By Inspiring Kids to Explore Travel Beyond Surroundings; Raise Self-Esteem
“Far Beyond the Treetops” Released for Sale Worldwide
Cleveland-based author and publisher, Steph Captain, teamed up with award-winning illustrator Charity Russell to pen her first children’s book, Far Beyond the Treetops. Having received the coveted “Projects We Love” stamp of approval from Kickstarter, the book was fully funded through the crowdfunding campaign and was released by black-owned publisher Brown Backpack. Captain has written an uplifting new title for young readers in the midst of a children’s book market that lacks diversity, especially African American children. According to a recent study by the Cooperative Children’s Book Center, only 3% of children’s books feature characters of color.
“When I had my children, it became painfully obvious that there weren’t a lot of books that featured black people, especially not that were lighthearted and motivational. I’ve taught my children to want to travel every time the opportunity presents itself, but many of their friends don’t hold the same sentiment. It was very significant to me that my kids be able to read books that show characters who look like them and see themselves represented,” said Captain.
“My oldest daughter wants to become an author,” Captain added, “however, I could see her dissolution with the idea of pursuing that as a career when a simple trip to the library reflected that the type of books she wanted to write, with characters that look diverse like her family and friends, weren’t even on the shelves. I decided to write the book to show her what it means to be your own superhero and do something to solve the problems you see in the world.”
Illustrated by Bristol-based artist Charity Russell, the lively, whimsical paintings show a young, natural-haired black girl who unapologetically loves herself and travels toward the adventure that awaits her beyond the local surroundings she sees every day. Not only are does the book inspire adventure, but it is also a poetic affirmational story to assert that kids can achieve their big dreams; whether that be aspiring to be an astronaut or simply live by the words that build confidence in a big world: “Your life is so important.”
Testimonial: “Far Beyond the Treetops is an instant classic that deserves a place on the bookshelf of every child of color. This adorable and affirmational book is both fun and encouraging because it inspires all kids to want travel beyond their everyday surroundings and welcome any adventure their imagination can create.”–Stefanie Brown James, Founder and Executive Director of Brown Girls Lead, Inc. and The Collective Pac, Former National Field Director and National Director of the Youth & College Division for the NAACP, CEO and Founding Partner of Vestige Strategies, LLC, mom
Steph Captain has a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Howard University. She also has a master’s degree in Media Management from Syracuse University. When she’s not writing or working in her career as a director at a digital marketing firm she is using her time being a wife, mother, Girl Scouts troop leader, and member of Delta Sigma Theta. She loves to travel and takes her family every chance she gets. The best part of becoming a children’s author has been bonding with her little apprentices.