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Before the Stars Shine

A story about celebrating every child's individuality. The Sequel to "Before the Sun Sets"

Photo of Yi Jun Kwek

Written by

Once upon a time there lived a village of Tigers, who had magic paws

They would use their paws to pounce far in the valley

All but one tiger, whose name was Perry

Perry loved to climb and pick stars from the sky 

He’d happily put the stars on his stripes,

 but it made him look different

“You’re not like us!” the other tigers would cry.

One night, Coco and Blushy arrived from a far

They had been looking for a sky full of stars

It was so dark, they couldn’t find their way

But the stars on Perry’s stripes, were as bright as day

 “You have stars on you! Where are they from?”

“I’ve been picking them from the sky, this way, come along!”

As they journey, Perry decided to return the stars 

One by one, he gave them back to the sky

But it became so dark, they could not get by

“Perry the stars on your stripes, they help us to see”

“But it makes the other tigers laugh at me”

“Don’t be bothered with what they say!”

“Meeting you was the best part of our day”

“No one else could have helped us find the way”

Coco and Blushy’s words made Perry’s heart sing

Such happiness friends can bring!

In that moment the stars which had been hiding

Decided it was time to come out, and started shining

Perry put the stars back and started to smile

‘These stars shall stay with me for a while!”

[250 words]

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

Everyone has a unique set of qualities, talents and gifts. What are your child’s? This story is about celebrating every child’s individuality. We hope to help kids to understand that it’s okay to be different, as their differences are what makes them unique and special! "Before the Stars Shine" is also the sequel to "Before the Sun Sets" Link here: https://challenges.openideo.com/challenge/early-childhood-book-challenge/open-submission/before-the-sun-sets

Share your suggested book title

Before the Stars Shine

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).

Once upon a time there lived a village of Tigers, who had magic paws They would use their paws to pounce far in the valley All but one tiger, whose name was Perry Perry loved to climb and pick stars from the sky He’d happily put the stars on his stripes, but it made him look different “You’re not like us!” the other tigers would cry. One night, Coco and Blushy arrived from a far They had been looking for a sky full of stars It was so dark, they couldn’t find their way But the stars on Perry’s stripes, were as bright as day “You have stars on you! Where are they from?” “I’ve been picking them from the sky, this way, come along!” As they journey, Perry decided to return the stars One by one, he gave them back to the sky But it became so dark, they could not get by “Perry the stars on your stripes, they help us to see” “But it makes the other tigers laugh at me” “Don’t be bothered with what they say!” “Meeting you was the best part of our day” “No one else could have helped us find the way” Coco and Blushy’s words made Perry’s heart sing Such happiness friends can bring! In that moment the stars which had been hiding Decided it was time to come out, and started shining Perry put the stars back and started to smile ‘These stars shall stay with me for a while!”

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

I was inspired by the early childhood development research from Unicef. In particular, it highlights the importance of having parents involved with their child’s early development. Hence the starting point was to ensure that the stories resonate with parents. The inspiration came by asking myself: how would I write a letter to my 3 year old self? What would I say? I then asked my peers who were parents themselves, and we came up with the idea of teaching important life lessons right from the start. To encourage language development for kids, I wrote the stories in simple language (tier 1, tier 2 vocabulary where possible) and also in rhyme. The best children’s book has rhyme e.g. Dr Seuss! Unicef research also has proven that learning through play is important. So the story of “Before Stars Shine” is written as an adventure that parents/caregivers can role play together with their kids.

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

Over the past 25 years, mental health problems have been on the rise in key cities e.g. 1 in 8 people in UK under the age of 19 have a mental health disorder. This phenomenon has been attributed to kids spending more time on social media, and being exposed to cyberbullying. Hence we believe that there has never been a more important time than now to champion healthy self-esteem amongst kids. “Before the Stars Shine” is about celebrating every child’s individuality. We hope to help kids to understand that it’s okay to be different, as their differences are what makes them unique and special!

Location: Country

Singapore

Location: State or Department

Singapore

Location: City

Singapore

Tell us more about you / your team

Hi! I’m Jun, the founder of Fables - an early education start up. We believe that education in most countries is still highly focused on acquiring skills and knowledge. But there are some important life lessons which we learn too late as adults e.g. dealing with failure, disappointment, rejection. Hence we are on a mission to make it easy for parents to teach life’s most important lessons to children at an early age. Our goal is to provide the next generation of kids with the best start to life! How do we define what are "important lessons"? We know that experience is the best teacher, so each of our stories is inspired from our personal journeys of dealing with setbacks. The stories we write about are a result of what we have learnt through that process. We want to promote good values at scale, and are looking to partner with education non-profits that emphasize the importance of reading (e.g. reading programs) to run donation drives to kids in need.

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

I'm currently working with an illustrator for initial sketches of characters (Blushy and Coco) and the book cover. I have 3 design principles: 1) Imaginative: Adult and real world logic don't apply. Children live in their own imaginative world, hence the characters of "Before the Sun Sets" and the world they live in have fun features that provoke curiosity and questions with kids. 2) Vibrant: Mood & tone is uplifting 3) Simple: Visually non-cluttered. Few details, clean lines

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

  • No

Do you have an agent?

  • No

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

  • From Litworld

What best describes you? (optional question)

  • We are an early education start up

18 comments

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Comment
Photo of Ann Malaspina
Team

Nice images of tigers and stars to stretch a child's imagination. The artist will have fun illustrating it.

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