Bo-Peep is My Name is an illustrated children’s novel about an abused runaway dog’s heartening journey to find a new home. The story serves as a metaphor for the consequences of abuse that victims suffer, including anxiety, traumatic recollections, distrust and loss of self-esteem.
The book is written for elementary level readers, but is intended for readers of all ages, especially those who may be recovering from trauma. Clinicians may find it useful as a bibliotherapy tool. It is also an encouraging story for animal lovers of all kinds, particularly those involved with the rescue and rehabilitation of abused animals. The book will be self-published in paperback and ebook format, and features charming original illustrations by Tami Boyce.
I am seeking support from the Kickstarter community to help bring Bo-Peep’s journey to life. If funded, all proceeds from this campaign will only go towards the development and production of the book, including illustrations, cover and book design, marketing, publishing and distribution.
If this Kickstarter is successful and the book is produced, it will also become an essential tool in the Healing Species™ Violence Prevention and Compassion Education Program that reaches more than 3,000 children in high-need areas of South Carolina each year. Their program is a highly specialized educational curriculum supported in part by the South Carolina Department of Education.
Once the campaign has been completed and the book has been produced and published, 50% of the proceeds from each future book purchase will be donated to Healing Species™.
If the campaign is overwhelmingly successful, funds in excess over production costs will be used towards the development of the continued adventures of Bo-Peep, which may include a second potential book or a series of short stories, educational material, and other resources Bo-Peep can provide to children.
An excerpt from Bo-Peep is My Name:
The next morning, when my food and water arrived, Mrs. Wrinkled Knees reached towards me. I backed up, tucked my tail between my hind legs, and shrank down. “Don't hit me. Please don't hit me!” I said with my eyes. I flashed back to my days with Mean Man tossing me in that cage or kicking me in the belly. His wife had not hurt me, but it was hard to know how anyone else might be.
As I looked up at the pair of wrinkled knees and the lady’s outstretched hand, she said, “C’mon, puppy. I am not going to hurt you. Let me pet you a little. Every dog needs some petting.” She looked sad. I did not want to hurt her feelings. I decided to be as brave as I could be. I crept a bit closer to her. After all, her hand was reaching, not swatting. Her voice was soft and friendly. Still, I was not too sure about this touchy stuff. Of course, Sam seemed to like it, getting her ears rubbed and stuff. I guess I could give her one chance and see how it works.
I felt all the muscles in my body tighten up, waiting to endure the first touch. The lady leaned over and reached my way again and said, “Oh, puppy, you have such a pretty coat. I am not going to hurt you. I promise.”
I looked up at her from the porch. She was not yelling or using bad words and had been giving me fresh water and real dog food every day, after all. Since I really needed to be in her favor, I braced myself for her approaching hand. I flopped over onto my side, just to let her know that she was in charge—no argument from me about that. I cringed as I felt her soft hand touch my tummy fur. “Oh, I’m still a little sore where I used to meet Mean Man’s boot, but this isn’t so bad after all,” I thought.
I am the author, Valerie Holmstrom. I’m a practicing clinical psychologist with more than 40 years of experience evaluating and treating victims of trauma, including those suffering from combat trauma, sexual abuse, child abuse and neglect, and criminal domestic violence.
I developed Bo-Peep is My Name as a tool to help both children and adults understand the process of abuse, trauma, and recovery in an approachable, creative and compassionate format. The fictional story was inspired by my own rescued dog, the “real” Bo-Peep, who turned up on my porch one hot summer afternoon. After sharing the story with my grandchildren, family, and local schoolchildren, I wanted to bring Bo-Peep’s journey to other children and readers of any age.
About Healing Species™
I am excited to partner with Healing Species™ on this project, whose mission ties directly into the book’s message about compassion and abuse awareness. Based in Orangeburg, SC, Healing Species™ is a non-profit organization dedicated to ending man’s violence by targeting the initial starting point, which is child abuse and subsequent cruelty to animals.
Healing Species™ rescues “last resort” dogs and rehabilitates them into loving pets. In addition, Healing Species™ offers compassion education and violence prevention programs to thousands of schoolchildren each year, and gives the rescued dogs an opportunity to teach at-risk children important life lessons about empathy. The partnership between Healing Species™ and Bo-Peep ensures that Bo-Peep’s story is able to go right into the hands of some of the children who need to hear it most. To learn more about Healing Species™ visit www.healingspecies.org.
About the Illustrator - Tami Boyce
Tami Boyce, an illustrator with a fun and whimsical style, is based in Charleston, South Carolina. Her work can be found at various establishments including Theatre 99, Early Bird Diner, Frothy Beard Brewing, The Station, and at ZaPow! Gallery.
“Holding a pencil in my hand has been my passion for as long as I can remember. I count myself as an extremely lucky individual because I have been able to make a career out of it. We all live in a very serious world, and I like to use my quirky style to remind us of the love, joy, and humor that is often overlooked around us.” To see more of Tami’s work, visit www.tamiboyce.com.
The book’s development is near completion and will soon be ready for publishing and distribution. The manuscript has been completed and edited, and illustrations, cover, and book design are all under production. Once this Kickstarter is completed, it can be sent to print for final proofing, publishing and distribution. The initial product will be available in paperback.
I am assisted in the development, production and marketing of the project by fellow children’s book author and artist, Katie Thompson. She will also be coordinating this Kickstarter campaign on my behalf.
The goal for this campaign is to raise $5,000. This amount will pay for the majority of costs to illustrate, design, self-publish and make an initial distribution of the book in ebook and printed format, as well as fulfill all backer rewards.
I am reaching out to the Kickstarter community to help make this resource available for children and those in need of comfort and understanding as a result of abuse or trauma.
If successfully funded, the plan is to go to print by the end Summer 2019, with backers receiving rewards by September 2019. The best way to make this happen is to buy a book, back the project, and share the project with your family, friends and networks.
This book would be an appropriate gift for children in grades 3 - 6. It teaches valuable lessons about self-love, trust, and kindness that all children would benefit from, not just those recovering from trauma. This would also be a beneficial resource for libraries, schools, churches, children’s centers, and healthcare providers to have available for children.
The book would also be a resource for organizations involved in helping animals, particularly those involved in the rescue and rehabilitation of abandoned and abused animals.
I sincerely appreciate your time and consideration. Thank you for your support of this project.
There are several reward options available for project backers. Each paperback book pre-sold through the Kickstarter campaign will be signed by the author. There are multiple book packages available, an option to have a special reading at your school or event, as well as an option to share the book with an organization or classroom of your choice, including Healing Species™ classes.
If you or your organization would like to back the project by placing your name or logo in the front of every book, that is also an excellent way to help make this campaign a success.
All shippable rewards will be shipped using USPS Priority Shipping and will include a tracking number.
Risks and challenges
The risk for this project is minimal. The development of the book is well underway, and now funds are needed to have illustrations, design, proofing, publication, and distribution completed.
Barring a natural disaster or an act of God, if this project is successful your reward will be fulfilled. If this project is overwhelmingly successful, the second grouping of book orders will be made and the shipping time may be a bit later than the first round of books. If you have any questions, please send a message through the campaign.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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