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A STEM-inspired story about a resourceful girl rock hound who tells fantastic tales about how she hunted each of her real-life rocks.
A STEM-inspired story about a resourceful girl rock hound who tells fantastic tales about how she hunted each of her real-life rocks.
109 backers pledged $7,215 to help bring this project to life.

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Scavenger Scout: Children’s Book for Kids Who Rock

$7,215

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Kids are natural scientists because their hearts and minds are open to all possibilities. They love to explore, ask questions and hunt for things. They also love a good adventure story. I wrote SCAVENGER SCOUT: ROCK HOUND to fuel kids’ curiosity about the natural world, whether it’s rocks, the ocean or the mountains. I want to encourage kids to get outside and explore.

The character of Scavenger Scout lives for the thrill of the hunt and is partially inspired by this tongue-in-cheek definition of "rock hound":

This is not the Webster's Dictionary definition of "rock hound," but it should be.
This is not the Webster's Dictionary definition of "rock hound," but it should be.

Scout may only be 7 years old, but she is passionate about rocks and will climb a mountain, go deep-sea diving or spelunking–whatever she has to do to take home her treasured specimens. She’s not only in it for the gorgeous rocks, she is also drawn to the thrill of the hunt.  

Scout's motto
Scout's motto


Seek-and-Find Element 

I love seek-and-find books that are a story first and a seek-and-find second. The story of SCAVENGER SCOUT will appeal to kids who love to hunt and who love adventure, so why not give them the opportunity to help Scout find the rock on every page? In each vignette, Scout hunts for a different rock and kids get to hunt with her!

STEM-inspired Story with a Female Main Character

The world is changing, but there are still very few picture books with female main characters that use science, technology, engineering, math (STEM) to solve problems. It's important that we read books like SCAVENGER SCOUT to our kids (both boys and girls) to show that any child can follow their dreams, regardless of gender.

Scout uses physics and engineering principals to get very large rocks into her magic backpack. Kids will delight in the real-life rock hounding tools Scout uses such as a crack hammer, chisel or a rock pick.

The Illustrations

I reviewed hundreds of illustrators' portfolios (257 to be exact) before I found one that could bring my vision of Scout to life and also had the technical skill to illustrate the rocks. It was important to me that the illustrations of the rocks be faithful to the real thing. When I saw Yana Popova's portfolio, I knew that she was the one. Her style is endearing and whimsical, with a touch of realism--perfect for children's picture books.

"You can call me Scout. I'm a rock hound, mineral master, pebble pursuer...
"You can call me Scout. I'm a rock hound, mineral master, pebble pursuer...
In this book, we follow Scout as she hunts alexandrite, fluorite and azurite.
In this book, we follow Scout as she hunts alexandrite, fluorite and azurite.
"Under the sea I secretly swam with mermaids and fishy friends..."
"Under the sea I secretly swam with mermaids and fishy friends..."
"...I fashioned a pulley and counter weight and carefully lowered the stone into my pack."
"...I fashioned a pulley and counter weight and carefully lowered the stone into my pack."

  Yana visited her local natural history museum in order to observe the play of light on the actual rocks that she would be recreating for the book.  

Yana in action, working on fluorite
Yana in action, working on fluorite

Inspiration 

My daughter is a pebble pup (someone who is new to collecting rocks) and she inspired the adventures of Scavenger Scout. One day, she sat me down and went through each rock in her collection, telling me fantastic stories about how she acquired each rock. Her stories involved dealing with dragons, matching wits with mermaids and debating with aliens. She is just like any other child: she loves to blend reality with fantasy. And that's why I think kids will love SCAVENGER SCOUT: ROCK HOUND.

"Mom! Brazil has ALL the best rocks!"
"Mom! Brazil has ALL the best rocks!"

Scavenger Scout: The Sequel 

A sequel is in the works and will feature all new rocks for Scout to track down, such as agate, bornite and labradorite. The manuscript is written and is currently with an editor to refine the text. Also, illustrator Yana Popova has signed on to illustrate the second book!

