, loving parents get poked and scratched and rejected over and over and over again. It’s hard to take!
What I have learned over the years (and is supported in emerging brain research) is that acknowledging the need for kids’ defenses helps them feel safe enough to change. Taking it a step further and celebrating their strength in using those skills to survive can be even more powerful.
All too often, books seem to target either the child or the adult. Riley the Brave is helpful for BOTH!
It's playful and engaging to make it safe for kids to acknowledge these difficult feelings while being encouraging and empowering for the adults who are dealing with kids' tough behaviors.
The afterword helps adults make sense of what might be going on for the kiddos they care about. It's full of the principles that I have seen restore hope and joy in struggling families.
I chose self-publishing because the facial expressions, body language and general feel of the characters directly impact the therapeutic effectiveness of the book. After the initial shock about all I would need to learn, the biggest hurdle was finding the right illustrator. Until I met Zach.
WHAT PEOPLE THINK...
Here's a full list
Pick your pack...
...there's something for everyone!
Really want to help hurting kids and their families!?
We made reward options that let you donate books to non-profit organizations doing great work. All books ordered during this campaign can be shipped to the buyer or donated. Keep scrolling for more on that...
The original fundraising goal ($17,825) was based on the costs to get 1500 books illustrated, designed, printed and shipped.
We are happy to report that we will be printing with PufferPrint, a supporter of creative endeavors like Riley the Brave.
One more scene from the book to warm your heart before you go...
Thanks for joining the adventure - please invite your friends!
As my 3-year-old would say...
Click Facebook or Instagram to like and share on social media. Have a connection with an organization that works with kids? Reach out and let them know about Riley the Brave! The more people who back the project, the more hope and healing get to hurting kids and worn out parents. Thank you!!
Note to backers wanting to donate books: Just before shipping rewards (in the spring), you will receive an email survey to gather your current shipping information. There will also be a question to specify how many of your pre-ordered books you would like to include for donation to the above agencies.
Risks and challenges
Anyone considering a publishing project quickly realizes that it is extremely complex to turn a great idea into a high quality hardback picture book. So in some campaigns there might be a risk that the author will not follow through with the volume of work required to get to the finish line. I have a long history of going above and beyond to get things done. I've immersed myself in the publishing process and am committed to seeing this through. I’m so committed, in fact, that much of the work is already done (editing, illustration, design, printing and shipping plan, etc). I also have a team of local supporters who are willing and ready to help with the labor of packaging and shipping rewards if Riley's story resonates like I hope it will.
So, high challenge for me but low risk for you! I can’t wait to see Riley the Brave in your hands where it belongs.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)