Our world is an exciting place to be a kid. There's so much to see/experience/wonder at. But this 'so-muchness' can be overwhelming too. From a very young age technology is everywhere and hard to ignore and so is the pressure to succeed.
Mindfulness practice is a great way to deal with these challenges. It's a technique for reducing stress by helping you understand and accept your thoughts and feelings better.
And it's now being taught to millions of schoolchildren worldwide. Helping them feel more calm and in-control, giving them tools to last a lifetime. Stories for Being is our own small contribution to this quiet revolution: a collection of seven picture books inspired by mindfulness. Here they are:
Each book focuses on a positive quality you can develop through being more present.
For example, there's a story for Being Grounded, and another for Being Open-minded. Other stories in the collection deal with Being Emotional, Being Loving, Being Brave, Being Amazing and Being Present.
We've worked with some incredible illustrators to create seven stories that we hope will not only teach children but will also delight and entertain them.
Stories for Being will take readers on inter-galactic space journeys, on trips around their own bodies and introduce a cast of characters that include sweet-natured cows, curious kids and fearsome gods.
The work is nearly done. Now all we need is to raise the money to print the collection.
This bedtime book takes children on a magical trip around their bodies, from their busy feet to their clever fingers. Courtesy of some warm, friendly animals it reminds children how lovely and grounding it can be to simply sense your physical body.
Marco can't believe his eyes. Is that a gorilla or is it dad? And doesn't that rock look a lot like grandma! This playful book uses tricks-of-the-eye to remind kids there’s a difference between appearance and reality, challenging them to stay open to experience.
Oliver is having a hard time dealing with his feelings. To escape them he jets off in to space. But his feelings follow, chasing him across the galaxy in the form of asteroids and aliens. This space adventure is intended to teach kids the value of emotional intelligence.
Etty lives happily until the day the farm is sold and the herd taken away. But this unstoppable cow sings her way through her troubles and, even in the dark, finds her way to the light. Etty's Dream is all about the extraordinary and transformative power of love.
Bea is afraid to speak up in school until an unconventional creature comes to her aid. This fifth book borrows imagery from Tibetan art and from the New York streets to show kids that getting things done sometimes means channeling your own inner monster.
One definition of prayer is an earnest hope or wish. This inspirational book uses simple affirmations and dreamy imagery to express the heartfelt wish that you fulfill your full potential in life and be amazing.
This final book in the collection is also where it all begin. It's composed of a series of mantra-like poems, easily understandable to kids, that build to a simple but powerful message about the value of living in the present moment.
It's true that kids generally are way more present to experience than adults. But that doesn't mean they're always present. They also get swept away by thoughts and feelings, and they also get hung-up on stuff they can't let go.
There’s a lot of scientific research showing the benefits of mindfulness for kids, particularly the role it can play in the development of skills like self-regulation, judgment and patience. And it’s now being taught to millions of schoolchildren worldwide.
But we don't want Stories for Being to only be about introducing mindfulness to children. It's also about reminding parents to stay present.
We published a picture book of mindful messages a couple of years ago and by far the most consistent feedback we got was how much adults felt it helped them. That's why each story begins with a prologue inviting you to take a few conscious breaths together and ends with a short note explaining how you can mindfully develop the positive quality that is the book's theme.
We're Conscious Cuts, a New York-based indie publisher. More specifically, we're Edie Pijpers and Paul Willis, a visual artist and a writer.
Edie sells her paintings at art fairs in New York City. Her work has also appeared on greeting cards, murals, in galleries and museums, and at film festivals worldwide. As a journalist Paul's writing has appeared in media across the English-speaking world as well as in translation.
Together we've created several kids books but this is our biggest project so far. We’ve been working on it for a year in collaboration with two wonderful illustrators: Kristiana Parn, a Brooklyn-based artist, and Malou Zuidema, who's based in Sydney. They are providing the artwork for Etty's Dream and Oliver's Angry respectively.
Here's what you get for being so awesomely generous and believing in what we do.
We've spent the better part of 2018 working on these books and we are happy to say that the artwork is finished and so is the vast majority of the writing. The first three books in the series are done and ready to print. The remaining four are close behind.
We've found a great printer in Canada who can print the collection for us on environmentally-friendly paper sourced from sustainable forests. To help spread out the workload (and give you a few nice surprises in your mailbox!) we plan to stagger the printing. The first three books will go to print as soon as the campaign is over and the funds released by Kickstarter. The four other books will go to print in early 2019.
This means that if you order the first three books you'll get them in January. A perfect way to usher in a mindful 2019 :)
If you order the complete collection the books will come in two installments - three in January and the remaining four in April.
We have spent a lot of time going through the numbers. Here's a breakdown of how the Kickstarter money will be spent:
- Printing and delivery costs
- Shipping cost
- ISBN and barcodes for all seven books
- Paying our amazing illustrators
***The 7 originals you can choose from in the $700 reward
Risks and challenges
We've worked incredibly hard to ensure the books were nearly complete by the time the Kickstarter campaign began. It only remains to create the final designs for the last four books and finesse the writing. Consequently, we don't foresee any major challenges in production and we're confidant we'll get your gifts to you on time!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)