Where are the models of relatable kids from diverse cultural backgrounds?
By Jeni Lee Chapman, Co-author of Gokul Village and the Magic Fountain and Co-Founder of Gokul Workshops LLC
The power of coming together with a shared mission produces truly amazing and impactful results. My co-founder, Bal Das and I planted this seed a little over a year ago and started this journey together. In September we published our first book and announced the launch of a new concept for children’s media called Big Bold Beautiful World Media. Our mission is to use creativity and innovation to build stories, products, and experiences that empower the social-emotional learning of global generations. As Maya Angelou beautifully wrote, “we are more alike my friends than we are unalike.”
Our first story, Gokul! Village and the Magic Fountain for children ages 4-7 delivers a culturally diverse group of kids that brings to life this concept and celebrates the joy of team and adventure. While developing the concept after seeing the gap in the marketplace, we conducted multi-country research to get parents’ perspective on cultural diversity and children’s entertainment. Our findings? An overwhelming majority of parents – 75% in the US alone – believe there is a need for this type of content, this type of entertainment. They are looking for stories that represent to their children the world in which we all live.
The feedback to date from our Multi-cultural book day reviewers has been very encouraging and confirms we are doing something meaningful and needed in the marketplace.
“As the diverse group of children is introduced along with their unique talent, readers will recognize their various personalities and be eager to learn more about them. The children’s enthusiasm is infectious as they team up to fix the fountain and are rewarded with magical gifts and a special power to travel the world. Organically incorporating ideas of inclusiveness, cooperation, compromise, volunteering, and teamwork through realistic dialogue, this story is upbeat and affirmative and one that readers will respond to.” Celebrate Picture Books
We have been inspired by our families, by our children and by our heartfelt desire, so well-articulated by my co-author, Bal Das, to the principle of “tikun olam” – leaving it better than you found it. That is what we are striving to achieve with this endeavor. Joined in our journey by amazing illustrator Charlene Chua and terrific creative and editorial support, we have brought these characters to life with our first book and free animated book trailer to originally scored music called “Big Bold Beautiful World.”
We hope you enjoy them all as much as we have truly enjoyed creating them, nurturing them and seeing them spring to life. Our team of six children from culturally diverse backgrounds, work together and explore this big, bold, beautiful world together.
Jeni Chapman is a mom, marketing professional, co-author and co-creator of Gokul! World. This is her first children’s book and represents a life-long commitment to cultural diversity and knowledge and the deep-seated recognition that the world is increasingly interconnected. This book is about helping to prepare our children to live, work and thrive in this big, bold, beautiful world.
ONE MORE THING:
The 5th Annual Twitter Party is coming! Join us for great conversations, fun prizes and the chance to # ReadYourWorld on 1/27/18!
Join us on Jan 27th, 9pm EST for 5th annual Multicultural Children’s Book Day Twitter Party! We promise it will be a fun and fast-paced hour of great book conversations, sharing of diverse book ideas and lots of prizes. Follow the hashtag #ReadYourWorld to join the conversation and to also win one of 12-5 book bundles and one Grand Prize Book Bundle (12 books) that will be given away at the party!
We will be giving away Book Bundles every 6 minutes!
Twitter Party Details:
When: Saturday, January 27th
Time: 9 pm to 10 pm EST
Where: On Twitter!
Sponsored By: Scholastic Reading Clubs
Hosted by: Co-Founders Valarie Budayr of Jump Into a Book and Mia Wenjen from PragmaticMom!
We will be discussing the state of children’s book publishing and giving away diversity book bundles every six minutes! We invite EVERYONE to join us: authors, publishers, parents, caregivers, librarians, KidLit lovers. You don’t have to be an author or publisher sponsor to join us! Let’s talk about our favorite multicultural and diverse children’s books, authors, and illustrators!