In February 2014, I raised over $12,000 in a Kickstarter campaign for this book project. The project grew out of a deep desire to teach my son, Jonas, about nonviolence. Jonas, like many little boys and girls, loves to dress up and pretend he is a knight or pirate or ninja. Our society has successfully captivated the imaginations of our young with stories of fighting and violence. Check out this video (Jonas appears after the halfway point) to see what I mean:
There must be a way to teach children an alternative to the glorification of war and battle. Not that I’m against play fighting. I can sword fight with the best of them. But we need to put more imaginative power behind stories that promote peace.
There are a fair number of peaceful books out there. Many are pretty boring. Many are excellent, but skew towards nonfiction (as much as I appreciate children’s books about Gandhi and Dr. King, books like these lack the fantastical adventure that my son so loves). We need more imaginative books promoting nonviolence.
That is why I wrote this book. And now, after nearly a year of work, it has gone to press (and Joel’s artwork is amazing). It will be officially published in March 2015. Between now and then, I’ll be working hard to get copies to those who contributed on Kickstarter. I’ll also be sending review copies out to major publications. If you work with a publication or have a well-tended blog, please contact us.
Over the next few months, I’ll continue to work with Jon Felton and his Soulmobile on the children’s album (so far, the music has exceeded my expectation…which were already high). And I’ll record an audiobook version with my friend Orrin (who did all the recording with me on the Iconocast).