A drone picture book series is coming, and it’s being created by the folks behind the WeRobotics Flying Labs.
The first book in the illustrated series is titled “Ariel & Friends in The Magic of Mangroves” and tells the story of Claudia, a young girl from the indigenous community of Bocas del Toro in Panama, who is passionate about protecting her beautiful island after a dangerous storm with the help of a drone, named Ariel. And while the book itself tells a children’s story, it’s based on a real project that Panama Flying Labs led just a few months ago.
But the book isn’t ready yet. It’s currently in Kickstarter mode, where an $11 pledge gets you a copy of the eBook version, and a $25 pledge gets you a physical, hardcopy of the book. As of now, the full script is written, and the first 10 of 27 illustrations are completed. A printing and shipping company has been selected, so it looks like this Kickstarter project is set to pan out.
And if and when it does, here’s what to expect: The “Magic of Mangroves” book consists of 27 color pages and will be available in both English and Spanish, and is designed for kids between the ages of two and eight years old.
Beyond simply highlighting a ‘drones for good’ use case, the books emphasize other messages for children including the importance of inclusion, diversity, local expertise, local leadership and lived experience across all storylines.
Of course, the books also introduce important drone concepts such as safety, drone mapping, drone delivery and more using engaging illustrations while also making it clear that technology is only part of the solution.
Check out the book’s own trailer below:
WeRobotics is a non-profit established in 2015, which co-creates and supports the Flying Labs network. The Flying Labs network was designed with a vision of enabling more inclusive, locally-led, sustainable and impactful social good projects in Africa, Asia, Latin America other developing regions, strengthening local expertise in the use of drones, robotics, data and AI for positive social change.
After the launch of “Ariel & Friends in The Magic of Mangroves,” WeRobotics says you should expect more books to come — also based on real-world missions. Another story highlights the “Flying Hospital” based on the Nepal Flying Labs, while yet another dubbed “the Big Birdie Count” is based on work from the Senegal Flying Labs.
As of now, there are a few — but not many — children’s books centered around drones. Two others of note include the ‘Leonardo the Drone’ children’s book series and a coloring and activity book plus reading book called “Drone Girls And The Air Show Adventure” created by the team behind Women and Drones.
This “Ariel & Friends” series claims to be the first series of picture books on real-world drone-for-good projects that are actually written by and with local drone experts in Africa, Asia, Latin America and beyond who led these projects first-hand. The books are also edited and illustrated by professionals from the regions in which the books are based.
Learn more and contribute to the WeRobotics drone picture book Kickstarter here.