Queer people face an increasingly threatening situation in Poland and Hungary. In Hungary, a bookstore was recently fined for selling a children’s book. The reason: the store did not warn customers that the book depicted two rainbow families. Working directly with the author Lawrence Schimel & illustrator Elina Braslina, we are planning to publish this book in Germany. Not just that, we will donate copies in Polish to the “Equality Factory” in our sister city Łódź to be distributed for free.
We plan to publish the children’s book "Micsoda család!" (Hungarian title) by Lawrence Schimel and Elina Braslina in German and Polish. The book contains two rhyming short stories: In one, a young boy wakes up in the morning. His two moms and his sister are still asleep and only the cat is also awake, together they have fun adventures. In the other, a little girl wants to go to sleep at night but her dog wants to play. When her two dads read her a bedtime story instead of playing with him, the jealous dog steals her bear, and the whole family chases after him to get it back.
It is important for all children to see models of rainbow families, especially ones doing fun, family activities–not only facing homophobia.
But unfortunately, homophobia is a reality in many places, like Poland, where one third of Polish districts and cities have declared themselves “LGBT-free zones”. The situation for queer people is getting worse by the minute – violence and aggression towards queer people are increasing. It is becoming harder to educate the public about queer topics and to offer counseling for queer people. Polish NGOs hardly receive any (financial) support and are therefore not able to produce the necessary materials.
And that's why we decided to create this solidarity edition, to help educate a new generation in Poland that is more tolerant and accepting.
Our goal: To publish the children’s books „Hundemüde und hellwach” (German title) / "Mamusie, tatusie, dzieciaki i zwierzaki" (Polish title - Mums, dads, kids and pets) in Germany and donate copies to the Polish queer organization "Equality Factory" in Łódź for free. The Equality Factory provides counseling and education about queer topics and will distribute the book to rainbow families and educational institutions in Poland. Buy One - Donate One! For each German copy sold, we can donate a copy in Polish.
What is the project goal and who is the project for?
We want to counteract the homophobic tendencies in Poland and Germany and help empower rainbow families, through this book that shows rainbow families as an everyday part of society.
The book is suitable for children from the age of two years. Its short, funny stories are great to read all day long–although perfect to read at bedtime or first thing in the morning! The target audience are not just rainbow families but everyone who wants to educate their children about alternative family models, including kindergartens and nurseries.
Why would you support this project?
In Poland (but also in Germany), there are very few books that show LGBT families, especially books celebrating queer joy. With our “Buy one – Donate One” campaign you can support the printing of both the German and Polish editions of the children’s books “Hundemüde und hellwach”. This is a way to show your solidarity with the queer community in Poland and contribute actively to helping them.
How will we use the money if the project is successfully funded?
The money raised with this campaign will cover the printing of the book in German and Polish. It will also be used to pay for shipping and handling in Germany and Poland.
Who are the people behind the project?
Project 100% HUMAN is a German NGO that focuses on equal opportunities and equal rights for ALL people. We believe that everyone has the right to a safe, free and self-determined life regardless of their sexual orientation or their gender.
The Equality Factory is the largest LGBTQ+ association in Łódź (Poland). We organize cultural events, educational activities and anti-discrimination workshops. We fight for equality and support people discriminated against because of their psychosexual orientation, gender or gender identity.
Lawrence Schimel is a full-time author, writing in both Spanish and English, who has published over one hundred books in a wide range of genres. He is also a prolific literary translator. His picture books have been selected for the White Ravens from the International Youth Library in Munich, Germany, twice chosen for IBBY’s Outstanding Books for Young People with Disabilities, and won the Crystal Kite Award from the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, among many other awards, honors, and distinctions. His writings have been published in many languages and his pictures books have been selected for various children's books awards.
Elīna Brasliņa is an award-winning illustrator from Latvia. She has illustrated almost thirty titles so far, most of them children's books and young adult novels by Latvian authors. Elīna's work has been nominated for local awards, and she has received the Zelta Ābele Award for Book Design four times, and was awarded the Jānis Baltvilks Baltic Sea Region Award in 2017. She made her international debut illustrating Kate Wakeling's collection of poems, Moon Juice. Elīna is a production designer with the Latvian animation studio Atom Art. She is currently working on a new animated film