Investing: How a children’s book can make a great return
Here’s how anyone can make an investment into the compassionate efforts of one mom to achieve cultural inclusion through Plushie Dragons inspired by her eagerly awaited upcoming picture book for children, Long Goes to Dragon School.
Long Goes to Dragon School
Long Goes to Dragon School is a picture book for children that is wrapped-up in the dragon lores of Eastern and Western cultures. This fantasy tale celebrates perseverance, self-acceptance, and cultural differences, when on the first day of Western Dragon School, all the young dragons must learn how to harness their fire breath to cook food.
But Long [pronounced Lon and means dragon in Chinese] is an Eastern dragon. Eastern dragons are Water spirits and breathe water, not fire. Will Long be discovered? Or will Long find his own unique path to cooking-and to fitting in?
Long Goes to Dragon School is based on the personal dilemma faced by writer and Graphic novelist Helen H. Wu. Wu, who was born and raised in Hefei, China, came to the United States in her 20s to pursue her dreams in higher education. So she knows a thing or two about the educational challenges faced by newly arrived immigrants here in the United States.
But Long Goes to Dragon School is a picture book whose story is just not solely confined to the US, but is an appealing, compelling, and recurring theme across the globe. This is why Long Goes to Dragon School goes beyond its Occidental and Oriental storyline, it appeals to the empathy, kindness and compassion necessary with ethnic differences as well.
Children’s Book Author Melanie Ellsworth who previewed Long Goes to Dragon School wrote in Google Reads:
I had a chance to preview this book, and it’s so much fun to read with gorgeous illustrations, humor, and dragons! It feels very relatable for kids, with the dragon named Long trying to adjust to school and learning that it’s okay to have different talents from the other dragons. Readers will giggle at the various attempts the dragons make to roast a potato with their fiery (and watery!) breath. Long’s dragon teacher is supportive and encouraging, and the message of finding your own path based on your unique abilities is so important to share with kids. I LOVE maps in books, and this one includes a map showing the different homelands of all of Long’s dragon classmates. The author’s note at the end explains the importance of dragons in Chinese culture. This is a wonderful book for home libraries and also to share in classrooms to spark conversations about cultural traditions and the value of persevering, understanding, and being a unique individual in a cohesive community.
Long Goes to Dragon School is scheduled to be released in February of 2023, and can be purchased now as a preorder on Amazon and wherever books are sold.
Long and Friends, Cute Dragon Plushies
“Long and Friends” are brand new plushie toys based on Western dragon Mia, and Eastern dragon Long, two dragon characters featured in the children’s picture book Long Goes to Dragon School. “With our ‘Long and Friends’ dragon plushies, we aim to bridge the cultural differences, bringing children together to revel in the joy of our cuddly companions,” states Wu, creator of “Long and Friends.”
Mia the Sakura Dragon is a heartwarming dragon and can bring calmness wherever she goes. Whether she stays at home or tags along on a trip, her cuddles are there to keep you warm, calm and comforted.
Long the Rain Dragon is a water dragon with rain powers and unbridled creativity. He is ready for any quest and carries on with perseverance and an eagerness to find his own path.
KICKSTARTER: Long and Friends, Cute Dragon Plushies and Enamel Pins by Yeehoo Press
Yeehoo Press, where Wu is the publisher, seeks to raise funds to bring these cuddly dragon plushies to life. Yeehoo Press is currently running a crowdfunding campaign on the creative crowdfunding platform Kickster [https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/yeehoo/long-and-friends-cute-dragon-plushies-and-enamel-pins]. The campaign ends on November 1, 2022.
Your generous funding contribution can be made at any level. There are limited funding prize rewards for your contribution. These rewards are tiered, and are available at all levels of the economic stratosphere. Unfortunately, at this time, many of the lower-tiered opportunities are no longer available due to being quickly pledged for. To pledge for any of the remaining Dragon Plushie rewards which can include:
1 hr Zoom Meeting of Author Visit or Critique or Ask Me Anything
2× Dragon Enamel Pin
2× Dragon Plushie
2× Autographed Hardcover Picture Book
Custom Sewing of Text on Plushies
Please click the link to learn more Long and Friends, Cute Dragon Plushies and Enamel Pins » Back this project — Kickstarter.