Scavenger Scout Hard Cover Book with Dust Jacket 

This is a stunt cover for the book. The real cover hasn't been designed yet. You'll get to help choose the winning cover!
This is a stunt cover for the book. The real cover hasn't been designed yet. You'll get to help choose the winning cover!
  

Scavenger Scout Sticker (Kickstarter Exclusive)

  

Scavenger Scout Activity Book/Place Mat (Kickstarter Exclusive)

It’s a two-fer! The printed activity book includes two coloring pages, two pages of rock-themed puzzles and one page of cut-out puppets of characters from the book. And, you can bring it with you to a restaurant and unfold it to use it as a place mat!

One side of the booklet
One side of the booklet

Signed Art Prints

Choose one of three different illustrations from the book and you'll receive it as a signed art print from illustrator Yana Popova. It will be printed on size A4 paper (very similar to standard letter size) and will arrive ready to frame. It will be shipped separately from your book.


Cartoon Me (ALL GONE!)

What would you look like as a character in a children's book? If you are lucky enough to grab this reward, you'll get to find out. All you have to do is send Illustrator Yana Popova a photo and she'll turn you into a cartoon. You will receive a high-res digital file. Great for profile pics or a gift for someone special.

What would you look like as a cartoon?
What would you look like as a cartoon?

Name that Ship 

In one scene in the story, Scout encounters some mermaids and has to persuade them to let her take something valuable. A sunken ship lies nearby. You get to name that ship! Name it after your favorite vacation spot, someone special or your first dog. Just don't name it "Boaty McBoatface."

Name that ship!
Name that ship!

Name Scout's Elementary School (ALL GONE!)

After reading about Scout's adventures, it's easy to forget that she's only 7 years old. She loves school--especially science and art classes. In the first scene of the book, there is a poster on the wall behind Scout with the name of her elementary school. You get to name that school! (Author approval required). This is an important job because her school will be featured in the sequel.

 The manuscript and illustrations are 80% complete and we are ready to move into book design (a very important step in the production process). During the book design phase, we will create the cover design (you get to help pick the cover!), incorporate the text into each page, layout the vignette and spot illustrations and layout the end pages. SCAVENGER SCOUT will include an educational end page that lists each of the 3 rocks from the book, a little bit about them and where they can be found (in real life). It will also show illustrations of common rock hounding tools. 

The print process takes 7-9 weeks so we anticipate books being delivered to you in October. Just in time for holiday gift giving!

Most of the funds will go to the illustrator and the printer. The printer I have selected produces very high quality hard cover books, of the style you would see in high-end children's boutiques. Early in the process, I worked with a professional developmental editor. The next step is to work with copy editors to ensure the printed product is error free. I have built in a small contingency to account for any remaining variables such as freight shipping costs and fees.  

Author Jaime Untz and Illustrator Yana Popova
Author Jaime Untz and Illustrator Yana Popova

 About Author Jaime Untz (aka Shelby Wilde) 

I’ve been a writer for my entire professional career, but mostly in the public relations, marketing and non-profit industries. I've always done creative writing in my spare time, but five years ago my passion shifted to children’s stories. There’s nothing better than hearing a child say, “again!” after you finish reading a book to them. That is why I write stories for children. Reading aloud to a child, or teaching them to read for themselves, is one of the best ways you can spend your time.

About Illustrator Yana Popova (aka YaPpy Arts)

My passion is for children's illustration, character and creature design. I enjoy working in both traditional and digital art using vivid and bright color schemes. I gather inspiration from nature, animals, dreams and travel.

Acknowledgements

Thank you to the following people who helped this Kickstarter campaign come together. Thank you for sharing your talents!

Kelly Lambson, Television and Media Producer
Sean Heckel, Big Ape Design

Risks and challenges

This is my first self-published book so I'm learning as I go, but I've spent months and months researching the process, talking to seasoned authors and soliciting advice. I'm mitigating my risk by partnering with a respected printer, professional illustrator and book designer.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 1 or more About US$ 1

    YOU ROCK!

    Thank you so much for taking the time to read about Scavenger Scout. Your support is very much appreciated! Every dollar counts.

