Hollie and Figgs - A fun children's book by Annette Sharman
A charming and colourfully illustrated children`s story about friendship and magical adventure with a gentle moral and life lessons.
I would like Kickstarter backers to help fund the publication of my children`s storybook Hollie and Figgs: The Missing Rainbow (second in the series of the Hollie and Figgs books).
It will enable me to continue my primary school visits whereby I help to inspire young children. (For more information on my school visits please read my full project description.)
- Hollie and Figgs: The Missing Rainbow is a story about friendship and magical adventure between a young girl Hollie and her magical, talking cat Figgs. A story with a moral and life lessons.
The campaign for the first story Hollie and Figgs: Magical Adventures was a great success. It has achieved amazing five-star reviews on Amazon and Waterstones, with reviews like:
- "highly recommended"
- "a lovely story to snuggle up with and share"
- "an enchanting tale"
- "an uplifting story of a little girl`s struggle with change and acceptance"
- "thought-provoking and touching"
- "magical and cute!" and
- "it inspires imagination."
Yay. Here we go again. I am so so proud and excited about my new venture. The first book introduced the main characters and the first adventure and the fact that Figgs is magic and can talk. The second book goes on to develop the magical adventures/plots and characters even more. There are more life lessons, twists and turns in the plot, magic and new characters. This time I have introduced boys to the story :)
- I have included the first book in the rewards for you to enjoy. It leads into the second story, Hollie and Figgs: The Missing Rainbow but isn't absolutely necessary in order to enjoy it.
The themes I have addressed in Hollie and Figgs: The Missing Rainbow include:
- sibling rivalry,
- forgiveness and
It is done in a very subtle and imaginative way but again gives a springboard for a good classroom discussion. The book is aimed at ages 5-8 years. It would make a great read to book as it is full of amazing illustrations to enhance the storyline. It also makes a good read alone book for startup readers.
Readers of the first book have an idea of what the second story will be like. In fact, it is not that predictable, which makes it even more exciting:)
The start of the story, Hollie is excited about Princess Lulubud`s ball being held in her favourite magical place Hippogoblin Land.
We are also introduced to Tommy, Hollie's next door neighbour. Tommy is a significant character and you can see why when you read the whole story.
Hollie and Figgs eventually go on their journey to Hippogoblin Land but go off course. They are very confused and Hollie is frightened when they end up in a dark forest that `reeked of rotten leaves and green slime dripped from branches high above them.`
The reason being is that someone has stolen the rainbow from Hippogoblin Land. The rainbow keeps all the magic inside the kingdom and without it, there is NO MAGIC!!. Princess Lulubud`s ball has had to be cancelled, but "guests are arriving and ending up in all sorts of places!" We are introduced to Thomasin a `Chippogoblin` who is Hollie and Figgs` guide. Along with Smudgers, another new character, they fly off to Hippogoblin Land to see the King.
Figgs, Thomasin and Smudgers go in search of the rainbow while Hollie stays with the princess. They eventually find the rainbow in a cave and discover that the prince is to blame as he was jealous of his sister having a ball.
But in order to retrieve the rainbow, they have to problem solve.
- Does Princess Lulubud have the ball of her dreams?
- Does the rainbow find its way back to Hippogoblin Land?
- What happens to the prince?
For a short story of just over 3000 words, there is a lot of content. The reader will not be bored as the book has 18 full-page colourful illustrations, and they will want to read the story over and over again.There is even a black and white colouring-in page at the back of the book. The book will be of a premium quality paperback with a gloss frontcover.
A reminder of how the story of Hollie and Figgs began.
One day I had an idea to write a children`s story based on my daughter (Holly) and our cat. She wasn`t physically and emotionally well at the time. It was a collaboration with Holly whereby I wrote the story and she illustrated it, in the hope that it would give her a positive goal, a focus, help her feel better and boost her confidence. During that time our cat became a very important comfort for her.
I undertook an online course in writing for children and began writing lots of different stories until I came up with the version of Hollie and Figgs we have today. I wanted the story to be magical and give the reader a feel-good factor, whilst addressing some issues young children may face through the storyline. The plan was for our man character Hollie to go on magical adventures with her best friend Figgs her cat.
Through her adventures lessons are learnt not just for the characters, but also the readers.
I didn't realise where this creative journey would take me. I am very happy to say that my daughter is in a stronger position and has recovered very well from many ailments she has suffered. It has been a long journey, but all the effort and positive thinking have really helped her. Being a part of this project has been extremely beneficial and therapeutic for us both. My daughter is very creative and through her illness has now pursued a path whereby she is also helping others.
