In later years, one of the most enduring childhood memories is snuggling into bed and waiting, not so patiently sometimes, for a mother or father to come in and read a bedtime story. When the parent arrived, each child knew the book they wanted their parents to read, instantly. And it made no difference if it was the second time or the 102nd time. That story, read out loud while laying underneath bed covers that were sometimes used for tent making, shields for scary monsters that hung out in the closet or the rugged terrain for the Matchbox cars or Barbies‘s runway was the best place to hear about the characters and their adventures. It was then easy to fall asleep, sometimes while the parent was still reading, and dream away.
Reading time always took precedence as the best time of the day, no matter if it was after lunch or before bedtime. Also, those favorite stories can linger well into adulthood and help frame a person’s life and how they see the world and themselves.
Reading, especially when you are a child, is a wondrous time because children’s imaginations are so powerful, innocent and pure. The faraway kingdoms, undersea adventures or even the simple experiences in children’s books allow each child to discover what can make them happy, provides ingredients to find courage or helps them overcome difficulties that may have first seen as insurmountable.
Lori Nguyen, storyteller from San Francisco, and TJ Lubrano from Holland, illustrator, have combined talents to bring to the world a children’s book that aims to entertain little ones as well as inspire them to find out what they love to do and in turn makes them happy.
“Lighting up the World” is the story of a curious princess named Altaira who comes from a magical kingdom of people who use to be stars. As she grows older she forgets to listen to her heart. On her journey, Altaira befriends a dragon named Dusty who helps her discover the light within herself. Once the princess is able to rediscover what she loves, she realizes she is lighting up inside and also lighting up the world around her.
Currently, Lori and TJ have an Indiegogo campaign to help them cover the initial publishing costs. Take a look at the campaign here. Also, make sure to watch the video to learn more about the campaign. The video also shows a peek of TJ’s magical fingers creating Altaira and Dusty of “Lighting Up The World”.
Lori and TJ were kind enough to explain why this project is so important to them. Here’s what they said.
Lori: My earliest childhood dream was to be a writer. I had a journal and would scribble ideas in it before I even knew the alphabet. One day I realized that I COULD be a writer. So I finally wanted to listen to my heart and inspire others to do the same.
Also, when people tell me “I can’t wait until I can read this to Knox(insert child’s name)”, I actually get teary eyed. – that’s really what I do it for. The idea of a loving family means so much to me, and this is my small way of contributing to it.
TJ: As an illustrator, I get to create worlds that are based on stories from other people. Not often a world comes along that fits my own world as much as “Lighting Up The World” does. The story is all about following your dreams and being true to yourself by doing what you love. It’s a message that’s easily forgotten when one grows up. I forgot it myself, but now I remembered it again. I truly believe that “Lighting Up The World” is going to be the perfect book for spreading this message across the world.
To learn more about the “Lighting Up The World” campaign, the book and the creators, click on the follow links below:
Twitter: (TJ’s Twitter feed to follow all her updates on”Lighting Up The World”)