The story of Frances, a young girl who overcomes her fear with creativity — by Thingamatink

By Peter Chang, June 16, 2015

It has been quite a while since I’ve reconnected with my inner child. When I saw Frances, the spunky little girl who is the protagonist in Thingamatink’s storybook, I can’t but help get reminded of the various emotions felt as a child. There were playful, spontaneous, and creative emotions for sure, but the most memorable childhood emotion was fear, some of which has followed me to adulthood.

Various shapes made from the blanket shown at the West Coast Craft

Thingamatink, the brainchild of Erin Fong and Kayla Taron, is an innovative project that pairs a children’s book with a clever blanket toy to teach children to overcome their fears with creativity. At the center of the story is Frances, a young inventor who faces all sorts of challenges while presenting her invention. Accompanied by her dog Felix, Frances was able to overcome her fear and solve the problems one after another by being creative with her invention, represented by the blanket designed with several zippers that can be mixed and matched to resemble a variety of objects and shapes. We especially love the idea of the blanket because children often get attached to their blanket and thus it would be a great tool to help them overcome their fear.

We had the pleasure to chat with Erin and Kayla at their sunny studio in Oakland to talk about the inspiration behind Thingamatink and live-streamed the interview on Periscope. You can check out the replay embedded below. Thingamatink is running a Kickstarter campaign to raise money for the production of the toy and storybook, and the campaign ending in 2 days! So be sure to check out their Kickstarter campaign:

You can also find them on all the social media channels including:

Frances’ distinct personality shown here
See the evolution of Thingamatink’s characters and objects developed through the rough sketches