An East Bay Company Aims to Diversify Children’s Literature

Crayon Crunch strives to make story time a more inclusive experience with the help of high-tech software.

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Identifying with characters in storybooks might become a little easier soon thanks to Berkeley-based company Crayon Crunch. Founders Tim Osterbuhr, Kai Schmittat and Friederike Geiken are hard at work raising money to fund My Magical Adventure, a personalized children’s book where the main character can be customized to look like any child. The inspiration for My Magical Adventure comes from preexisting kid lit, where diverse ethnicities and characters with disabilities are rarely featured. Crayon Crunch’s founders hope that each book will be as unique as the child reading it, so their plan allows for the customization of everything from intricate facial features to details within the actual narrative. The storybook, which is about a child that – you guessed it! – goes on a magical adventure, will be available for $35 upon successful completion of the company’s Kickstarter campaign, which ends on June 17. 

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