Monday, 17 February 2014

Kickstarter Project: "Freethinker's Book of Fables"

Concept art for book's cover. (source)

Matthew Brackney emailed me last week with information on his new Kickstarter campaign to illustrate a series of completely new modern-day fables for Freethinkers (also appropriate for those who may not consider themselves Freethinkers as well).
I've just started my own project, The Freethinker's Book of Fables, which is a children's/young adult book aimed at teaching moral lessons through reason. Specifically, I want it to deal with the dangers of group thought, traditions that go unexamined, and fear of reason.
At first glance, I agreed that group thought and unquestioned traditions are common-day occurrences. However, fear of reason didn't really strike me as a big problem until my mind went back to the disturbing messages creationists had for evolutionists (e.g. people who listen to science) after the Ken Ham - Bill Nye debate. After that, other examples came flooding in. I wonder if these creationists would have thought differently if they had an up to date book of fables that encouraged critical thought rather than  their own 2,000 year-old book of fables.

Here's the link to this project:

The Freethinker's Book of Fables
Though some fables are still popular and relevant there are many that are not. This project is an attempt to write and fully illustrate modern fables with themes that are based on morals reached through reason. The fables should help parents in instructing their children to question everything and make their own conclusions on a variety of topics but with fun-filled stories and quirky characters.
Yes, that's right, no "the Bible tells us so" or "it's tradition" here. This book aims to begin children on the path of thinking for themselves and using reason and ethics to underly their morality.

Here's my favourite synopsis of one of the proposed fables.
The Bronze King of the Squirrels 
A well fed community of squirrels lives in the park. They have an abundance of nuts, and life is good. A group of the squirrels attributes their prosperity to a great bronze statue recently erected in the center of the park. The great wise-squirrels insist that the statue is their god, and that a nut sacrifice is necessary to show homage.  When a disaster strikes and nuts are no longer plentiful, the wise-squirrels start blaming the squirrels that don’t sacrifice. More restrictive rules are enforced. The wise-squirrels demands more sacrifice, and insist that the squirrels spend more time in devotion to the statue. A small group of squirrels that have refused to sacrifice their nuts instead find a new source of food. Conflict develops between the two groups who must find a way to coexist.
And some of Matthew's artwork:

Bronze King Concept Art (source)
That isn't a commercial for rodent Snuggies. Those are squirrels giving up their nuts.

You can see a video describing this project at Matthew's Kickstarter page. It looks like around $4,000 has been raised (25%). Why not pitch a little in so they can get to 50%?

As a parent who's posted before about books for kids that encourage critical thinking, I know what I'll pick up for my little guy for this 5th birthday... The Freethinker's Book of Fables

1 comment:

  1. Joelle O'Reilly-Hyland18 February 2014 at 01:02

    I admire this act. I hope there will be more like this so those who are in need will find help.

    Joelle Wyser-Pratte
    Managing partner of Ounavarra Capital Partners, LLC


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