Parenthood

When this dad couldn't find the right story to read to his babas, he created the perfect fairytale himself.

Dad to two beautiful little girls, aged four and one, Jerry realised his eldest daughter, Madison, could not find any story book role models that she could relate to. Usually, the heroine would have blonde or red hair and fair skin and Madison would question her father about why she looked so different.

Jerry, of Chinese-American descent, knew how his little girl felt as he too grew up without a hero to look to for inspiration.

Jerry explained:

"Madison kept asking me why she was Chinese and they weren't, and whether she can have blonde or red hair like they do."

If they managed to find a book with a central Asian character, the story was largely based on culture and heritage rather than the essence of the individual. This was when Jerry decided to take matters into his own hands and create a unique protagonist.

Enter Pepper Zhang: Artist Extraordinaire! 

The bubbly, beautiful, stubborn and clever heroine whose adventures see her grow from toddler to outstanding painter—and of course her angelic face and adorable little 'do boast a distinctive look.

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Illustrations for the book assist in showing just how courageous and hard working Pepper is when it comes to experimenting with those vivid strokes of paint.

For a time it was a story he shared only with his daughters but it wasn't long before the writer and lawyer recognised what significance the book could have for other children.

This was when Jerry took to Kickstarter, the crowd-funding platform, to raise money in order to publish the book as he wasn't keen on working with corporate publishers who he believed would, "ruin the spirit of the book and dictate the development of Pepper's character."

The online fund which aimed to raise $3,000 managed to amass $30,000 surpassing all expectations for the family. It seems Pepper the hero will be able to reach plenty of little ones soon and there's talk of another book on the way.

Perhaps Pepper Zhang isn't the only hero emerging from this heartwarming tale!

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