“Sharing phone calls and photos with Grandpa was fun. But Harper wanted to see his dark brown eyes twinkle—and to giggle when he made his bushy eyebrows dance.”
Why Grandpa Comes Home?
Close your eyes and think of a loved one you wished lived closer.
Sure, technology makes it easier to stay in touch, but if you could, I bet you’d shrink the world to close that distance.
That's what Happy Harper wants to do.
I’m so incredibly excited to share this story with you. Happy Harper’s love for her grandpa is one that took hold of my heart so many years ago and refused to let go.
Although this is an immigration story, this is a love-filled book about grandparents. I chose to not focus on why Grandpa and his family have been separated for so long. Instead, I chose to tell the family’s love story. The story that reminds us separation by distance doesn't mean separation by love.
An immigration story the mainstream doesn’t get to denigrate.
Why Happy Harper?
The stats are dismal. Clearly!
But this is about more than stats. This is about the fact that there's room on the page to write a range of characters that are diverse in background and experiences.
That kids can get to see the world through different lenses. Some that mirror their lives or aspects of their lives. Others that don't.
In Happy Harper, kids can see the world without fear. They can be encouraged to feed their curiosity through exploration, learning, and bonding.
Pre-gentrified Brooklyn was the Brooklyn of nightmares for gentrified Brooklyn. Yet plenty of families raised happy and healthy kids (like me) who thrived despite the challenges. Brooklyn was a fun place to grow up...a great place to explore.
As my mother is the unofficial MTA Queen, we were always going on some adventure that involved a combination of buses, trains, and our feet. When we were short on tokens (or later, had an empty MetroCard) we’d keep our exploration to the long blocks of Flatbush avenue knowing that we could always jump on a 'dollar van'. These vans were (still are) driven by young Black—mostly Black Caribbean—entrepreneurs who saw a market for providing cheaper transportation for those who couldn’t afford MTA prices.
Happy Harper is here to let kids (and families) see that the world around them is as small or big and boring or interesting as their imagination let them believe.
Happy Harper’s imagination gives her an expansive view of her world, so that Brooklyn becomes a city to dig for worms and snails at her community garden, learn to build, launch and sail a boat with Brooklyn Boatworks, eat her way through the Little Haiti Cultural and Business District, and walk the path of her ancestors at the Weeksville Heritage Center.
Why Brooklyn? Because Happy Harper wants to share everything amazing it has to offer. And hopes you'll do the same with her as you and your family explore your own community.
Why a pet chicken?
(Photo credit: unknown)
Where's the money going?
Expected a 'Why' question? :)
Funds raised will be used for the initial off-set print run with Print Ninja (the hardcover books) and to start the digital animation. It will cover all aspects of traditional and digital publishing including professional illustrations, cover design, and voice animation. The long-term goal is to make Happy Harper books into an interactive experience for children. To use technology to allow readers to transport themselves into the stories and become characters who go along with Happy Harper on her adventures. Lastly, it will cover the crowdfunding fees (hey iFundWomen is a great woman-owned business. It's only fair that they get paid what they deserve!)
Thank you so much for choosing to invest in Happy Harper, a black-owned business.
I appreciate your personal financial contributions, and for encouraging others to contribute by sharing this link on social media and by email.
And I love that you're telling your dad Frank about this project even though he thinks the internet is a waste of time. But we know he loves his grandkids so he'll get his copy of Grandpa Comes Home to read to them...even if he lives far away.
Please tell grandpa Frank for me that his support not only brings this book to life. It helps us share Happy Harper to encourage all kids to shape and drive their own stories. (Oh and that the internet is good for something. How else would you have learned about Happy Harper!)
THANKS SO MUCH!