We're excited to share this long awaited project with you: Mustapha Panda, a children's book about standing up to bullying, and about how our differences can be our strengths. In Mustapha Panda, there is a bully at the school, a grizzly who calls himself the King. He takes whatever he wants, always leaving someone crying. Mustapha Panda is the smallest bear in school - and this book is about the day that their paths cross.
It is an international and inter-cultural collaboration, and we are raising funds on Kickstarter to raise funds to cover printing costs, as well as to share a bit of the background story.
Karim Jallal was inspired to write this story for his young nephew Muhammad, while staying with his sister, Houda's family in Australia. Muhammad loves books, but Houda was having a difficult time finding any books that represented Muslim kids doing normal, everyday activities. Mustapha Panda's story flowed easily for Karim, in a lyrical rhyming French. (Karim and Houda were born in Morocco and raised in Quebec.)
I met the family while wwoofing on a Permaculture farm in Australia. Karim has MS, and his family visited him often throughout his Permaculture Design Course. Houda provided me a rough translation, and I began the work while traveling through Australia, Malaysia, and eventually returning home to the United States. While I worked on the book, the US experienced a surge of xenophobic bullying and hate crimes, and the book felt even more important.
Houda and her son Mohammad worked together to translate Karim's story into English, drawing inspiration from the illustrations as well as Muhammad's own experience of being bullied. The English translation has a bit of all of us in it.
As Karim's MS worsens, we are heartened to see this project coming into being. We look forward to sharing this book with you and the world at large. Thank you so much!
Risks and challenges
We have everything ready for the printer - we'll just need a bit of time to work with them, double check that everything looks right, and then we'll get the books (and kickstarter rewards) out into the world!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (60 days)