About this project
The Cuthbert picture book is funded. The stretch goal of an additional £2000 will allow me to add a wall calendar of 12 of the best illustrations plus one new calendar cover to all the rewards. That includes the existing backers, of course. Please keep spreading the word. Thank you!
Cuthbert Was Bored is a picture book that tells the story of a little crow who doesn't want to be a crow anymore. The youngster listens to the other animals in the forest, who all have something to say about him, and he starts to believe them...until, that is, a wise old owl shows Cuthbert that he is perfect just the way he is.
Entertainingly told in 384 words and with 40 hand-drawn ink & water colour illustrations, Cuthbert is set to become your little crow's favourite.
Aimed at children between 3 and 5 years old, the story is told from the point of view of Cuthbert, a little crow, who is both unsure about himself and his appearance. Cuthbert often gets things wrong and through his humorous mistakes, learning opportunities arise; similarities and differences in shape, colour and size are made apparent both through the text and the illustrations. In addition, by encouraging attention to detail and recall, even very young readers are able to compare Cuthbert's version of events with reality.
The story leads to the unobtrusive message that we can, and should, be proud of our differences.
Cuthbert Was Bored is the first book in a series of character-driven adventures with inconspicuous but life-affirming messages. In future tales Cuthbert will be joined by a wealth of memorable friends, not only from the animal kingdom.
In picture book publishing there are strict rules relating to minimising the cost of printing and one of them concerns the number of pages. As a rule, publishers do not like anything beyond page 32. That is generally not a bad thing but in order for me to tell this story the way I'd like to, I have designed each page to make just one statement. Attempts to lump the visuals together or abbreviate the narrative have been very unsatisfactory. I have researched the book with pre-school teachers and educational experts and the 40 page format works perfectly. With your help I will be able to print my Cuthbert story the way I have envisioned it.
Originally from Germany, I moved to London in 1986 when I was hired as one of the youngest animators to work on the movie Who Framed Roger Rabbit for the Walt Disney Company. I fell in love with the city and decided to stay. After a brief stint as a freelance director, followed by being hired as a supervising animator and character designer for Amblimation (now DreamWorks), I set up my own animation studio Uli Meyer Animation in 1991.
For the past twenty-one years my artists and I have been involved in many high profile projects with clients such as Twentieth Century Fox, Disney and Warner Bros as well as most of the major advertising companies. In recent years I have discovered my love of pen & ink drawing and when I met Ronald Searle in 2008, my focus expanded to creating narratives via illustration, inspired by the master.
Cuthbert is my first endeavour into picture book publishing and hopefully the beginning of a colourfully inky adventure.
None of the £10k goal will go to me personally, the funds will be used as follows:
- 45 % will go towards the printing costs of the book, the postcards and the poster.
- 35% will go towards packaging, UK shipping costs and part of the international shipping costs.
- 10% will go towards scanning, layout, typography and preparing files for printing with a book designer.
- 10% will go towards Kickstarter and Amazon fees.
Every penny stretching beyond the £10k goal will generate income that will allow me to develop further adventures with Cuthbert and his friends (one is already written). I am basically pre-selling the book at the same prize a similar book costs in book stores (see the £12 tier which includes postage, packaging and a set of postcards as a bonus). I would like the book to be the main reward of this campaign and refrained from adding items like key chains, T-shirts and coffee mugs. Whilst those things are fun, they would push up the goal amount and take away funds better spent on the quality of the printing.
Thanks to my friend Matt Saxton for his music.
Risks and challenges
My professional career has spanned almost three decades and I have been running one of the most regarded UK animation studios for over 20 years. In all that time I have never not delivered a project. 'Cuthbert Was Bored' has so far been a labour of love and one of my favorite personal projects. Should this campaign be successful, I will dedicate my time fully to completing the remaining illustrations and the finishing of the layout and typography. Getting the rewards ready and organizing all the packaging and shipping will be time consuming, hence the April delivery. Unless there will be problems with printing and a postal strike the book and rewards will be finished and with you in time.
Thank you for looking at my picture book project, it would be wonderful if you decided to pledge.
Uli MeyerLearn about accountability on Kickstarter
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