    Includes:
    • Our gratitude
    • Good juju for the next time you're looking for something you lost
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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 5 or more About US$ 5

    VOTE ON COVER DESIGN

    Help pick the look of the book!

    The book cover design can make or break a book. We're working on two different cover designs and you get to help decide which one makes the final cut.

    Includes:
    • Vote for your favorite cover (Kickstarter Exclusive)
    • Good juju for the next time you're looking for something you lost
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    2 backers
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    Pledge US$ 10 or more About US$ 10

    SCAVENGER SCOUT EBOOK

    Scout jumps into your tablet! Take her on your next trip and let your pebble pup go on a journey with Scout.

    Illustrator Yana Popova's stunning visuals are amazing on screen.

    Includes:
    • Scavenger Scout eBook
    • Vote for your favorite cover (Kickstarter Exclusive)
    • Good juju for the next time you're looking for something you lost
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    3 backers
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 15 or more About US$ 15

    EARLY BIRDS: SAVE $5 ON HARDCOVER BOOK

    You'll receive a high-quality first edition hardcover copy of the book with dust jacket.

    Includes:
    • First edition Scavenger Scout hardcover book with dust jacket
    • Vote for your favorite cover (Kickstarter Exclusive)
    • Good juju for the next time you're looking for something you lost
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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 37 backers
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    Pledge US$ 20 or more About US$ 20

    FIRST EDITION HARDCOVER BOOK

    You'll receive a high-quality first edition hardcover copy of the book with dust jacket.

    Scavenger Scout makes a great gift! If you would like to order multiple copies, please add $20 to your pledge for each additional copy.

    Includes:
    • First edition Scavenger Scout hardcover book with dust jacket
    • Vote for your favorite cover (Kickstarter Exclusive)
    • Good juju for the next time you're looking for something you lost
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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    18 backers
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 25 or more About US$ 25

    SIGNED FIRST EDITION BOOK + STICKER

    You'll receive a high-quality first edition hardcover copy of the book with dust jacket, signed by author Shelby Wilde!

    You'll also receive the Scavenger Scout sticker (Kickstarter exclusive design). See pic below.

    Scavenger Scout makes a great gift! If you would like to order multiple book+sticker combos, please add $25 to your pledge for each additional copy.

    Includes:
    • Signed, first edition hardcover Scavenger Scout with dust jacket
    • Scavenger Scout sticker (Kickstarter Exclusive)
    • Vote for your favorite cover (Kickstarter Exclusive)
    • Good juju for the next time you're looking for something you lost
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    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    9 backers
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 30 or more About US$ 30

    SIGNED BOOK + ACTIVITY BOOK + STICKER

    You'll receive a high-quality first edition hardcover copy of the book with dust jacket signed by the author, Shelby Wilde!

    PLUS, you'll receive the Scavenger Scout activity booklet that converts into a place mat. Perfect to take to a restaurant! Kickstarter exclusive design. See pic below.

    You'll also receive the Scavenger Scout sticker (Kickstarter exclusive design). See pic below.

    Scavenger Scout makes a great gift! If you would like to order multiple book+activity book+sticker combos, please add $30 to your pledge for each additional combo.

    Includes:
    • Signed, first edition hardcover Scavenger Scout with dust jacket
    • Scavenger Scout activity booklet/place mat (KS Exclusive)
    • Scavenger Scout sticker (Kickstarter Exclusive)
    • Vote for your favorite cover (Kickstarter Exclusive)
    • Good juju for the next time you're looking for something you lost
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    12 backers
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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 45 or more About US$ 45

    BODO: BUY ONE, DONATE ONE + EXTRAS

    A popular package! You'll receive a first edition hardcover with dust jacket PLUS ONE additional copy will be sent to a school or family in need.

    Plus, you’ll receive the Scavenger Scout printed activity book, which converts into a place mat AND a Scavenger Scout sticker. See pics below.

