You’re Invited to a Watermelon Party!
Watermelon Party is a community-based, language exploration project designed to empower kids and spread happiness. Our hope is that this project will nurture joy, inclusion, and equity throughout the globe.
We want to empower children to not only explore languages, but to become co-authors of a shared story — a very special story that began at the animal sanctuary, Rocky Ridge Refuge.
We are inviting children to become co-authors by translating the story. A translation of a book creates a new edition, and in many countries this means the translator automatically becomes a co-author. By translating a book, children will embark on a language exploration journey, gaining valuable skills along the way.
The intention is for this to be a child-led project. Begin by giving children three choices: a language they know, a language they want to learn, or a language they want to create.
We encourage parents, caregivers, and educators to have the important roles of mentors and guides. The project is designed for children, but people of all ages are welcome to participate.
We centered this project around a party theme because we believe learning should be fun! Each child can participate at the level that feels right to them. Whether they translate one page, one sentence, or the whole book, they’re still a valuable part of the community.
We want participation to be accessible for all children, so we made the PDF copy available for free. It can be viewed online or downloaded for printing.
Want to purchase a copy instead? Proceeds help support the animal sanctuary.
“As a first grade teacher, I was able to use this book in my classroom. It quickly became a class favorite. I had to order another because of its popularity! The class loved seeing the actual animals in pictures and finding them in the book.”
“The message of friendship and sharing between very different animals is universal and beautifully done.”
What are the benefits of language exploration?
- Self-worth. There is a profound sense of accomplishment in authoring a book. Becoming a co-author will instill long-lasting confidence at an early age.
- Community. Through co-authorship of a shared story, children are given a pathway to a larger community. This creates a sense of belonging, which is one of the key ways of making a child feel valued.
- Empowerment. Watermelon Party is designed to be child-led. Children are presented with choices throughout different phases of the project. This allows them to be co-creators of their own learning experience.
- Achievement. Translating a book may seem like a daunting task, but with the right tools and guidance, it is entirely achievable — even easy! It will help children understand that they are capable of accomplishing big things. They just need to have faith in themselves.
Our goal is 300 languages! Instructions are available on the Green Bamboo website. If you want to receive more support and guidance with completing the project, you can sign up for the email flow below.
The Watermelon Party project begins by giving children three choices: a language they know, a language they want to learn, or a new language they want to create.
Watermelon Party ignites the joy of learning…
Watermelon Party is a partnership between the non-profit organization Rocky Ridge Refuge and the independent publishing company Green Bamboo Publishing.
We examined feedback from over 200 reviews and discovered that Watermelon Party ignites a passion for learning. We believe this is because the book contains three key elements:
- It’s a true story that resonates. Children adore the universal theme of friendship and that the characters are all real animals from Rocky Ridge Refuge.
- The inclusion of onomatopoeia words. These words sound like the things they describe, making it easier for children to read aloud.
- The element of delight, due primarily to how the animals are named, and the surprise at the end.
Other ways to get the book: ask a local library if they carry the book, see if friends and families have a copy to lend, or order from a bookstore. Try letting the child choose! If the option they choose is unavailable, you can always guide them back to the free PDF.
It all began with a little watermelon seed…
Watermelon Party began in 2014 at an animal sanctuary in Arkansas, called Rocky Ridge Refuge. The steward of the sanctuary, Janice Wolf, gave the animals a single watermelon to share. The capybara arrived first, but pretty soon she was joined by a tortoise, puppies, and other friends. Pretty soon they were having…. a Watermelon Party!
Wolf snapped photos of the event, and delighted all her supporters by sharing them on social media. “This is peace on Earth!” her supporters exclaimed. “Look at those animals living in harmony, even though they are different species from all over the world!”
The children’s book was born after the author Jasmine-June Cabanaw saw the photos. She knew the story would resonate with children based on her decades of experience as a nanny.
Join the global Watermelon Party community!
Help children join the global Watermelon Party community by sharing the completed project on social media. When you post, simply add the language to the end of #watermelonparty (for example, #watermelonpartyspanish). This will help us create a global repository of all the translations, which people can access simply by clicking on the hashtag!
If you don’t use social media, you can contact firstname.lastname@example.org and we can post on your behalf.