Sara (left) and Lisa (right)
We met several years ago, while working together in corporate sustainability, and bonded immediately over a deep passion for our collective well-being, connection, and compassion. With Lisa in Vancouver, and Sara in San Francisco, the two of us spent many phone calls dreaming up a collection of books that focus on engaging, empowering, and inspiring children and their families to understand and act on environmental and social issues, both locally and globally.
Lisa is a brand and marketing professional and a mama to a little baby boy Quinn, who helped to inspire much of our work.
Sara is a PhD Candidate and Lecturer, researching and teaching on ecological and societal thresholds, individual and organizational resilience, and systems-thinking.
Children can often feel overwhelmed, sad, and fearful in the midst of mounting environmental and social issues, such as biodiversity loss and climate change. This is partially because their sense of scope is smaller than that of adults: they are still developing their capacity to assess risk, and they do not yet have the experience to make and give sense to the changing world around them.
Despite this reality, the nexus between global challenges and children's wellbeing is rarely at the forefront of discussion and policy. Reports, such as the U.S. government’s National Climate Assessment, cite mental health concerns as a side effect of witnessing and processing sustainability challenges. Likewise, the American Academy of Pediatrics issued a policy statement warning that climate change poses threats to “children’s mental and physical health,” and that “failure to take prompt, substantive action would be an act of injustice to all children.” Moreover, in studying upper age brackets, the Kaiser Family Foundation found that 57 percent of teenagers expressed that climate change has made them feel scared, and 52 percent said that it made them feel angry, both of which are higher rates than expressed by adults.
We hope to bring this space to life by distilling complex information into digestible and meaningful stories that create a safe and gentle space for children to feel, alongside those they love, their way through the world, and to inspire action, across families and ages alike. We also hope that children come to trust that they are not alone; to believe that, through choice, they have the power to shift the status quo into the world they dream of; and to experience an unwavering sense of resilience, self-efficacy, self- and collective compassion, consciousness, and wellbeing.
Supporting Adults and Educators
In the face of crisis and grief we, as humans, are naturally attracted to one of two poles: one focused on catastrophe, and the other on sidestepping our pain altogether. Through our books, we hope to recognize and honour the in-between: to create the space for readers to think, feel, and express their way through their emotions as they turn the pages of each story.
We know that the frequency and magnitude of societal and ecological grand challenges are rising around the world, and that, just like us, children are being exposed to information and misinformation that can often feel paralyzing. As a result, kids are asking direct and difficult questions about what’s happening and what’s going to happen, and caretakers are left to walk a tightrope between being honest and being comforting; between empowering kids and weighing them down with the responsibility of saving the world.
So, how can we be present to support our youngsters to feel informed and inspired without terrifying them or inducing panic?
We surely don’t have all of the answers, but we do seek to prepare each of us, and our children, to feel safe; to make thoughtful and empowered choices; and to be part of the solution, when they are ready to be.
In that same breath, we too recognize that children’s capacity to deal with complex and worrying information increases with age, so the way that we intend to position ever evolving resources will shift: those for a three-year-old will be very different from those of a ten year old. We too believe that tone is vital and that simple language is best; with that, we aim to focus on the aspects of our world that a child can change, rather than honing in on those he or she cannot.
We are committed to doing what we love – with, and for, the world that we love: little by little.
To that end, all of our net proceeds are donated to a charity that honours the theme and lessons of the book(s) that you purchase. We also print our books on demand to reduce waste, and encourage -- through our “This Book Has Been Loved By” -- others to share and exchange these stories with siblings, friends, or schools, if they might wish to make room on their bookshelves for another. Finally, our books are printed on recycled paper.
We are so grateful that you are here, and that you might share your own time and values with us. It is our highest aspiration that, through imbibing our stories, our readers too feel a sense of resiliency, hope, efficacy, and compassion, not only for the world, but also for themselves.