A groundbreaking new children's book is currently engaged in a Kickstarter campaign and hopes to showcase a diverse range of relationships, as well as gender and racial identities -- within a futuristic cat society (yes, you read that correctly).
In Cat Canyon a young girl gets separated from her family while playing with her tablet. She stumbles across Cat Canyon, a futuristic society built by cats who have figured out how to use the Internet and embody different forms of identity. According to the authors, Bronwyn Lundberg and Sarah Zucker, it showcases "diversity without preachiness and encourages an openness to all types of people without being overtly political."
In order to better understand Cat Canyon and the motivation behind this project, The Huffington Post chatted with Lundberg about the project.
The Huffington Post: What inspired you to create this book?
Bronwyn Lundberg: Sarah and I were first inspired to create this book when we were on a road trip and passed a sign for Cat Canyon. We had fun imagining what that might look like, and the idea of cats figuring out how to use the Internet and forming a society soon followed. We're both big fans of Dr. Seuss, and love his particular way of conveying important philosophies to children through wordplay and colorful imagery.
The Huffington Post: How does this book explore a diverse range of gender identities?
The cats of Cat Canyon are every color of the rainbow, and express an array of gender identities. Our main character Nat isn't overtly feminine, and is instead a gender neutral child spirit with purple skin and blue hair: she's someone any kid could identify with.
The Huffington Post: Why is work like this important?
We see it as the specific task of Millennial artists to bring worthy analog traditions into the Digital Age before they disappear for good. We want to create a rhyming illustrated children's book in the vein of Dr. Seuss that specifically addresses modern concerns. We're using cats because it speaks directly to the language of the Internet: this is a book BY Internet people FOR Internet people.
For more information about Cat Canyon head here to check out the Kickstarter.