A Children's Book About Burning Man?
Of course! Why should the grown-ups have all the fun? Children have been going to Burning Man since it’s inception in San Francisco in 1986. And Burning Man encourages the inclusion of kids with free tickets through age 12. And why not? The kids already get it. It’s the rest of us who have to remember to have fun as we walk through life.
My wife and I have been going to Burning Man since 2008, in fact we got married there in 2010! The next year our daughter Veronica was born. We have seen people at Burning Man with infants and babies every year. More power to them we thought, but we decided not to bring our daughter until she herself could get more out of it. Now at 4 1/2 she and we are ready!
Now many people think Burning Man is no place for kids, so why make a children's book about a place where people walk around naked, cross dress, and take drugs, among other things? And it's true, those things happen at Burning Man - just like they can happen in any vibrant creative city.
Nudity never hurt anyone, and it promotes a healthy body image. And any sex that happens at Burning Man is behind closed doors and tent flaps. What happens in the yurt stays in the yurt.
As far as I know, cross dressing never hurt anyone either. In fact the freedom of expression and the ability for people to be themselves is one of the beautiful things about Burning Man. And it's a great lesson in tolerance and inclusion for kids to see all types in a nearly judgment free zone. It's also a great place where kids can break free of the strong gender stereotyping they get from society and the media.
As for drugs (which are illegal and not condoned by the Burning Man Organization), I must say, in our six years of going to Burning Man we have not seen any open using going on. Yes it happens, just like it happens in Golden Gate Park, but it's largely out of sight. If you don't seek it out, you won't find it.
But enough of THAT, what Burning Man really is is a great BIG playground! From a kids point of view it's magic. In fact it's magic from everyone's point of view! At least those who've been there. Cars that look like giant sharks, flaming octopus's, and space shuttles (and yes, the occasional penis). All kinds of bikes and wheeled contraptions, trampolines everywhere, and so many interesting things to climb!
And it's all ART! The place oozes with creativity, smiles, and hugs!
That is the Burning Man I celebrate in my children's book. Along with all the hard work, volunteering, gifting, cooperation, and cleaning up.
Those seem like good lessons to me!
If you think Burning Man and kids make a good combination, please consider supporting our Kickstarter campaign to publish and distribute this book.