School visits and mental well-being.
I didn't realise how attached I would get to our main characters, Hollie and Figgs!
I commissioned some plush toys to be made of them, and along with some other assorted props, they come along with me into primary schools to read our storybook, tell our true story and spark children's creativity.
I visit schools voluntarily, and in so doing I am able to share and promote our story and books. It means a lot to me to share our story and influence children in a positive way. It`s a tough world growing up and having some magic and fantasy in children`s lives introduces them to life challenges in a gentle way. Children love our story and I am getting some amazing feedback from them, teachers and parents. One teacher wrote to me and said, "Class 3 children thoroughly enjoyed listening to the reading of your utterly charming book. Your presentation was delightfully captivating and the children loved handling the beautiful props...."
Children came up with words for my visit like
This makes it all worthwhile.
I have also found that children will often open up to me about their schooling and friendship struggles amongst other issues. Being a retired psychiatric nurse helps. Hollie and Figgs` stories make a great springboard for classroom discussions, done in a sensitive, fun and `magical` way.
During one school visit, a little girl told me that she suffers from anxiety. Through my visit, a support system in the school has now been set up. I am being told time after time how difficult it is for teachers to access mental health care for children when it`s required. So if I can help, support teachers and be a positive influence that makes all the hard work very worthwhile indeed. The first book - Hollie and Figgs Magical Adventures - addresses issues like friendship, moving to a new school, feeling lost and lonely and the comfort pets can offer. It opens up discussions not only for children but teachers as well. I also decided to hold a writing project whereby I wrote the beginning part of a Hollie and Figgs story and children aged 6-8 joined in to write the rest. You can read it on my website
I plan to read it out on the Hollie and Figgs Youtube channel for all the children who got involved.
It's really important to me that I help enable young children and encourage them to believe in their dreams and abilities.
My daughter Holly is now too busy with her own commitments to be involved with the illustrations. I am more than happy about this as it has taken her several years to become confident and independent enough to do her own thing.
I decided to go with my theme of enabling young people and contacted my local University to see if they had any student Illustrators who would like to jump on board with my project. I found a remarkable young lady student Illustrator Beth Hilliard who I am working with and she has already created the illustrations without losing the charm and style of the first book. I have shared just a few of Beth`s illustrations. I am so happy with her work and how they have turned out. She is definitely a keeper! :)
Like in the first book, I have arranged for there to be something extra special for the reader. A miniature tiara and bow tie in a golden envelope.
It's all part of the story and children love the tactility of holding something whilst being read to. These would only be available from me directly. Any backers with packages including a book will also receive them.
I hope you get on board with our second campaign. I love to share Hollie and Figgs adventures and the developmental process with any backers.
Your support will be used wisely and I plan on continuing to help young children to be creative and support their mental well-being through my school visits etc.
I have approached the same publisher, Matador Publishing in Kibworth Leicestershire, England. Having already been through the publication process with them before, I feel that I am in a better position of understanding what is needed to create my new children`s book. I have already sent the script and illustrations into them and they have already set up a publisher page. You can check it out here http://www.troubador.co.uk/book_info.asp?bookid=4853
The book will retail at £7.99
I hope to get funding towards the publication of the book and the trade marketing.
- £700 publishing cost
- £300 trade marketing cost
- £200 towards the KS commision and rewards
I have tried to offer rewards that you would like and get a lot of enjoyment from. I have also commissioned my illustrator to paint some watercolour paintings in order to have them printed into limited edition postcards. There is one special original signed painting for just one backer in the Golden rainbow package. There is also the first off the press a signed copy of the book along with many other exciting gifts/rewards.
Any funds over the target amount will go towards buying books to sell. Thank you so much for reading my campaign and watching my video.
My vision for the future.
I plan to get the third story out in time for Christmas 2018. It has a Christmas theme and I am super excited. I would also love to see our charcaters in an animated film. So that is what I am aspiring to.
Risks and challenges
I plan to keep my backers up to date throughout the whole journey.
The first publication/campaign last year, overran as I underestimated how long it would take to get the book published. The process can be lengthy. I am in a better position now as I have already been through the process and have experience with it.
I am in a great position as my story has already been professionally edited and the publishers have agreed to take my book on board. I have a breakdown of costs.
This may change with the publication process, but I doubt that it would change much.
I cannot envisage any problems, but I will be as transparent as I can and will always keep any backers up to date.
- (30 days)