Zooming into the future, with kids on scoot bikes

Posted on

Support the Kickstarter project for Zoom! through March 24th

Jen and Randy Charrette approached me last fall about a children’s book they’d been developing. The book is a short, full color story for toddlers about pretty much the cutest thing I’ve ever witnessed: Balance biking. Balance bikes are tiny bikes for tots without pedals—they propel them by running, scooting along with their feet. On a 1-10 scale of adorability, this clocks in in the high three digits. Yes, I told them—I thought they should go ahead with the project. Yes, I was sure people would be drawn to it. And yes, absolutely yes—I would love to be involved.

The back story is what really got me, though. It’s about as sad as it gets—the sudden loss of their two year old son, Axel. A joyous kid, his favorite thing in the world was riding his balance bike, and the Charrettes’ response amidst their grief was to amplify that joy. They started The Axel Project, a nonprofit to encourage families and kids to discover bicycling. They’ve been working with Strider to give away balance bikes. They started a bike ride. Jen has been writing about all of this with candor and grace on her blog, Velomom.

We’ve been talking a lot about disasters around here. When crises are on a global scale, but with major consequences as yet unfelt, it can be hard to wrap your mind around them, urgent and unavoidable as it may be. How do you think, how do you respond, what do you do? But it’s the personal crises, the family tragedies, that get you in the heart and force the hard questions, the genuine responses.

This book, as with everything we publish, is one small, positive response to the many catastrophes of a confused world. There’s nothing in it about tragedy—it’s a simple story about family, nature, and the thrill of finding your balance and independence.

The project has made its goal already—this update is somewhat belated—and has six days left. I’m hoping we can raise enough to produce a chunky, sturdy board book. If you have any kids in your life who would love this, please consider backing the project. And share it with others! This is how we spread maximum love.

Support the Kickstarter project for Zoom! through March 24th