Tessalation! is really important to me, and not just because I made it.
A couple years ago, when my sister, Ashley, was pregnant, I went looking for mother-baby bonding board books with kids that would look like her child. I couldn't find any with Asian characters. Sure, there are books about BEING Chinese, or half-Japanese, or that introduce Asian cultures to English-speaking readers.
I just wanted one of those books that you read to your child as you are falling in love with each other and I didn't want it to be a picture of a blond kid. So I took a Sharpie to a favorite of ours, I Love You Through and Through, by Bernadette Rossetti Shustak.
I took special delight on the page: "I love your hair and eyes / your giggles and cries."
So when I made my say I made Tessa half-Chinese, it's because I had the power to do that for someone else, and to put a book in my library with a character that looks like my sons' cousins.
I asked Ashley to send me a pic from that Sharpied book last weekend. Though they had moved recently, her son knew exactly where it was.
It makes me happy to see it again.
I didn't conceive Tessalation! to subvert the culture, per se. But that might be what I am most proud of about this book.
We're less than $500 from being funded, Tessa fans! Please continue to share with people who might fall in love, too!
To visit the Kickstarter for Tessalation!, click here.
Emily Grosvenor, author of Tessalation!, a children's book about tesselations and patterns in nature.