OpenIDEO is an open innovation platform. Join our global community to solve big challenges for social good. Sign Up / Login or Learn more

Happy Pok

A story about expectations and self acceptance through the eyes of a little caterpillar.

Photo of Inshra Russell
6 1

Written by

Happy Pok

Pok the Caterpillar was friendly small and green

But often in the mornings Pok could not be seen

He'd be asleep upon his leaf, snoring until noon

He'd stayed up really late you see, staring at the moon

Pok loved to see the pretty stars twinkling so bright

And moonlight on the summer lake, sparkling at night

His friends would say "Oh wake up Pok, you are a sleepyhead

Get up young bug! It's time to rise and leave your leafy bed.

A caterpillar needs sunlight so get up you must try

Or else you might not become a lovely butterfly.”

Pok got a clock, and tried to do everything they said

He thought about it in the field after he had fed

He ate and munched and ate again, wherever he was sat

Pok ate so much, this hungry bug got juicy, big, and fat

And as his little legs did shrink he suddenly knew this…

…that it had now become his time to be a chrysalis

Inside this pupa, Pok did rest and stay for a while

Until he woke up in the dark, and with a great big smile

He stretched his wings and out into the night he flew right off

For Pok was not a butterfly but was in fact a moth

A creature of the night was Pok, nocturnal you should say

A life lived good by moon and stars, and sleeping all the day!


What’s the difference?

Butterflies wings fold upwards. Moths wings can fold downwards.

Butterflies have clubbed antennae. Moths have hairy antennae.

Butterflies need sunshine. Moths are nocturnal.

Describe the intended vision for your early childhood book manuscript in 1-2 sentences

This book is for children and readers to imagine themselves in their own skin and be happy with who they are. It’s a reflection of real society, where being different is not part of an issue but part of a narrative.

Share your suggested book title

Happy Pok

PLEASE USE THE VERSION OF THIS QUESTION AT THE TOP OF THE SUBMISSION FORM: Share a draft of your manuscript (250 word limit, not including title).

Pok the Caterpillar was friendly small and green But often in the mornings Pok could not be seen He'd be asleep upon his leaf, snoring until noon He'd stayed up really late you see, staring at the moon Pok loved to see the pretty stars twinkling so bright And moonlight on the summer lake, sparkling at night His friends would say "Oh wake up Pok, you are a sleepyhead Get up young bug! It's time to rise and leave your leafy bed. A caterpillar needs sunlight so get up you must try Or else you might not become a lovely butterfly.” Pok got a clock, and tried to do everything they said He thought about it in the field after he had fed He ate and munched and ate again, wherever he was sat Pok ate so much, this hungry bug got juicy, big, and fat And as his little legs did shrink he suddenly knew this… …that it had now become his time to be a chrysalis Inside this pupa, Pok did rest and stay for a while Until he woke up in the dark, and with a great big smile He stretched his wings and out into the night he flew right off For Pok was not a butterfly but was in fact a moth A creature of the night was Pok, nocturnal you should say A life lived good by moon and stars, and sleeping all the day! What’s the difference? Butterflies wings fold upwards. Moths wings can fold downwards. Butterflies have clubbed antennae. Moths have hairy antennae. Butterflies need sunshine. Moths are nocturnal.

How has this book been informed by early childhood language development research and evidence? (response minimum 250 Characters)

This manuscript has incorporated information from the resource list and has developed into something that is fun and easy to read and to listen to. It goes a bit deeper than just language learning. This book hits home the importance of self-acceptance and self-love. It speaks subtly about diversity: that we are all different and what works for one doesn’t always work for another. It’s intention is to realistically reflect our society. Children look to us for knowledge and it's up to us to show them the whole world and ask the question: what will speak to them the most? Yes, learning language is important for toddlers but so is learning about confidence, curiosity and good character.

Please describe any familiarity you may have with Philadelphia and its residents? (optional question)

Philadelphia is a place I have yet to visit. I live in an area of London with Sri Lankan, Polish, Nepalese and Indian communities. I come from Bangladesh, a country that was colonised by the British and then taken over by Pakistan. We fought for our language and our independence which we finally got in 1971. So the sense of identity being rooted in a struggle for rights is part of my narrative and I feel I can share that with people from surrounding communities, whether in London or Philadelphia.

How have you crafted this manuscript to resonate with and/or reflect the experiences of those living in urban contexts? (optional question)

Themes of self-acceptance and belonging are a key part of the manuscript. This resonates highly with urban society where isolation and a lack of connection to oneself and others is a cause of stress and unhappiness. Through the easy flow of words and the simple illustrations, readers can enjoy the story and discover the twist in the end. The last section of the manuscript ‘What’s the Difference?’ is a way to learn the differences between moths and butterflies as well as a great conversation starter to talk about identity.

Location: Country

United Kingdom

Location: State or Department

Middlesex

Location: City

London

Website URL (optional question)

www.studioinku.com

Tell us more about you / your team

My name is Inshra Sakhawat Russell and I’m a visual storyteller with 13 years experience in art, advertising and filmmaking. I use hand drawn illustration, photography and video to craft tales with a twist. A passion for picture books and love for reading led me to write and illustrate a storybook. It was published by a company specialized in diverse and bilingual kid lit that I co-founded with my childhood friend. I regularly attend sessions at my local children’s centre and my son and I have a close network of friends from varied cultural backgrounds. When I found out about this competition, I knew it was the perfect opportunity to send this story out into the world. After writing multiple versions, I sent it to my friend Paul Foley who has a natural flair for words. We went through the list of resources and watched the recommended videos and read the articles what came out what a fantastic version of the story. To this I have added hand drawn illustrations using watercolour.

Provide an example visual identity for a look and feel you might like to achieve. ( (optional question, 3-5 visuals)

Hand drawn illustrations using water colour and my fingers.

Multiple Choice - Have you been previously published (online, self-published, and print included)?

  • Yes

If yes, please list titles and publications.

Tiny Jumps In, Guba Publishing

Do you have an agent?

  • No

How did you hear about the Challenge? (optional question)

  • Someone in my network (word of mouth)

What best describes you? (optional question)

  • I am/we are creatives, writers, or artists

Attachments (1)

6 comments

Join the conversation:

Comment
Photo of Kelly Andrews
Team

Hi Inshra. I have a fondness for caterpillars! This story is quite unique.

View all comments