Rocko literally began with a simple Facebook post.
A friend had posted that while putting up Christmas decorations, he found a paper bat hanging in the chandelier, leftover from Halloween.
Well, what exactly would a Halloween decoration think about Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations? A decoration's job is to help celebrate a holiday, and so Rocko naturally wants to help celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Rocko finds out quickly that Halloween is not as an important holiday as Thanksgiving, where he learns about a mysterious "Holey Ghost" that people prayed to. As Christmas approaches, Rocko is found by two young children in the family, who want to put him on the Christmas tree. When Mom refuses, Rocko is sad, and the children ask their mom why they can't put Rocko on the tree. Mom tells her children about the Christmas story.
As she does, Rocko begins to realize why Christmas is so much more important than either Thanksgiving or Halloween. Rocko remembers the family praying around the table on Thanksgiving, and asks God to allow him to be a part of the Christmas celebration. After the prayer, Rocko finds himself transformed into an angel! In fact, he has been transformed into the angel that is placed on top of the Christmas tree!
There is no other Christmas book in existence that has, as its main character, a Halloween bat decoration which becomes transformed into the Christmas treetop angel ornament; Rocko is a special and unique book, and one whose charm and sweetness makes an impact on children and adults alike.
The book is not written or drawn in a dark, Gothic Nightmare-Before-Christmas style. Rocko takes a different, softer, and more genuine childlike approach to the Halloween-Thanksgiving-Christmas connection. The holidays are seen from the perspective of a character who had never experienced any other holiday but Halloween before being left up to see what happens the rest of the year.
This is absolutely a unique and inspirational book. The transformation of Rocko shows children in a very memorable way that God can transform and change anyone who is willing to be used as God desires. The message of the book is doctrinally sound and crosses denominational lines. You will be proud to own a first-edition copy of this work.
James King, the author, is joined by a talented young illustrator, Karis Keeley, to create Rocko. This is Karis' initial entry into the world of children's book illustrating, and his sketches vividly capture the childlike emotions of a wonder-filled Rocko as he learns about Thanksgiving and Christmas.
It is James' first children's book that is not a textbook: James' first book was Learning the Code, a piano book designed for beginners that has enjoyed success worldwide.
James takes his publishing skills obtained from Learning the Code as well as his time as a sheet music editor for Warner Bros. Publications and the FJH Music Company and puts them to professional use typesetting, assembling the illustrations and getting Rocko ready for pre-press for an October/November release.
The finished book will consist of 32 letter-sized pages on premium 80-pound acid-free glossy paper, fully illustrated in color, oversewn stab-sewing bound (the most durable kind of binding possible, originally used in libraries for rebinding books, and the best choice for heirloom quality children's books), stiff wrapped paperboard covers with linen-finished plastic lamination for additional durability. Morris Publications in Nebraska has been retained as the book printer because of their low initial order size and reasonable cost.
The book will also be available in .pdf e-book format which can be read on most devices.
Why are we asking for less money this time?
The original proposal included costs involved with making the book available in stores: ISBN and UPC codes cost quite a bit of money. We initially also included the costs involved in recording and producing a dramatized audiobook. These have been eliminated in this proposal, keeping our costs down to the cost of printing books with Morris, mailing those books, and mounting and framing artwork for those people who pledge higher amounts.
Risks and challenges
We project that the biggest delays will come from Morris Publications and the USPS Media Mail delivery. It is our intent to have the books available to everyone before Christmas, preferably before Thanksgiving.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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