Hi, my name is Rob and I am Elijah's Dad. Elijah is a 12 year old Australian YouTuber and a Scout and he also has Down syndrome. Please have a look at our video and then I can share our whole story with you below:
The Elijah and Crumpet story began with a YouTube Channel 3 years ago, after Elijah declared one night at the dinner table, "I'm going to be a famous YouTuber too!" (His big brother, Thomas, had joked that he was going to become a YouTuber!). So we used Crumpet, a puppet which Mum had bought earlier on to help with Elijah's speech training, I bought a camera and away we went ...
So began our advocacy journey into the world of social media and video making. We have come a long way from knowing nothing in a short space of time. Our motto is 'Entertain. Educate. Inspire.' and as we raise awareness of Down syndrome, we are showing the world that you can do anything if you put your mind to it!
The Elijah and Crumpet Show now has over 200 videos and 1000s of followers around the world (YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook). We have been featured in articles and appeared on T.V. and we even got to meet Hugh Jackman, who said he was a big fan!
Two years ago we ran a successful crowdfunding campaign for our first book, Motivate Man, a personal development book for kids. We met Andy Marshall through YouTube and he was interested in becoming a kid's book illustrator. After I challenged him to draw Crumpet and it looked great, I knew we would make a great team to challenge the experts!
We have now self-published and distributed over 1,500 copies internationally in just 4 months! The concept is that we create a great kid's book, colourfully illustrated and rhyming, which features Elijah and Crumpet, thus introducing kids (and their parents) to someone living with Down syndrome.
Not just living, though, but using our YouTube channel they can really see how much fun Elijah has, experience how capable he is, how much we love and value him and be inspired to have high expectations. That applies to all kids and their families. If you would like a free pdf of Motivate Man, please visit our website: www.ElijahandCrumpet.com - Here's another video showing Elijah reading the first ever copy of Motivate Man:
October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month, so we thought it would be great timing to show the world how great Elijah's life is, even with Down syndrome!
The Motivate Man project led to collaborations with Scouts Queensland, Variety Queensland, Logan City Council Libraries and their First 5 Forever team, with more possibilities with other organisations in the future.
All of these organisations are keen to promote inclusion and diversity for people living with disability. With Elijah being a Scout for the past 6 years, it was a natural choice to work with them first.
So this book, Super Scout, is primarily for a scouting audience, since it contains a storyline based on the 6 headings of the Scout Law. But it's also great as a continuation of our personal development theme for kids, as the messages are universal. Scouts will hopefully be able to use the book, buying it from us and selling it as a fundraiser, with all the proceeds being used by each Scout Group.
We have plans for a second Scouting book down the track, once we have finished the book we are writing for the library! Watch this bookshelf!
Thanks for your support!
Rob and Elijah and Crumpet :)
How will we use the funds raised?
We are aiming to raise about $5,000 to cover the illustration costs, promo stickers, social media and other administration costs relating to publishing. We will be raising money using a variety of methods and all the profits from our first book are going towards this and future projects too, in addition to giving free books to kids who may be unable to afford it (we have already given $3,000's worth of books to Variety Queensland, the Children's Charity).
We will also be printing a batch of books for us to sell through our website. The books that Scouts are able to sell will be paid for by each Group. We use both a local printer and also IngramSpark (Print-On-Demand), so once we have paid for this service (including barcode, ISBN, upload, final draft) it will be available from online bookstores internationally, even if we can't get there ourselves!
Additional funds raised will go towards our future books. Whatever we don't raise, we will put in ourselves to ensure that we get this book produced. Book sales will pay for that later ... it just slows down the process.
About our Illustrator
Andy Marshall, our illustrator (below), lives in South Australia. In a bus called Milly, with his wife and two daughters. He's on a bus journey, I mean a life journey, to become a children's book illustrator, having previously studied as a filmmaker and running his own outdoor cinema business. With Motivate Man under his belt, Super Scout is his second book, so he's well on his way! He is using Procreate on his iPad to illustrate Super Scout, filming his progress and streaming live on either Instagram or YouTube, in addition to his podcast. To be fair to Andy, raising more will also allow us to pay him more for his work, as we believe he should share in our success. It's a collaborative project, after all.
About me, the Author!
I'm Rob, Dad, and, yes, I'm also Crumpet (as Elijah was very happy to tell the audience in our early videos!) - I have lived near Brisbane, Australia, for 16 years, having lived in Wales, U.K. before that.
I manage all the social media, video planning (with Elijah), editing, plus I am now writing these kid's books. Having studied Children's Literature as part of a Modern European Languages Degree (German and Norwegian), I have always been interested in books and how kids learn.
I taught English in Japan for a year, where I met my Australian wife. I then joined the Royal Marines Commandos for 6 years as an Officer, before working in management for an international company. Leadership and personal development have always interested me, so I am keen to add elements of these to this series of kid's books - there's no harm in positive messaging from an early age, after all!
I hope you enjoy Super Scout and Motivate Man and I invite you to join us on our journey as we continue to grow. Thank you!
Daisy Hill QLD