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Climb Aboard The Lap Boat

A 250-word or less (not counting the illustration notes and title) manuscript suitable for very young children & their parents.

Photo of Roni Schotter

Written by

An intimate, rhyming story that features a mother & young child pretending to be in a "lap boat," and while aboard it--singing, reading, and imagining together.

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

Inviting language and loving celebration of family bonds and values/ Imaginative illustrations in which the child's room transforms into an ocean and sea while the mother and child imagine it so. The father and family dog remain "on shore" awaiting their return from the loving world they pretend to be in--where they enjoy reading & singing & imagining together.

Share your suggested book title

Climb Aboard the Lap Boat

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

Rhyming, loving text that incorporates imagination, reading, singing, and motion (as there is an opportunity to do "row, row, row your boat" as part of the story.) A story for a family to share with one another--one that would hopefully be greeted at the end of it, by the child's demand of "Again!"

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

I have friends in Philly whom I visit--one of whom works with artists (at University of the Arts and the Corzo Center) encouraging them, and helping them find ways to support their art.

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

I have always imagined this as a story that doesn't stop and proclaim itself a "multicultural story," but just shows, in its illustration, a "brown mother and child," (in other words, of Hispanic or partly African/American extraction. ) No matter where people live-- whether in urban or rural environments, in poor or wealthy worlds, I believe that the power of imagination, reading, singing & movement is one that expands horizons and enriches lives--especially those of children.

Location: Country


Location: State or Department

New York

Location: City


Website URL (optional question)

Tell us more about you / your team

I am an author of 30 books for children of all ages. I value children, first and foremost, and believe that they should be treated to the best words (because books for children contain some of their FIRST words), to the best of illustration, to the best (implicit) messages about the value of books, reading, writing, drawing, and imagination. Imagination is threatened these days by so much. It is vital to children--to all of us!

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

  • Yes

If yes, please list titles and publications.

Too many to list. Check out my website: or Google me.

Do you have an agent?

  • Previously yes, currently no

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

  • A friend who is on the board of LitWorld/LitLife forwarded your email invitation/announcement to me.

What best describes you? (optional question)

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

Attachments (1)

Climb Aboard the Lap Boat.docx

250 word limited manuscript for young children & their parents to share with them.


Join the conversation:

Photo of Itika Gupta

Dear Roni Schotter welcome to the Challenge Community!
I see a bunch of concerns and queries you raised in your comments discussion. I'm Itika, a Community Fellow handling the Early Childhood Challenge platform on behalf of OpenIDEO.
Here are the answer to all your questions :
- Regarding pre-published submission: We're looking for new stories from all our storytellers. Since William Penn is funding the reward to get the story published by the end of the challenge, the submitted story cannot be pre-published. You're a gifted storyteller, we look forward to seeing another story/submission from you that hasn't been published yet.
- Regarding story getting stolen: We at OpenIDEO believe great ideas come from great collaborations. This challenge is about storytellers coming forward to share their ideas with the community, receive inputs and feedback from the community and refine the story to perfection.
- Regarding submission of the manuscript text: We're sorry about the trouble you're having with your submission. We for sure can see the attachment of your story at the end, but I'd just request you to copy-paste the text of your story under the "SHARE your MANUSCRIPT" question.

Hope all these answers help. Incase you have anymore questions for us, feel free to write to us at

Photo of Roni Schotter

Thanks so much for your help, but I'm afraid I still don't see the Share Your manuscript question. I see a place to enter the title and to answer other questions. But I can't seem to find that spot to enter the manuscript. I can't spend much more time on this, so if I can't do this within the next hour, I'm going to give up. I'm about to leave for a week and, though there is still more time before the deadline, I really can't continue with this. Too much time. Grateful for YOUR time and Dawn's though. Thanks.

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