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The goal:

To get this read-out-loud picture book into the hands of parents and guardians of children from age three on up, in order to foster communication about bullying between adults and children from the earliest possible age.

Bullying of a child at school is entirely too common. Sometimes we think, “certainly, my child would tell me if he is being bullied,” or “of course, her teacher will tell us, or deal with the bully in class.” Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. One of the biggest reasons that parents aren’t aware their child is a victim of bullying is because many children feel uncomfortable, embarrassed, and are so sad and upset, that they don’t talk about it with their teachers or their parents.

 Here’s another perspective: Were you bullied as a child? Did that abuse shadow your childhood? Do you feel you’re an “easy target” for bullies as an adult because of this?

I didn’t realize it back then, but I’ve wanted to create this book since I was five years old.

Children shouldn’t dread going to school. They shouldn’t be embarrassed to talk about being bullied. We believe the greatest weapon to guard them against bullying is communication enabling adults to get involved. A great tool for communication is a book that can be read out loud. We’ve created The Adventures of Lola Hopscotch series to get sensitive social issues out in the open between kids and adults at an early age.

 So, why is this book important? 

Children need to feel that they can talk about being bullied in order to get help. Bullying prevention starts with communication and this read-out-loud book is a tool to foster communication between parents and kids. The effects of bullying vary from minimal discomfort in the absence of an adult on up to tragedies such as child suicide, and more. The news is riddled with stories about the possible horrible outcomes. So many children endure bullying every day and it breaks my heart to think they feel uncomfortable talking about it. As an adult, many times I’ve thought about one thing I know would have helped me against bullies– feeling comfortable enough to talk to my parents about what was happening to me when they weren’t there. This book will foster that critical communication.

Why this time of year?

This might seem like an odd time of year to run this project but we aim to give libraries and schools enough time to order Lola Hopscotch and the First Day of School to stock for the upcoming school season.

The story:

An irresistible picture book with great read-out-loud potential, Lola Hopscotch and the First Day of School will charm children in preschool through third grade and their parents alike! Lola Hopscotch is a bashful bunny who is confronted by mean-spirited children at school. Lola stands up for herself and overcomes her sadness, transforming her first day of school into a fun day of new friendship and adventure. This story deals with the issue of early childhood bullying and rounds out with a wonderful communication hook and picturesque prose.

Character development:

I knew I needed to create a lovable, resilient character that children would bond with. I got the idea for the character from a stuffed bunny I was given. I found a cute stuffed bunny in a gift shop.  That shop happened to be named Lola. I felt the price on the toy was too high, so I put the bunny back in the display. My husband refused to let it go after seeing my reaction and he bought her for me. 

I knew the bunny needed a name and Lola seemed perfect for her. I kicked around ideas for her last name for about a day until it hit me: Lola Hopscotch. Perfection! 

Meet Lola Hopscotch: Lover of Wildflowers and Chaser of Dragonflies. (Illustration by Tanya Hales)

Lola translated easily into a character for a children’s picture book. My friend Tanya helped to visualize an initial look and feel for Lola, but is unable to illustrate the full project. We are actively searching for the right illustrator now. She will end up being a bit different from these samples from Tanya, but will appear very similar.

Lola Hopscotch is a mint green bunny with extra long ears, a pear-shaped torso, and really big feet for hopping! Lola never knew someone might say something cruel about her big feet or floppy ears until her first day of school, when mean-spirited children bully her.

Illustration by Tanya Hales

The plan and scope:

After successful funding, we will create the ebook files and the hardcover books. We will then fulfill all book orders earned by this project. After that, we will send electronic requests for book reviews to a prepared list of reviewers and librarians. The next step will be to send out the hardcovers to select libraries and bookstores. Once the above steps are complete, we hope to use any revenue generated from book sales to move to the second list of bookstores and libraries, and so on, in an endeavor to reach children and parents across the globe to help stop and prevent bullying.

What the funding is for:

We are creating this book as cheaply and as earth-friendly as possible. The budget is whittled down as much as possible. We’ve already paid for some of the images out of pocket, but not all of them.

$60 for book formatting/layout

$350 for illustrations and book covers

$1210 to get started sending books to schools and libraries

The remaining amount is from Kickstarter assisting with calculating taxes, fees, etc.

Thank you so much for helping us make a difference for kids!