Hi, I'm Ashley Nguyen. Growing up in middle America I was fascinated by monsters, mermaids and far away places. I made a lot out of a little, created some-things out of no-things and continue to do that today.
I am now 28 years old living in Los Angeles as a professional photographer. I love to take pictures of people, I love to play with the "Littles" in my life, and aim to live out all of those childhood dream adventures day by day.
I worked as an America Reads Tutor for years in underdeveloped neighborhoods in Minneapolis and traveled to Guatemala to help kids do arts and crafts while building them a home.
Those experiences taught me that the world is changing. Our children are becoming more brilliant in technology but less inclined to participate in hands-on creative projects. They are far less literate than they should be during their early stages due to lack of interest or resources. There is an underrepresentation of diversity in the children's book market which impacts a child when learning about equality and their value.
Today's society is bombarded by media that sells the next smart device, keeps kids eyes on the television and consistently asking " Can I play with your phone?" That is, if they don't have their own already...
"You Can Be" is my first book. It features children of all ages and races that come together in homemade imaginary places to create worlds with no ends. You Can Be is a 26-page photographic journey through stories of DIY inspired playtime.
Each activity features a setting handcrafted from household items, highlighting children in character and guiding young readers in the use of their imagination to discover their resources and revive the art of fantasizing through visuals and poetry.
This book was made to inspire children of all ethnic backgrounds to dream big, become resourceful and creative, and to reinforce parent child reading time with adding arts and crafts into the mix.
I've invested a lot of time, money and love into this project. I have written all of the poetry, built all of the sets ( with a bit of help from some awesome friends ) did all of the photography and drew some doodles to complete this project. I successfully self published in May 2015. I just need your help to get these books to kids who need them!
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