Tuesday, June 02, 2015

New Picture Book: Shay & Ivy: Beyond the Kingdom (May 2015)

Shay& Ivy: Beyond the Kingdom (May 15, 2015) by Sheena McFeely (Author), Casie Trace (Illustrator)

Hardcover: 28 pages
Publisher: The Mansfield Press (May 15, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0996278508
ISBN-13: 978-0996278508

This was part of a Kickstarter project.  
The book includes a Deaf family. 

Book Description:

The first book is about Shay & Ivy and their friends, at an imaginary ball in their bedroom, dreaming of being princesses. They all dreamt of riding horses, owning closets full of gowns, and dancing in royal castles. All girls, but Shay felt out of place. How was she to royally fit in if she did not want to be a princess anymore?

Determined as ever, Shay was going to find the answer. Shay & Ivy soon find out that their dreams go beyond a kingdom. The sisters began to visualize themselves as fearless pilots riding planes, scientists owning labs to perform experiments, and astronauts dancing among the stars.

From Amazon From the Author
What inspired the author to write this book?
  • Many things inspired me to write this book such as raising my two girls, seeing tons of princess-related items in the girls' aisles at toy stores, and meeting Wh [sic] so many exceptional women. I felt it was time to bid farewell to the kingdom we live in and explore beyond the kingdom. 
What do the author hope that children will learn from this book?
  • Media and literature are powerful influencers so, it is critical to expose to our children to stories that are underrepresented. This book has a strong theme underlying of remaining true to yourself regardless of what the society or majority thinks. It is okay to not follow the crowd and walk alone. It's tough to do that, but when you do that...the rewards are ten times more rewarding.  As a Deaf person and an innovator, I've been through the road many times. Be bold, be who you are.
How did the author come up with the title Shay & Ivy Beyond the Kingdom?
  • Shay & Ivy are names of my two girls. Beyond the Kingdom is a metaphor that means many things to different people. Beyond the Kingdom is a barrier - something, be a situation or person or challenge, that's restricting us. We must find within ourselves the strength to go past that very kingdom. It also means another thing to me...Being a princess is almost every girl's dream, BUT we cannot forget our pilots, astronauts, scientists, and police who are women. Where are they in films? books? stores? The title Beyond the Kingdom gives the place for girls to explore past the kingdom to see what's out there. 
Why did the author pick those particular occupations in the book?
  • When I had my first daughter, I set up an event called "The Pearls" to honor Deaf women across America. Since the establishment of The Pearls, 42 Deaf women have been awarded as Pearls - in 2011 and 2014. They are movers and shakers in their fields. Be it an artist, politician, writer, business owner, founder/president, and athlete. Each one hold a pearl within themselves - layered, dignified, and strong. So, when I began to write Shay & Ivy Beyond the Kingdom, some of the Pearls came to mind. Moreover, I've also checked online to see which jobs that women are not large in number.  With these two in mind, that's how I came to selecting those particular occupations and putting them into this very book. 
About the Author
Sheena McFeely was born in Hong Kong to an Irish father and a Hong Kongese mother. Shortly after her parents' discovery of Sheena being Deaf, America called their names. Being the first in her family to go to college, Sheena graduated from CSUN with a BA in Visual Communications and will be receiving her MA in Sign Language Education this year.

Sheena is known for founding ASL Nook, an online hub of ASL teaching webisodes, that has received acclaims from families and schools everywhere. If not for ASL Nook, her first children's book "Shay & Ivy Beyond the Kingdom" would have never happened.

Click to play video from DeafNation

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