A prince meets his princess, they fall head over heels in love and live happily ever after.
As kids, we were brought up with stereotypical fairy tales such as Snow White and Cinderella.
But two Kiwi writers have engendered a novel twist in the tale of their children’s book Promised Land in which the prince, Leo, meets a farm boy, Jack, in the forest and their friendship blossoms into love.
Co-written by Adam Reynolds and Chaz Harris, of Wellington, it is a full colour, illustrated LGBT story book aimed at five- to 10-year-olds.
They are hoping to break the boundaries by “normalising different relationships” and emphasise that the story “just happens to be about two guys and a struggle for land, not their relationship”.
Reynolds said he wanted to tell the type of story that he never got to see or read himself growing up.
“We felt a story like this where the sexuality of the characters is not the focus would help contribute to that early acceptance from young people ahead of the time when they may encounter LGBTI classmates or people, later on, in their lives,” he said.
“The book presents a safe environment where a child and their parent(s) can discuss LGBTI people.”
Harris, himself badly bullied at school, said there were so few stories available for parents to safely and easily discuss with their kids that the world is full of all kinds of relationships and to encourage the acceptance of that.
“I’ve never been that comfortable with being gay, it might even be too late to fix that about myself.” he said.
“However, through a project like this, I can at least try and be part of a solution that might ensure others won’t have to feel the way I have in future.”
A crowdfunding initiative set up by the authors has exceeded its target of $NZ25,000.
The authors hope to release the book on October 11 to coincide with National Coming Out Day.