About this project
At my church, when the pastor releases the children from "Big Church," he prays, "May they never know a time when they do not feel a part of the family of God." This always gets me teary. Because if there is one thing I pray for my kids, it is that they would feel the love of God. Always. That they would know it deep in their bones, and that the knowledge of that love would eek out in the way that they live their lives, treating everyone they meet with kindness and love.
As a mom and as director of our children's program at church, I've seen many beautifully illustrated children's bibles, which have been important to me as I seek to teach my kids the stories of our faith. But for some reason, our bookshelf at home was lacking in imaginative, fictional stories that examined and explored the character of God. I wanted to change that.
About the Book
Not Especially Special is a 36-page, fully illustrated, hardbound children's picture book written for children ages 4-10.
The pen and watercolor illustrations by Emily Marie Henebrey, dripping with whimsy and sweetness, perfectly complement the text of the story. Kids will enjoy getting lost in the beautiful artwork, identifying different animals (you'll even see a few on the endangered list!), and trying to imagine what all those animals are carrying in their various knapsacks, suitcases, and, of course, backpacks.
If we achieve our goal, we will be able to print 1000 copies of the book-- a first print run. We'd love for this book to find a home at a publishing house eventually, too. So every backer (even pledges of only $1) will help us prove that this story has an audience. We need you!
About the Author and Illustrator
Hi! I'm Katie, an author and mom and wife living in Santa Monica, CA. Not Especially Special is my second book. The first is called Grace in the Maybe: Instructions on Not Knowing Everything about God. It is for grownups, a spiritual memoir about loving Jesus and growing up in church but not knowing all the answers. It is about living in mystery and accepting that faith is a whirlwind. And also there are some funny stories about chin hair and youth camp.
I have to brag a little about my illustrator, Emily. When I first discovered I wanted to Kickstart this book, I sent her an email. We have a mutual friend who had introduced me to Emily's work, but other than that we lived thousands of miles apart and we'd never met. So when I contacted Emily OUT OF THE BLUE about this project, I totally expected her to say no. The email basically said: "You draw good. I have a story. Would you mind spending a million hours illustrating it?" Remarkably, she said, "That sounds so fun!" It has been a match made in heaven and I feel, every day, so lucky that she is on board. Also remarkably, she had a trip planned to Los Angeles for the WEEK AFTER I CONTACTED HER, so we got to meet and dream and plan about the book TOGETHER. I knew then that this book was meant to be, and it would never have been so beautiful or so fun had she not been involved.
If you are a church, school, bookstore, or other institution interested in pre-ordering books in bulk (11 or more), please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss.
So very many people helped create this beautiful campaign.
From Emily: Thank you mom and dad for gifting me the bird feeder that lives in my backyard. Your gift has made our house not only a home, but a songbird haven. It is a daily source of wonder, life and inspiration & held quite an influence on the making of this book! Your endless support throughout my life has shaped me for good - thank you. Thank you to Andrew Stout for dedicating so much time to photographing my illustrations and lending your own keen, creative eye - I so cherish my time with you! Thank you to Kristen Haug for the interview & for spending time with me in my studio - the footage may be lost to the interwebs, but the fond memories aren't! Thank you Katie Savage for being a 'creating-something-out-of-nothing' role model - and inviting me on this journey with you! Your ambition, attention to detail & drive are altogether inspiring and infectious. Last but not least at all, thank you Jono, for listening to me talk endlessly about the birds in this story, my mind & in our backyard. Your love & support make the unimaginable seem attainable. You are so especially special to me.
From Katie: Thank you to Lindsey Sparrow, Carie Beth Russell, Kristina Beitey, and Alex Wycinsky for being among my first readers, idea-bouncers, and cheerleaders. If it weren't for you, in one way or another, I wouldn't have pursued this. Thank you to Paul Shirley for the encouragement to do a Kickstarter and for the never-ending writerly support. Thank you to my amazing agent Margaret Riley King for always cheering me on, helping me to be creative, and for finding some professional eyes to take a look at this book. A HUGE thank you to Danielle Hitchen with Catechesis Books for spending time helping me navigate these new waters of crowdfunding, and for her beautiful book Bible Basics, which I ordered and loved. Thank you to Ron Ceballos for a video that came together at lightening speed, that cuts to the heart of the project, and that doesn't make me look like the amateur that I am. Thank you to Mickey Blaine for the use of your equipment and for your help in filming. Thank you Nadine Bosurgi for photos that I will treasure forever and that help get across just how beautiful the book will be. Thank you to Stephanie Jeck for writing a song (in. a. day.) that makes me cry. Thank you to Melissa Benson for bending over backward to hand-letter the title and the art prints. Your talent and kindness bowl me over. Thank you to Ruby, Miles, and Evie for being the stars of the video.
And finally, thank you to Scott, Miles, and Evie for bearing with me every step of the way, for letting me do a project that is a huge risk and will never make us rich, and for being the people who fill my heart every day with your ordinary extraordinaryness.
Risks and challenges
The risks involved in this project are very low. The book itself has already been lovingly written and illustrated. It's ready to go to the printer, and we've found a wonderful one. Our greatest challenge will lie in product fulfillment because it's new territory, but we have researched the heck out of it and think that there should be no major snafus. Honestly, we love this project too much to let it fall by the wayside.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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