Adults Make Mistakes Too
We tried quite hard to have a perfect book. We had quite a few different sets of eyes look at it, both the specialized team members of the author, illustrator, editor, and graphic designer. We also brought in others: teachers, friends, and parents.
We knew that a team could come closer to perfection than any individual can. But even a team sometimes misses something.
As we were finalizing our second book, Adventures in France, I took a break from editing and took a bike ride. Bike rides are both my exercise and breath of fresh air for body and soul.
As I was strapping on my helmet, I realized we had made a pretty whopping big mistake:
we have ‘ittle Bear in the book without a helmet.
When I was 12 and my dad first came home with bike helmets, I cringed at the thought of using one. In the 80’s, we rode in the back of pickup trucks at summer camp, piled way more people in a car than there were seatbelts, and we rode bicycles without helmets.
The white Bell helmet that Dad bought us was like a great big beacon screaming “Nerd! Weirdo! Geek!” I was already self-conscious enough. Having a helmet was death to my very fragile ego.
Dad had good reasons for bringing them home. He had a fellow colleague, a very sharp man, who had brain damage from a short ride around his neighborhood. Dad wanted to protect our developing heads, as he saw them as our greatest assets.
Even though I didn’t yet.
I don’t remember the exact point, but somewhere around the time between Northwestern and Stanford, I realized that I had put an awful lot of money and time invested in my brain. I needed to protect it.
I wouldn’t consider hopping on a bike to go around the neighborhood or down the street without a helmet. I even ordered mountain biking back protection from Europe when I rode regularly in South Carolina.
I had finally learned to protect my head, my greatest investment and asset.
But I didn’t think about it in our book.
In reflection and discussion with Katy, I think that we both kind of assumed that, “well, she’s a stuffed animal.” However, when we have the stuffed animal pack her bags, experience emotion, and practice her superpowers, we need to protect her head.
I wished I had the large budgets of big companies to do a recall and re-print all the books that we have (English and now Swedish) and replace them free of charge. I don’t have that unfortunately. I’m barely making this business work.
But I did come up with a way to fix it.
We are working on a sticker for our first book, ‘ittle Bear: The Adventures Begin, so you (or your child) can put a helmet sticker on ‘ittle Bear. We will send this to you, anywhere in the world, at no charge.
We are also updating the book (English and Swedish) in a second release, so all new books ordered will have a helmet.
All future books will have a helmet check before release.
We hope that this is both a fun way to fix our mistake, as well as a couple teachable moments for parents or teachers working with the book:
Adults make mistakes too. No one, even a team, is perfect. The important thing is to own up to your mistake and correct it in the best way possible. This uses our superpower of courage, as it isn't always easy to admit we did something wrong.
Helmets are important. Helmets are life saving. No one should get on a bike (moped, motorcycle, electrical scooter, etc) without one, as even when we are young, our brain is our most important asset. It becomes an investment through our life experiences and education, but if we damage it young, we really lose our ability to develop it.
Please reach out to us, either PM on our social media Facebook or Instagram, use our webpage newsletter submission (with the note “helmet sticker”) or email me at email@example.com with your name, address, and number of helmet stickers that you need. We’ll get that off to you as soon as we have them in stock!
(NOTE for European GDPR purposes: We will not share your address or personal information outside of our ‘ittle Bear mailing team. US addresses and rest of world non-EU/EEA/CH/Norway will be mailed from Katy Wills/Birja Short in the United States, EU/EEA/CH/Norway will be sent from Sarah Carlsson in Sweden). If you have any questions how your data is handled, you can refer to our data policy at: https://www.ittlebear.com/privacy-policy)