Get ready to fall in love with the insanely amazing protagonist of the Kickstarter-backed LGBT children's book Large Fears, Jeremiah Nebula. His dreams are even bigger than the fears he must overcome, and that's just one of the reasons you'll want to hug this kid so hard. With June being National Pride Month, children’s books that celebrate diversity are getting all kinds of buzzed-about right now — and what better way to show your rainbow-flag-waving support than to check out another that's seriously worth its Kickstarter campaign.
Little Jeremiah Nebula is the star-hopping, Mars-landing creation of author Myles Johnson and illustrator Kendrick Daye, who were both inspired by their own coming-of-age struggles with sexuality and gender identity to invent a children's book that positively features a queer child of color. In a book industry almost entirely monopolized by heterosexual, Caucasian characters, Jeremiah, who "likes pink, with black skin," as he will boldly tell you himself, is helping to pave the way for a more diverse cast of children's book characters. That's a lot of responsibility for little shoes, but Jeremiah seems like the kind of kid who can take on the world (and, you know, other planets, too.)
In Large Fears, in order to achieve his dream of traveling to Mars, Jeremiah must jump from one star to another, overcoming different fears and anxieties along the way. On one star, he must fight his way through a landscape of quicksand, made of "dirt and things that had happened long before." He is encouraged by his mom, who assures him that he can both travel to Mars, and also be the biggest star of them all, if those are his dreams.
Can you see why I'm totally loving this book?
For Johnson and Daye, dreaming up big, alternative worlds has always come naturally. "When I was in school, I got into a lot of trouble for daydreaming. If you grow up and you feel like you don't fit in, you just start to live in a fantasy world," Daye recently said in an interview with NPR.
Those early experiences of not fitting in are what the creators of Large Fears hope to respond to by helping young people who share similar experiences today. In addition to writing the children's book, Johnson and Daye have also started a Large Fears workshop, which offers children a safe space where they can discuss their own fears and insecurities, and an opportunity to express themselves through some artwork of their own. Pretty amazing, right?
Show them some love and back this campaign now! You have three more days.