Illustrate a cheery Christmas tale of friendship and teamwork to donate to underprivilged children who never get to read a bedtime story.
Who is Seb the Snowman?
"On the corner of an ordinary street, in an ordinary town there is a magical park. When the snow falls, making the trees groan and the grass squeak about being hidden, the children rush out. Some love to slip and slide, others prefer to use their bodies to make patterns, but all of the children, whether big or small, love making snowmen. Of course, this isn't magical. Not yet. The magic starts at night, when the gates of the park swing shut and the snowman come alive..."
Seb the Snowman (or Bertie a Boneca in the Brazilian Portuguese version) learns the hard way about the dangers of being the tallest snowman in the park and refusing your friends' help until it's too late.
What has happened so far?
I wrote this story in 2014 to use as part of a social event in a creche in a low-income community of Rio de Janeiro. The crèche only accepts children who are suffering from malnourishment, derived from neglect at home. Frozen fever has spread everywhere so even in sunny Brazil children automatically identify with the snowman, allowing me to weave subtle messages about treating others well and working together to solve a problem into the story. After a hands-on and active story telling session, many of the children asked me if they could take the story book home with them. I had to say no, but this year I would like to say yes! A bedtime story is something so many of us take for granted but for many children in Rio de Janeiro, which has a deeply flawed state education system and quality story and picture books are expensive, this has never been part of their daily routine. All children deserve to enjoy the magic of reading and when better than at Christmastime?
What's the plan for December 2015?
- Visit six creches, orphanages and NGO in low-income communities in the wider metropolitan area of Rio de Janeiro
- Donate copies of the book
- Donate a black and white colouring book version & crayons for children to enjoy over the holiday period
- Spread the joy of reading to 400 young children from neglected and troubled backgrounds
Why do I need your help?
Your pledges will enable me illustrate the book using a local Brazilian artist. He will also provide outlines of characters and scenes to be used to create a coloring book. I will then be able to print using a self publishing platform and donate them to 400 children. At each institution the donation will be accompanied by an interactive story telling sessions for all benefiting children.
If I do not reach my crowdfunding target and can't print the books as well as illustrate them, I will sell print and ebooks on Lulu and Amazon (in English). For every sale of I will use 100% of the profits to print and donate a copy of the book (in Portuguese) and a coloring book and crayons to a child in Brazil. This means that I can double the sale of one book into two, plus two children will benefit from the sale of each book.
What legacy will your pledge leave?
After I have illustrated the book, I will commercialise it for sale online in English and Portuguese versions as an ebook. All profits from the sale of these books will be used to purchase and donate additional books at regular intervals throughout the year.
What are the rewards?
Pledge £10 for a personal thank-you message from one of the groups of children who receive the books.
Pledge £20 for an exclusive video thank-you message from one of the groups of children who receive the books.
Pledge £50 for your image and name to be illustrated in the final page of the book, to receive a printed copy of the book, and a personal thank-you message from one of the groups of children.
Pledge £100 and you will also receive a hamper of handmade Brazilian sweets and delicacies, straight from Rio de Janeiro, most of which are not available anywhere in the UK. Your image and name will be illustrated in the final page of the book and you’ll receive a printed copy of the book, plus a personal thank-you message from one of the groups of children.
Who am I?
My name's Rhiannon and although I'm British, I've been resident in Rio de Janeiro for the past six years. I've not been living by the postcard-perfect Rio that you see on the TV, but in the wider metropolitan area where many areas suffer from poor infrastructure and cycles of low aspirations. I've just finished an MBA in Social Responsibility and the Third Sector and juggle writing material for English language learners with coordinating different free social projects in low-funded grassroots non-governmental organisations.