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representation
for all children

changing the world through art

A successful September 2017 Kickstarter campaign enabled the publication of this 20-page, fully illustrated picture book. Click on one of the retailers below to order your copy for the little ones in your life today!

Rather than forcing young, impressionable children to think about such mature topics so early in life, we hope to raise awareness of equality in an implicit, subconscious fashion. We have therefore decided to convey our messages implicitly through the illustration style as opposed to centering the narrative around these concepts. For example, our only child character is racially ambiguous and gender neutral, to represent a variety of races and genders so that all children can place themselves in our story without limitation.

 

Through our artistic efforts in challenging the existing literary landscape, we hope to promote a world in which children can view and accept both themselves and other children for who they are, without limitation.

In hopes of challenging the existing literary landscape, we have decided to create a book that does not rely on race, gender, or familial structure, while simultaneously challenging these values in an implicit fashion.

 

We aspire to create a new kind of normal in children’s literature, as no child should ever have to read a story and wonder why they cannot see characters like themselves.

The lack of representation in children’s literature poses a major problem for society. So much of today’s children’s literature relies on gender to build the premise of stories, often focuses on predominately white characters, and ingrains only traditional familial structures into the easily impressionable minds of young children. Stories consisting of only white characters may inhibit children of color from connecting to the characters, and may leave them wondering why children like themselves cannot be seen in books, therefore inciting questions of self-worth. The same can be said in terms of gender and familial structure.

The playful papercut illustrations in Before the Sun Wakes Up create a soft, tangible feel that aim to draw children in and allow them to connect with the word we have created. We want to let all children know that while this world is large, every child has a place in this world, and that all children, regardless of their race, gender, familial dynamic, or any other attribute, are always loved and accepted for who they are.

AVAILABLE NOW

About the creators

Rachael Bindas, Author

Rachael Bindas is a freelance writer and editor from Pittsburgh, PA. She focuses mainly on fiction, yet still harbors a deep love for poetry. Her work has been featured in Moledro Magazine, Aeons, The Curious Element Magazine, and The Holiday Cafe.

Alyssa Minko, Illustrator

Alyssa Minko is a 3D artist and illustrator from Pittsburgh, PA. She is a filmmaker who balances her career in 3D computer graphics with her long-time passion for illustration. In addition to Before The Sun Wakes Up, she has previously illustrated 27: A Love Story by J. A. Thomas and video game box covers for 8-Bit Evolution. She currently manages the art staff at Reporter magazine in Rochester, NY.

 
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