Crowdfund launched to support creation of new children’s literature

Par Mario Pitre
Crowdfund launched to support creation of new children’s literature
Stéphanie Barahona and Dewittville resident, Rachel Arsenault, have launched Dent-de-Lion, an intersectional feminist publishing house for children’s literature. A crowdfunding campaign will continue until June 13 at (Photo : François-Pierre Lue)

A love of stories and frustration with the gendered stereotypes often found in children’s literature led two long-time friends, Rachel Arsenault, a Dewittville resident, and Stéphanie Barahona of Montreal, to launch an exciting new publishing house of their own with Dent-de-Lion. A crowdfunding campaign was launched on May 4 to help cover the costs of printing a first book, due to be released in the fall.
“I was particularly shocked by the sexy mice,” laughs Rachel, in recounting an early trip to the Salon du Livre in Montreal back in November 2016, when the idea of a publishing house was just taking form. Passionate about books, Stéphanie and Rachel both studied literature and feminist studies in university and are surrounded by children. As an extension of their values, Dent-de-Lion, an intersectional feminist publisher of youth literature, aims to promote more non-stereotyped characters, non-gendered narratives, and a fair representation of family, cultural, sexual, physical and functional diversity with the books they produce. Essentially, the goal is for all children to be able to self-identify with their stories. Readers will also be introduced to situations and characters who are not necessarily a part of their daily life.
Dent-de-Lion will focus on publishing books in French for the moment, as similar initiatives already exist in English literature. “Being a translator, I have a strong interest for bilingual and multilingual books and the first project we wanted to publish was bilingual. I then realized that distribution happens in only one language at a time,” says Rachel. As finding one distributor in such a high-risk industry as publishing is not guaranteed, it was not realistic to find two from the very start.
When their first title is released this September, it will have taken over and year and a half to get there.
Behind Billy’s Eyes
The first book, Derrière les yeux de Billy, tells the story of a little girl who is constantly trying to prepare herself for the worst. When she is confronted with mourning the loss of her grand-father however, she discovers her preparations have been useless. “I absolutely love the story,” admits Rachel, noting how the main character is able to learn from this difficult experience. The book is written by Vincent Bolduc and beautifully illustrated by Chloé Germain-Therrien. A sneak peek at some of the illustrations and the characters is available online on Facebook and at
Support the project
The crowdfunding campaign launched through the site Ulule to raise $7,000 to cover the costs of printing their first book has already raised over 100% of the funds. All additional funds raised will now allow for the start of new book projects, while also allowing Rachel and Stéphanie to participate more actively in library, school and daycare activities as well as to bring together new authors and illustrators from across different communities. At each level of contribution to the project, a thank you gift will be sent out, from a PDF colouring book, to Billy postcards and bookmarks, to full copies of the book and a book bag or child’s apron. The crowdfunding campaign will continue until June 13. To support the project, visit the campaign site at

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