I am so excited to present to you Young Puffin's Wonderfully Grand Mystery, a pop-up book for both small and adult-sized kids!
The book opens 360° and is made up of ten interactive pages. It's up to you whether you want to read it like a traditional book or open all the way and make it a dollhouse.
So what's the story with Young Puffin?
A mystery is afoot! We follow Young Puffin as he solves the mystery of the missing things. It all starts with a disappearing dinner jacket, but it soon turns out that everyone in the house has lost something! We go from room to room in his Victorian home, and on each page, we meet a different character. As we come closer, step by step, to discovering the culprit, the clues may have been there all along.
In this Downton Abbey meets Sherlock Holmes children’s mystery, the reader rediscovers the joy of pop-up books while exploring a different time period.
When we first started this project, everything was hand-made. While taking a bookbinding class, I had stumbled upon carousel books. These gorgeous books are typically layered and open 360 degrees. I knew that I wanted to make one. I also liked the idea of the book being a vintage dollhouse, so it seemed natural that each section would become a room. It wasn't easy. It took several engineer friends and many tears to figure out the lengths of each section so that they opened perfectly.
For my first copy of the book, every layer you see was hand cut and glued or stitched together by hand. The book was divided into two volumes because traditional carousel books (also known as star books) can only have five or six sections. Each book set took at least a week to make. It wasn't feasible and the cost meant that they were collector's items rather than something everyone could enjoy.
Fast-forward two years later, and I am working as a designer for a paper goods company, still dreaming of publishing my book. Mike and I came very close to finding an agent, but it just wasn't the right fit. The project is too unique and too complicated. Finally, we decided to take the plunge and do it ourselves.
That's where Kickstarter comes into play. The biggest barrier to self-publishing, especially a pop-up book, is the initial investment. You have to buy a minimum order quantity (in this case 500 books). That's why the support we have received thus far has been crucial to getting us here. It's amazing to see people's eyes light up as they open the book and start playing with it. We know you will enjoy it as well!
For those of you new to Kickstarter, you will receive a survey once the campaign has successfully ended. There you can indicate your greeting card choices, personal message, etc., depending on your reward level. Also keep an eye out for updates.
I get this question every once in a while. Black and white is unusual in the world of children's books where everything is colorful and flashy. When Mike and I started this project, we wanted it to have a vintage Victorian feel and film noir look. Pair that with pop-up books having a nostalgic feel, and we hoped it would be an opportunity to slow down and enjoy something old-school. We've had several dozen children read it; between the fascinating structure of the layered pages and the engaging cartoons, kids are never the ones asking for color!
Making a pop-up book is hard. After emailing dozens of vendors, we finally found the one. Finding the right supplier is worse than dating.
I sent the printers a handmade copy of the book. Then I took each individual layer and created a cut file to go with it and - voila! - they sent back a blank dummy book.
It looked pretty neat but there were still a few tweaks to be made. A few months later and at long last the printed sample arrived. To be honest, it looked better than the handmade original. There is only so much you can do with a tiny electronic cutter and an X-Acto knife (and ailing fingers!).
That was it. We took a deep breath and placed a deposit on the books.
Manufacturing and shipping! We have covered the cost for samples and production described in the previous section, along with a deposit to the factories. This Kickstarter will go entirely towards paying for the order. This has been a labor of love, and we haven't paid ourselves a cent. Your support helps bring a shipment of books stateside so that we can start trying to really share this with the world.
Help get the word out!
Even if you don't pledge it will help immensely if you share this page on social media. Thank you for all of your support so far - we can't wait to see where this takes us!
Risks and challenges
We have been working on this project for three years and facing the challenges that come with self-publishing. Fortunately, that means that the project is in a very good position. All of the manufacturers have been found. We have good relationships with the factories and have received quotes along with samples. The deposit for the Young Puffin pop-up book has already been paid.
We've done the hard part, now it comes down to funding. Self-publishing, while advantageous in some ways (getting to make such a unique project, for one!) is also challenging in others. Namely that there is a high initial production cost. That's why your support for this Kickstarter is so important.
Right now the plan is to make a first edition run of 500 books. We also plan on ordering 150 plushies. Both vendors have been amazing so far, exceeding our expectations as far as samples were concerned. We should have everything in our hands around May. The August estimate is very conservative (we all have day jobs that keep us busy), but we'll keep you posted through Kickstarter updates. If everything arrives and is ready to ship earlier, then we will make that happen.
Thank you for your support!
YekaterinaLearn about accountability on Kickstarter
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