History of Plushie Toys
A plushie toy is a toy doll with an outer fabric sewn from a textile and stuffed with flexible material. Plushie toys are known by many different names across continents and cultures, from stuffed animals, or stuffies, to soft toys or cuddly toys.
The plushie toy originated from the Steiff company of Germany in the late 19th century and gained popularity following the creation of the “Teddy” bear in the United States in 1903.
Children as well as adults can form connections with their plushie toys, often sleeping or cuddling with them for comfort. They can be sentimental objects that reduce anxiety around separation, self-esteem, and fear of the night. In a 2020 article published in The Guardian, “‘My bears are my lifeline’: the adults who sleep with soft toys,” sleeping with soft toys is more normal than you might think. “It’s very common,” says Prof Bruce Hood of the University of Bristol, who has researched our attachment to childhood toys. One in three of the people he had questioned still slept with teddies, and that it was probably more common for women, as it is more socially acceptable for them to do so.
In a 2019 UK Metro article, a third of British adults reported sleeping with soft toys, and nearly half had kept their childhood cuddly toys.
In 1993, Ty Warner created Beanie Babies, a series of animals stuffed with plastic pellets. Beanie Babies emerged as a major fad and collectible during the second half of the 1990s, and have been cited as the world’s first Internet sensation. Beanie Babies were not only collected as toys, but also as a financial investment, particularly due to the high resale value.
“Long and Friends” are particularly seen by me as becoming the next Internet sensation of stuffed animals, for the following reasons:
- The Covid-19 lingering financial aftereffects are causing global inflation, and the anxiety produced in adults. While it may seem financially counterintuitive, adults will spend on feel good products in times of uncertainty;
- We live in the worst political upheaval in a generation. These political upheavals exist within most countries, and across International borders. With their message of empathy, kindness and compassion, “Long and Friends,” along with the accompanying book Long Goes to Dragon School, these cuddly plushie toy dragons are the comfort food needed in these times;
- The greatest jigsaw puzzle in business is to have a product that can be successful in both the largest and second largest global economies, the United States and China. The team at Yeehoo Press is the best suited to be successful in this strategy, a strategy they are explicitly pursing.
Don’t be one of those people who one day are telling their kids or grandkids, “I had the opportunity to be an early investor in McDonald’s or Apple.” If you are reading this, “Long and Friends,” are the plushie dragon dreams of both children and adults.
Graphic Novelist Helen H. Wu
Helen H. Wu is a children’s book author and illustrator, as well as a translator and publisher. Being fascinated by the differences and similarities between cultures, she loves to share stories that empower children to understand the world and our connections.
Helen has been painting and drawing since age 6.
Picture Books Help Kids Soar
Currently, she resides in sunny Southern California, with her family and two children. She is the Publisher of Yeehoo Press, an independent children’s book publisher based in San Diego, California. In an interview with Emily Alvarenga of the San Diego Union Tribune, Wu revealed it was only after she received her master’s in economics at the University of Georgia, and began working in marketing that she began learning graphic design.
I thought it was very amazing that you could draw in Photoshop, so I started to draw digitally, and I put up an online portfolio,” she added. And to my surprise, someone came to me and asked me if I could illustrate their children’s book.
Finally, Wu had found an opportunity to pursue her passion for drawing and was able to delve into learning the ins and outs of making a children’s book come to life. In 2014, when her son was born, she got inspired to write and illustrate her own picture books. Since then, Wu has authored 10 books and illustrated at least another 20.
Wall Art Prints
Peek A Boo Helen H Wu’s Store | Minted
Also as a graphic designer, illustrator and children’s book author, Helen creates bright and colorful illustrations and art prints for books and everyday homes.
Good Times Reading to Her Children
Helen H. Wu reads her book “Tofu Takes Time” along with her children George Guo, 7, and Kelsey Guo, 6, at the Pacific Highlands Ranch Recreation Center. Curtsey Eduardo Contreras, The San Diego Union-Tribune)
“Tofu Takes Time” is more than just a book about a modern Chinese American family learning to make a simple dish. It’s about learning patience because, as its name implies, some good things take time.
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