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.