April 5, 2018 By Tara Law
Two Forest Hills mothers are asking the community to help fund a children’s book depicting little girls with big jobs.
The book, “Rad Girl Revolution,” will feature photos of more than 50 girls from Forest Hills posing in 30 photos as scientists, chefs, doctors, judges and CEOs. The book is designed to encourage little girls— and little boys— to picture women in professions in which men make up a majority.
Author Sharita Manickam and photo illustrator Jen Bruno launched a Kickstarter today to
help fund the book’s final photo shoots and to pay for the first 1,000 copies of the book to be printed and shipped. The book has received 83 pledges for $3,150 so far, with 32 days remaining to achieve its $15,000 goal.
Manickam, who writes for television, said that she and Bruno wanted to help little girls see themselves represented in its pages.
“As a mother of two girls, I believe it is very important to teach my children about the incredible women of the past, but also feel it’s essential for young girls to be able to picture themselves becoming the inspiring women of the future,” Manickam said.
Illustrator Bruno said that she felt that it was important to use photos instead of drawings in the book in order to make the images feel as true to life as possible.
“We are showing young girls career opportunities they may not otherwise know exist, and we believe photos of real girls help further drive home the reality,” Bruno said. “We don’t want our message getting muddled in the fantasy of typical picture book illustrations.”
Manickam and Bruno are committed to ensuring that the book is inclusive. The photos depict girls of different races and abilities, including Frankie Lyner, a 2-year-old with Down Syndrome.
“This project gives us a platform to show a child with a disability in a viable profession and will hopefully challenge the preconceptions of its readers and make them say, ‘Why not?’” said Frankie’s mother, Farah Lyner.
Kickstarter backers are offered Rad Girl coloring books, sticker books, a preorder of the hardcover book and other perks depending on the size of their contribution.
Copies of the book are scheduled to be shipped to Kickstarter backers this November.