New Anti-Bullying Children’s Book, ‘Ole Tangerine Man’, Inspires Kids To Stand Up & Protect Each Other

It’s never too early to instill good values into the lives and minds of youth! This new children’s book, focusing on an anti-bullying message, is proving just that. ‘Ole Tangerine Man’ was created and written by a Canadian woman named Carol Steuri who is based out of Switzerland. She has been working on this project with the help of Montreal-based illustrator Sandra Dumais, San Francisco-based art director Tracy Skibo, and Chicago-based editor Alice York, who has an M.S in Early Childhood Education.

If you are looking at the lead image, reading the title, and thinking it alludes to something familiar, you are not wrong. In a video posted on the Indiegogo campaign page the team are running to raise fund for production of the book, Carol says the book became a side project as a result of her frustration and anger over the 2016 Presidential election of Donald Trump, and it was her way of funneling that energy into something positive.

“I’d been feeling really powerless these days, that I can’t be doing more from here. And I’m deeply concerned as a global citizen, as a mom, so much so that I can’t sleep at night and I don’t have as much to lose as other people,” she said.

The book tells the story of a Tangerine who wins the crown of Planet Amazing. He is a bully and insists on making many of the other fruits and vegetables feel like they don’t belong simply because of who (what) they are. It’s hard not to draw direct parallels to the many actions and words of Donald Trump throughout his campaign and even since he has taken office, introducing a Muslim ban, rolling back protections for transgender students, clamping down on oppressive reproductive policies such as the Global Gag Rule, and more.

What children can learn from this book is the importance of standing up to bullies, and protecting one another.

“It makes bedtime an opportunity to encourage kindness and bravery in your preschooler. But it’s also a cathartic read for the adult, with hidden puns and messages that only you will pick up on,” says the campaign.

The story is written in a whimsical style, inspired by the rhyming of Dr. Seuss books, while also incorporating some of the commonly-used words of the real life “tangerine man”:

Planet AMAZING is TREMENDOUS! Amazingly tremendous, most would agree. But something’s happening here that’s been bugging me.

The story ends with a brave, young blueberry challenging Ole Tangerine Man for his crown, as the future Miss Captain AMAZING. She rallies the other fruit and veg to stand together: “With buckets of love for this land; from farm, fridge and fruit stand, all foods here united, marching hand in hand. AMAZING: you DESERVE better!!!”

Along with the money the creative team are looking to raise for the production of this book, they are pledging to donate 20% of the funds to organizations which help women run for office. In the US alone, this is definitely needed, as women only make up 20% of US congress, and women of color are a small percentage of that. Organizations like Emily’s List who help women campaign and run for office have recently reported a significant increase in the amount of women wanting to run, as a result of the election.

“During the 2016 cycle, [Emily’s List] spoke with about 900 women interested in running for school board, state legislature or Congress. This year, they’ve heard from more than 11,000 women in all 50 states — with a few dozen seriously considering House races, she said,” reported the Washington Post about this uptick in interest.

For Carol Steuri and her team to support such an important cause adds another layer of awesomeness to this campaign, which we hope many of our readers will support while it is up and running. It is certainly her contribution to the greater #resistance movement happening in response to the election, now that many of us are awakened to the reality that human rights and equality are never a given, and can easily be rolled back by people in power who act on their bully agenda.

“Creating a campaign like this, sharing a story like this, and raising money for organizations that are doing good are all things I can and will do. Regardless of your political views, whether you supported Ole Tangerine Man in the past or still do, I don’t think anyone can deny he is a bully. And that is not the type of behavior we encourage in our kids, nor do we want to legitimize. As parents, we try our best to raise empathetic little humans. This story also explains what might be going on inside Ole Tangerine Man in order to make sense of his antics,” she said.

With so much media and content that children consume these days, books like this can be a positive influence on the next generation. You can watch the ‘Ole Tangerine Man’ campaign video below, and check out the full story in advance in a post written by Carol Steuri on Medium.

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