Children’s books are often gorgeously illustrated, with stories that often impart lessons intended to help children learn how they can believe in themselves. It’s through books that children learn lessons of the heart; they’re captivated by the illustrations and the words while the theme, guided into their consciousness through the open door of their imaginations, quietly eases into their young minds and spreads seeds of compassion for others. But in The Fairy of Colors, author Verginia Genova and illustrator Veselka Velinova transcend the usual literary illustrative form to create a tale with hand-painted art. Painted in the beautiful and unique aquarelle style using transparent instead of opaque watercolors, these illustrations introduce young readers, page by glorious page, to an art world where color is more vivid and more delicate than anything they’re likely to have seen before.
This Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign seeks to raise $5,500 by September 10 so that the hardcover version can be printed. The funds will also be used to create and print a coloring book version of the story, along with an e-book and an app with three games based on the story, as well as paying the accompanying fees and taxes.
The series will eventually include ten books. The first book, A Blue Fairy Tale, is the story of a blue (what else?) whale, who feels unloved and alone, pudgy and different. The other ocean creatures fear him because of his size, not realizing that, huge though he is, he longs to be loved. He travels in solitude through his watery realm, until one day, he is mistaken for an island by some lost titmice that have had to leave their home. From the titmice, he learns that anything is possible, and whether one is very large, like a whale, or very small, like a bird, friendship can grow. Vergi explains that she wrote the book, “Because I want to teach the children to dream.” The blue whale learns how to have a purpose as he swims in the ocean of uncertainty. Readers will see the blue whale, and others who are different as someone with the same needs that they have, and instead of responding in fear, they’ll want to find ways to understand them. Illustrator Vesi was inspired when her daughter was born to show her how beautiful and colorful books can be. “Every page,” she says, “is illustrated with a lot of love to fascinate the children.”
A Blue Fairy-Tale is written, drawn, and colored. Crowdfunding money will make it possible to print the book in a hardcover format. The team has written all ten of the stories that will comprise the series. Two of the stories A White Fairy Tale and A Green Fairy Tale have been drawn and painted. Seven more stories remain to be illustrated.
For the author and illustrator, books are part of an interactive process to inspire children’s creativity and develop their own artistic style. But the author/illustrator team is focused not only on the printed page, but also on other media as well. They plan to have their traditional book format find a home on mobile devices. They’re also planning to create a game app that will bring the world of the lonely blue whale to life; this is planned as a stretch goal. Seeking to advance children’s imaginations directly, the duo intends to develop coloring books that will allow the children to create their own versions of the characters.
Children will be delighted by the illustrations and the story of the lonely blue whale who unexpectedly finds friends. But adults will also be charmed by the illustrations and the simplicity of the story. Bedtime stories are enriched by this addition to the world of children’s books.