SEBASTIAN SEAHORSE PROJECT

This is a kids’ book that I wrote. It’s illustrated by my sister, Laura Bydlowska who’s incredibly talented as you can all see. It was inspired by my son, Hugo. I wanted to help him deal and understand his difference (specifically, his congenital disorder called Syndactyly) and show him that he was just like every other kid even though he’s got this condition.

When we visited the hospital, the Plastic Surgery Unit, we’d always meet kids who had all kinds of conditions — from the more visible ones to ones that you could guess at because of tubes or wheelchairs. I thought it would be great to have a book that would show a kid that it’s okay to be a little different even though he or she may not look exactly like his/ her so-called “normal” peer.

The message of the book is: We’re all the same because we’re all different. It’s a story about a little yellow seahorse named Sebastian who finds out that although he’s not like all the other fish in the aquarium, he can still make great friends (and, psst, he also learns that everyone is kind of different). The book is intended for younger kids (Preschool to K) since the early ages are usually when corrective surgeries start with kids and when the first questions about appearance tend arise. I found that to be the case with my son (who is now three-years-old).

I wanted to show that there was enthusiasm for this kind of book by raising money for the SickKids Foundation through inviting people to donate in support of this project. Within three days, I’ve raised $800. The money is going directly to the foundation.

I plan to donate money from sales of the book to the SickKids Foundation.

With the money raised, I plan on self-publishing the book. The money will go toward all the printing costs, professional editing and help with design. If I have money left over, it will go to the SickKids Foundation. All of the proceedings from book sales will go to SickKids as well.

The amount needed is $7,100 to cover all the costs. I will be setting up a new fundraising page soon so please stay tuned but if you’d like to help out now, please email me at jowitabydlowska@gmail.com.

Please spread the word around!

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