Launch a series of early-reader chapter books to teach children resilience and empathy.
Leo Land stories are family friendly reading with schmaltzy critter zen characters. The books are a multimedia platform for K1-6 values-based learning, told through stories of courage and friendship. They promote the values laid out in Leo and the Crows, the first in the series: Be kind; Share food; Tell the truth; Laugh more; Make things better. The stories start with a young cat who suddenly loses a happy home. One chapter and book at a time, they create a world filled with friendship and hope.
Each book is approximately 65 pages, one hour reading time, separated into comfortable ten-minute chapters. Each chapter could be the basis for a bedtime story or a classroom conversation. See Books and Reviews for more detail.
Because the themes and characters are timeless and universal, the Leo Land stories appeal equally to youngsters and oldsters. The books have been road-tested, in person and over Zoom, with families that include both preschoolers and chapter-book readers, all of whom were entertained and curious. Parents and grandparents can read to children or listen to the audiobook with them; youngsters can use the coloring book while early readers learn new vocabulary.
In addition to solo or family reading, the story is designed for sharing in classrooms, day care, and multi-generational living environments. All material is designed for engagement and conversation about issues relevant to children and society. These are sweet, fun stories are oases of hope in hard times.
Costs: Ultimately this is a publisher’s decision. The creative team prefers to bundle the audiobook and coloring book with the hand-held book; this can be done economically through downloadable links. For large distribution, a paperback is clearly more affordable, though the story, art, and narration support an upscale package. We hope that marketing costs will be used primarily to fund the-leo-project.com, and that the messages of kindness and sharing will become widely spread.
Revenue: The ideas below are illustrative, not definitive. We’re looking for a partner with imagination, vision, access, and clout. The Leo Land stories start with books, but have possible spin-offs into other media such as cartoons or movies. We propose managing branding from the outset, with the goal of a popular movie in place of book three. In addition, the adorable characters are perfect for a variety of merchandising, such as plush toys, t-shirts, greetings cards, tchotchke, and Leo Land games or apps.
Our goal is to get the story and values widely distributed. We hope to help shift public discourse from diatribe to dialogue through sweet identifiable characters that transcend politics and culture wars.
The creative team spans five decades and has achievements in various creative domains from writing to performing arts. The author is a former Tribune columnist who’s comfortable writing articles and giving interviews. Advisors and reviewers are recognized figures in parenting and education, also available for interviews. In addition, we are developing curriculum materials so the Leo Land stories can be used in educational settings everywhere.
Please review the creative team‘s background.
Our goal is widespread distribution through as many media streams as possible. We want to get Leo’s values into people’s hearts, and to help those who make the world better while we do it. We plan a traditional campaign on Instagram, Facebook, and similar social media channels as possible from each of the creative team and advisors, all aimed at retail sales.
In addition to sharing the stories within families, we want to promote Leo’s values in inter-generational settings. The-Leo-Project.com is a corollary to traditional book marketing. It gives the publishers a chance to do well by doing good, and to counter the anger and fear too prevalent in today’s world. We want to sponsor digital distribution of the story so that seniors can engage with K1-6 children to start conversations about homelessness, food insecurity, inclusivity, biodiversity, and creating happy families and communities.
We plan a multi-faceted distribution model that can reach easily into any demographic. In addition to the roughly 90,000 elementary schools in the US, we see working together with smart reading organizations like Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library and SMART, plus non-profits focused on senior engagement like AARP, EngAge,, as well as with smaller, local organizations that can set up reading and discussion groups.
Our only ask is that you snuggle in, alone or with children, and read or listen to the stories to see what a fabulous new hero Leo is to root for. If you like what you hear and see, we’d love to talk about details.
I spent twenty years as Your Jewish Fairy Godmother talking to adults about problems great and small. For me, this is a legacy project to help make the world kinder. For a publisher it’s a chance to use your institutional moxie in a new way. If you feel the same, please tell me you’re interested in talking about what’s possible. And that you love how fabulous the NPR story will be.
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