Why this book is important:
For the past three years I’ve been writing, illustrating and producing the children’s series “Lyle and Leela”; a series designed to help kids navigate the complex world of today.
The first story, “Happiness Doesn't Come From Headstands,” is a book about one girl's rise from failure. It's a book about acceptance, resilience and self-compassion. It's about letting go of comparison and learning that our achievements do not dictate our self-worth. It's about the process being equally important as the goal. And the recognition that happiness is often closer than it seems.
I have always been a questioner, seeking answers to help navigate this rollercoaster of a world that we live in. I am incredibly passionate about sharing the tools, techniques, and teachings that have assisted and continue to assist me along own path in life.
If you also feel passionate about supporting children by deepening their self-awareness, self-acceptance and resilience, please support this series.
Growing up, I learned that "try" was a bad word - that there was either success or failure. And my fear of failure was so strong, at times, I simply wouldn't try. Later in life, those instances became regrets. So now, I do my best to approach "trying" with enthusiasm even when faced with fear. And if I fail, I strive to congratulate myself on my efforts - a difficult thing to do in a world that rewards us for our victories alone.
Just because we may have a failure, it does not mean that we are a failure. In a culture that equates achievement with self worth, in most of us, failure often evokes emotions such as anger and shame. Instead of being a source of lessons learned for the future, a lost match, or project gone wrong can bring about hopelessness and despair. As an artist and entrepreneur I’ve experienced my share of defeat, and one disabling experience in particular inspired me to write this story.
My sense has always been that if I had known some of what I know now, at a younger age, life could have been easier. Perhaps I would have been a little less afraid to fail, and a little more resilient when I did. Our thought patterns strengthen as we age, so why not support our children to create a healthy framework from the start? My goal with this series is to do just that. Additionally I’ll be offering support to parents so they can dialogue with their children about the themes within this series.
These stories were written as reminders to myself in times of challenge. They address universal themes I wish I had a deeper understanding of growing up. It’s a series I want my nieces and nephews to know; one that I want your kids and grandkids and your friends kids to know. My hope is to inspire you as you inspire the children in your life.
Why I’m seeking support
I’ve discovered that making a kids book is tricky business. It’s far more involved and costly than I'd anticipated but I’m determined to bring this labor of love to fruition. The funds I require far exceed my ask. $12,500 will cover a portion. $16,000 will cover the short run print, design and color costs of the first book. On top of that, there will be many additional costs such as the e-book, the companion website to support parents and educators, and an app just to name a few... I’m every so grateful for your support in helping me bring this series to life.
I believe in Independent projects and support them myself. I also intend to Kick it forward. It’s incredibly exciting to see that with Kickstarter, people are coming together to support each other, and give birth to amazing ideas. ;)
Enough about me. Here’s what a few people had to say about “Happiness Doesn’t Come from Headstands”.
"First I read this to my son and then our 3 yr. old neighbor. Laughing, we came to the last page and it was I who needed to hear the lesson. Through simple dialogue and stellar line drawings, Tamara Levitt has created an exceptional read that returns us to our basic sanity while letting go of impossible fantasies, most especially, thinking happiness comes from outside of our own lives. If you are 3 or 93, you need the lesson this book artfully conveys." - Michael Stone, Buddhist teacher, psychotherapist and author of Awake in the World: Teachings from Yoga and Buddhism for Living an Engaged Life.
“Brilliant! In a whimsical tale of two friends facing childhood challenges, Tamara Levitt examines the hidden assumptions in the adage, “practice makes perfect”--that anything and everything is attainable, and doing so with perfection is the ideal. Lyle and Leela tells a different story that every child should hear--of self-acceptance and resilience--and it does so with dazzling simplicity.” - Sharon G. Horne, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Counseling Psychology, The University of Massachusetts Boston, Licensed Psychologist
“In Happiness Doesn't Come From Headstands, Tamara Levitt has artfully crafted an inspiring tale. I wish this charming book had been around when I was younger. Simply told and illustrated with inspired whimsy, Tamara’s story has ring of truth to it that will appeal to readers young and old. I look forward to Leela’s next journey…” - Andrew Larsen, Author of The Imaginary Garden
Questions and contact info
If you have any questions about this project, about how the funds will be spent or Begin Within Productions, please get in touch. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please say hello on twitter @beginwithin, and please join my Facebook group!
If you are experiencing any issues with amazon payments please contact me directly at email@example.com to arrange an alternative payment method.
Some sample images from the book:
- (30 days)