photo: storybooth via YouTube
When your kids are going through a tough time, it helps to hear that other kids have been through it, too. Enter a new website and iPhone app that helps kids find those needed “Me too!” stories via adorably-penned cartoons that feature the real stories of real kids animated into two-minute cartoons.
On the website, Storybooth’s tagline is, “Real stories: Animated.” Here’s how it works: kids download the app (or log onto the website) to record their true stories and send them to Storybooth, where select tales are chosen to be animated by a team of awesome cartoonists. The selected storytellers then get to go back and re-read their stories for a final, polished voiceover.
Stories run the gamut, but deal mostly with uncomfortable or taboo topics, from racism and gender issues to bullying and health problems. And while most kids watching won’t share all the woes Storybooth tackles, watching the videos might help cultivate a bit more understanding for those who do.
Take 10-year-old Aneeka, a Muslim who had to endure kids at school calling her a “terrorist” because she wore a headscarf. “I would sometimes go to my room and cry,” she says. “Yes we have to hide our hair and yes we have to hide our skin, but we all are beautiful just the same way.”
photo: I Am NOT a Terrorist via YouTube
Or listen to the words of 16-year-old Felix, whose story about being a transgender boy may make you feel a little better about the open-mindedness of today’s youth. “I didn’t tell anyone until eighth grade because I thought people wouldn’t like me,” he says, “but surprisingly, no one really hated me for it. I had so many friends who cared and tried their best to understand.”
photo: I’m Transgender via YouTube
Some stories are on the lighter side (though not to the kids telling them!), like Chloe’s whose story about accidentally leaving her underwear on the floor during a school camping trip will seriously make you feel her embarrassment.
“It wasn’t just plain underwear though, it had a little pee stain that was dried up from the night before,” she said. “One of the teachers went in front of my underwear and said, ‘Is this one of your underwear?'”
Her video’s already received almost a million views on YouTube, so we guess now everyone knows the answer!
photo: Embarrassing Overnight School Trip Disaster Story via YouTube
According to Mashable, about 70 kids have told their stories on Storybooth since the company launched on YouTube last year. And according to a Mashable article, the child’s identity is always kept anonymous during the process, and the child even gets to approve the final animation before it is published on the site.
Note: Most of the stories are told by kids ages 10 & up — and some tackle pretty heavy topics — so we’d say the videos are best suited for kids over 10 (though there is no profanity, violence, or nudity on any of the shorts).
Would you want your child to submit a story to this site? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.