    Includes:
    • First edition Scavenger Scout hardcover book with dust jacket
    • First edition hardcover book donated to a school library in need
    • Scavenger Scout sticker (Kickstarter Exclusive)
    • Scavenger Scout activity booklet/place mat (KS Exclusive)
    • Vote for your favorite cover (Kickstarter Exclusive)
    • Good juju for the next time you're looking for something you lost
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    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    4 backers
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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 50 or more About US$ 50

    Signed Art Print + Signed Book

    You will receive an art print of one of three illustrations from the book, signed by Yana Popova. See pics below--you get to pick your favorite.

    Plus, you'll receive a high-quality first edition hardcover copy of the book with dust jacket signed by the author, Shelby Wilde!

    Scavenger Scout makes a great gift! If you would like to order multiple books, please add $15 for each additional book.

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 4 backers
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    Pledge US$ 250 or more About US$ 250

    THE EDUCATOR’S PACK

    Great for co-ops, preschools, day cares, and elementary schools! You'll receive a first edition hardcover copy of the book, Scavenger Scout activity booklet and sticker.

    Plus (10) hardcover books, 10 activity booklets and 10 stickers will be shipped to the school of your choice.

    Want another book? Please add $20 to the pledge amount for each additional copy.

    Includes:
    • 10 books, activity books, stickers shipped to org of your choice
    • First edition Scavenger Scout hardcover book with dust jacket
    • Scavenger Scout activity booklet/place mat (KS Exclusive)
    • Scavenger Scout sticker (Kickstarter Exclusive)
    • Vote for your favorite cover (Kickstarter Exclusive)
    • Good juju for the next time you're looking for something you lost
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    0 backers
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    Pledge US$ 100 or more About US$ 100

    TURN ME INTO A CARTOON ONLY 10 AVAILABLE

    Illustrator Yana Popova will turn you into a cartoon!

    Plus, you'll receive a high-quality first edition hardcover book with dust jacket, Scavenger Scout activity booklet and Scavenger Scout sticker.

    Includes:
    • Custom cartoon of one person
    • First edition Scavenger Scout hardcover book with dust jacket
    • Scavenger Scout activity booklet/place mat (KS Exclusive)
    • Scavenger Scout sticker (Kickstarter Exclusive)
    • Vote for your favorite cover (Kickstarter Exclusive)
    • Good juju for the next time you're looking for something you lost
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Reward no longer available 10 backers
    $

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  12. Reward no longer available

    Pledge US$ 500 or more About US$ 500

    NAME THAT SHIP! ONLY 1 AVAILABLE

    In one scene in the story, Scout encounters some mermaids and has to persuade them to let her take something precious from them. A wrecked ship lies nearby. You get to name that ship!

    Plus, you'll receive a signed, first edition hardcover book, Scavenger Scout activity booklet and Scavenger Scout sticker. See pics below.

    Free shipping for your book!

    Includes:
    • Name that ship!
    • Signed, first edition hardcover Scavenger Scout with dust jacket
    • Scavenger Scout activity booklet/place mat (KS Exclusive)
    • Scavenger Scout sticker (Kickstarter Exclusive)
    • Vote for your favorite cover (Kickstarter Exclusive)
    • Good juju for the next time you're looking for something you lost
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Reward no longer available 1 backer
    $

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

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    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

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  13. Reward no longer available

    Pledge US$ 500 or more About US$ 500

    NAME SCOUT'S SCHOOL! ONLY 1 AVAILABLE

    In the opening scene of the book, we see a poster with the name of Scout's elementary school on it. You get to name her school. This is an important job because her school will be featured in the second book! (Author approval required) See pic below.

    Plus, you'll receive a signed, first edition hardcover book, Scavenger Scout activity booklet and Scavenger Scout sticker. See pics below.

    Free shipping for your book!

    Includes:
    • Name Scout's School
    • Signed, first edition hardcover Scavenger Scout with dust jacket
    • Scavenger Scout activity booklet/place mat (KS Exclusive)
    • Scavenger Scout sticker (Kickstarter Exclusive)
    • Vote for your favorite cover (Kickstarter Exclusive)
    • Good juju for the next time you're looking for something you lost
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Reward no longer available 1 backer
    $

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    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

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Funding period

- (30 days)