Thursday, March 19, 2009

Disgustingly Cool Books for Kids

Thanks @starcluster_85 for leading us to this article on 'introducing children to green ideas'.
The sleek set of five booklets, published by Daily Dump, introduces concepts of environment-friendliness, waste, sustainability, consumerism etc. to children in an interesting and engaging manner.

The primary design consideration for this set of books was that children must start thinking about issues related to ecology, democracy and sustainability, very early on. The age between 8-12 years is critical as this is when children start developing their ideas. What's more, what ever has to be said must be in the children's language, rather than as a textbook or sermon.

The brief to themselves was thus to make literature that is crisp and provocative; and serves as conversation starter for parents and educators.
This set of five books (together priced at Rs.100) encourages young children to question some of the choices in their daily lives, discover the connections between these choices and issues of ecology and sustainability. For instance,
Where do you think the cleanest water comes from?
What is yucky?
Why do pizzas seem cooler than rotis?
What if I don’t say enough?
What are the not-so-cool stories behind every product we buy?
The books are currently being sold by word-of-mouth to schools and individuals. Poonam is wary of selling through large bookstores as it may affect the price and therefore the accessibility of the books. Poonam is keen to have the books widely disseminated by getting them translated into a few Indian languages.

Poonam has adopted the “open source” concept here too, similar to the Daily Dump clone format. She is open to other publishers reprinting, translating into different languages and distributing the books. Poonam believes that distributed ownership without any legal payback obligations may spawn a richer way of looking at work, and of knowledge dissemination. “My interest is to try and change behaviour and creating a large centralised business is not the priority” she says. “So when you set such a goal, you view traditional ideas of competition, market share, wealth etc through a new lens”.
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