Love, Bonito, Southeast Asia’s leading womenswear brand has launched its first-ever children’s storybook, titled “Lili the Lioness & Friends” through LBCreate (live from 15 September), its social impact arm.
The book features six female-first animal characters and is available from 16 September in two formats; a physical version written and illustrated in-house for sale via Love, Bonito’s websites, and an animated video book created in partnership with animation studio Finding Pictures, to be carried only on Vooks, the world’s leading streaming service of read-aloud animated storybooks. Love, Bonito is supporting the education of girls in historically low-income communities in Asia for a year through proceeds from physical book sales at a target goal of US$30,000.
Rachel Lim, Co-Founder of Love, Bonito shared that “We launched LBCreate last year to crystallise Love, Bonito’s contribution towards empowering women from the ground up. This year, we’re back with our first-ever children’s storybook, to showcase our brand’s commitment to creating actionable steps for our community. We strongly believe that female empowerment begins with providing a solid foundation for young girls and we’re proud to partner with like-minded organisations to bring our vision to life.”
Geetha Murali, the Chief Executive Officer of Room to Read, adds: “Education is one of the most effective tools for addressing gender inequality. Love, Bonito’s efforts will ensure a quality education for girls across Asia and help them build the skills to succeed in school and make key life decisions.”
Targeted at children aged three to seven years old, the book follows the journey of Jungle School’s head girl Lili the Lioness, who invents her own “power cheer” to motivate her friends in school, but loses her voice as she is about to make a special announcement for the students. Through her ups and downs, readers will discover the power of finding strength in vulnerability as well as empowerment through community, teamwork and collaboration, all of which are representative of Love, Bonito’s culture and values. The book also features interactive elements like a scavenger hunt and instructions for readers to write their own “power cheer”.
Author and Vice-President of Brand, Vanessa Yeo Barger shared that “We want children and parents to fall in love with the story and the joy of reading together. While the book was written with children in mind, it’s also a story that will no doubt move readers of all ages — one we can often return to, to be reminded, comforted and encouraged by the reality that we’re not alone. And we don’t have to be alone. You can’t spell power without “we”, and together, we are stronger.”
Yeo Barger was inspired to write the story after a visit to the zoo with her two daughters saw both girls confusing a lioness with a tiger without stripes. This encouraged her to create an empowering narrative with inspiring female-first characters, to celebrate the strength of women supporting women. Bringing the story to life is Lee Jia Zhen, Love, Bonito’s Graphic Designer and Illustrator, who envisioned a concept with vibrant colours and visual patterns. This allows young readers to easily comprehend and immerse themselves in the story, and also connect with the irresistible characters.
Voicing the characters in the animated video book is Singaporean actor, presenter, and voice-over artist Naomi Yeo (The Narrator, Lili the lioness, Sophia the sloth, Thea the toucan) and Mediacorp 987 DJ, Natasha (Cora the crocodile, Fatima the frog, Mary the mouse).
The print edition is available for purchase via Love, Bonito’s websites from 16 September, whilst stocks last. Each purchase includes a complimentary one-year subscription to the Vooks platform worth US$49.99. Free shipping is provided across 20 countries, subject to spending thresholds. Customers can also look forward to themed in-store curated corners across Love, Bonito’s five markets, namely Cambodia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore. This includes interactive visual displays and a character scavenger hunt of Mary the Mouse around the store!
Love, Bonito launched LBCreate in 2021 through a partnership with Mattel, with the “Dream it, do it!” Barbie® collection. This collection strived to inspire young girls and women to pursue their limitless potential and funded a total of US$30,000 in support of girls’ education to Room to Read.
Love, Bonito’s first-ever children’s storybook ‘Lili The Lioness & Friends’ print edition retails for S$25 and is available online only from 16 September at www.lovebonito.com/sg, whilst stocks last. The animated video edition will also be available on Vooks from 16 September.
Images credit to Love, Bonito