Your Life is So Important: Author's Message Inspires Kids to Dream Big Despite Circumstances
The chaos and uncertainty plaguing many of our nation's communities can be seen in the media daily, but for some, there are few options to escape the images. So many children aren't just idly viewing what's happening in the world around them, but also, sadly, internalizing the negative messages associated with these ongoing narratives. Luckily, an uplifting book for young readers, Far Beyond the Treetops, encourages children to believe that they are worthy of respect and capable of experiencing the greatness in the world beyond what they may see in their everyday environment. Through affirmations of self-love and empowerment readers are taken on a lyrical voyage that teaches them that “No matter where you live, and no matter where you’re from, wherever you choose to take your journey is where great things will come.”
Far Beyond the Treetops makes the bold and relevant statement, “Your life is so important.” In the midst of a children’s book market that has historically lacked diversity, especially for children of color, the lively, whimsical paintings show a young, natural-haired, beautiful black girl who unapologetically loves who she is and travels toward the adventure that awaits her beyond the local surroundings she sees every day. Not only does the book inspire adventure, but it is also a poetic story to asserts that kids can achieve their big dreams; whether that be aspiring to be an astronaut or simply believing in the words that build confidence in a big world.
Cleveland-based author, Steph Captain, teamed up with award-winning illustrator Charity Russell to pen her first children’s book, Far Beyond the Treetops, through Brown Backpack publishing. Having received the coveted “Projects We Love” stamp of approval, the book was totally funded through crowdsourcing.
“As a mom, I set out to find books that taught my kids that they “belong” everywhere, and that encouraged them to keep a spirit of positive wonder, exploration, and wanderlust. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find much --especially not that shared that perspective with inclusive images that they could relate to. So I chose to try to do it myself. They needed something that was not only lighthearted but also motivational toward dreaming audacious dreams and having the courage to go anywhere to reach them. It was very significant to me that kids be able to read books that show characters who look like them and see themselves represented,” said Captain.
“My oldest daughter wants to become an author and see every inch of the world,” Captain added, “I decided to write the book to show her what it means to be your own superhero and to do something to solve the problems you see.”