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"At home, I..."

I wrote and designed this object-book to teach young children about responsibilities as human beings and not based on their gender.

Photo of Olivia Valdes

Written by

At home, I make my bed in the morning and clean up my room after I'm done playing.

I also make dinner when I am hungry.

At home, I wash my dirty clothes and then I fold them and put them away.

At home, I can paint the walls with different colors and use the tools in my tool box to fix things.

I fix the TV when it breaks down and I change the light bulb in the living room because it's my home.

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

This is an interactive book with which caregivers can easily teach kids about responsibilities at home not only by reading to them but also by doing and playing. It is easy to translate into any language and easy to read by anyone.

Share your suggested book title

"At home, I..."

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).

At home, I make my bed in the morning and clean up my room after I'm done playing. I also make dinner when I am hungry. At home, I wash my dirty clothes and then I fold them and put them away. At home, I can paint the walls with different colors and use the tools in my tool box to fix things. I fix the TV when it breaks down and I change the light bulb in the living room because it's my home.

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

I am a graphic designer and this book was written and designed based on a year-long research on social gender inequalities during early childhood years in Santiago, Chile. I tested many different prototypes and approaches and this version was the most successful. My research process included ethnography & interviews, ideation, prototyping and lots of testing. Not only I created this book, I also documented my entire research in a separate book. (https://www.behance.net/gallery/40626295/Editorial-Design) The whole purpose of this project is to have a series of interactive books to teach children through play about society and morals that are modern and respectful. Children are our future and they need to be taught the change we want to see in the future. Gender will stop being an issue the day we stop using it as a condition. *This is what inspired me to do this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XjJQBjWYDTs

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

I don't have any familiarity with Philadelphia, but my son and I moved to the U.S. when he was 5 years old and he only spoke Spanish. He was able to learn English in less than a month with the help of books. Today, 2 years later, he is fully bilingual.

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

This is a different type of book, it will help those who have difficulties reading in other languages because it involves play and interaction. We all know that play is a crucial technique to learn, not only as a child but as an adult, too. It's safe and entertaining. My manuscript is also written with very simple word-actions and it is extremely easy to translate into any language.

Location: Country

United States

Location: State or Department

California

Location: City

Ventura

Website URL (optional question)

https://www.behance.net/gallery/36751957/Childrens-Book-Design

Tell us more about you / your team

I was born in Chicago and raised in Santiago, Chile. After getting my graphic design degree I decided to move back to the U.S. with my 5 year old, 3 thousand dollars and 2 suitcases. Even though we were both American citizens, we both struggled with the language barrier. I've always been bilingual, but my son didn't know a single word in English when we moved here. It only took him a couple of weeks to start understanding and speaking English, and it was that quick not only because of school and books but also because I was able to help him and practice with him. My priority has always been designing things that matter, and even though I can't seem to find a job that lets me do that for a living, I'm constantly writing, designing and solving problems, even if it is in a small scale, (meaning designing for my son, church, community, etc).

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

This is my prototype. It is version number 5. I am more than happy to re design the look and feel, but I definitely want to keep its functionality. The key to this book is how interactive it is. It makes the reader connect with what they're reading and what the actions is about.

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)

  • OpenIDEO announcement email

What best describes you? (optional question)

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

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12 comments

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Photo of xin li
Team

Really enjoyed the concept. I agree with Estela Kennen that the content might not work for the target age group (0-3). I am wondering if it would be interesting to try out a different manuscript with the same concept. Obviously it would not be enough time to prototype a new manuscript. But I think the current prototype is enough to show the concept. You just need a new manuscript that reflects activities toddlers are into doing or capable of doing by themselves. Here are some suggestions for activities right off my mind:
- Playing hide and seek with the teddy bear.
- Play with blocks
- Brushing teeth
- Playing ball with friends
- Open up a book.
- Finger painting
- Sorting stuff (toddlers are very into that, sorting stuff based on colour, or shapes)

Hope this helps and good luck!

Photo of Olivia Valdes
Team

Hi Xin li,
Thank you so much for your feedback and ideas! I love them.
But as I mentioned to Estela Kennen below... I think there isn't really an accurate age group. The main goal is to make these habits. So it's not like they're supposed to do their laundry at 3 or fix a lamp at 6... it's more about the concept of responsibilities. Same way we teach them about professions to help them dream and find their interests. This is about the bigger picture. Instead of making girls play house and boys play firefighter, this is making them play human in a society. This is not supposed to teach them an immediate activity or action. This is about reinforcing habits, healthy habits, and as we've all read and also heard from the experts in the webinar, kids learn, absorb so quickly we even underestimate their ability to learn. I want to change the way we teach our kids how to behave in a society, and most likely, we don't even realize the information we are transmitting. That's why this book is not about an immediate action, is about the concept of responsibility. And the fact that the sentences and words used are so simple, it can be read to anyone, by anyone. :)

Thank you all so much for commenting though!!! I love that we are talking about it!!! :)

Photo of Estela Kennen
Team

I love the concept of "playing human", Olivia. Very important message. I hope you go far with this.

Photo of xin li
Team

Hi, Olivia
You have an interesting thoughts and reflection.
As a mother, I have a different approach though. It is not so much about underestimate a child's ability to learn. It is a matter of choice on what we consider important in her earlier years. I would not be very concerned about teaching kids responsibility in early ages, rather I want to her to play, to wonder, to be silly, and absurd, to feel free to try out things that maybe does not make much sense. I understand this is a very personal opinion. However, I do love your concept for the book format, and I think there is a better manuscript hiding underneath your concept somewhere. Good luck with the project, and looking forward to see this go further.

Photo of Estela Kennen
Team

I'm really enjoying this conversation. Thinking back to when my daughter was this age, she LOVED wiping things down, pushing the pop vacuum, and using wrenches to take things apart (put back together, not so much). She loved being helpful, she loved trying "big kid stuff," and she loved her stuffed animals and books and finger painting. It wasn't one or the other, and maybe that's part of experimenting with "being human" ... so maybe there's space for a book that combines some of xin li's suggestions and olivia's original content?

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