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This creation story sparkles with joy, wisdom & insight. You may never think about God, creation, or yourself in quite the same way.
209 backers pledged $9,400 to help bring this project to life.
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When God was a Little Girl - A story about God, creation, and what it means to be human

“Tell me a story, Daddy … about when God was a little girl.” Susanna’s playful request begins a whimsically profound tale woven between father and daughter. This imaginative retelling of creation sparkles with joy, its words and images offering gentle wisdom and genuine insight. You may never think about God, creation, or yourself in quite the same way.

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The Project

Creation stories hold the world together. They offer us – both grown-ups and children – a glimpse of where we came from, where we fit, and how we ought to live. Even simple, playful creation tales like the one told in When God was a Little Girl can reach deep into our imaginations, shaping how we see the world around us.

 In a single sentence: this project seeks to fund the printing of a children’s picture book that retells the story of creation through the metaphor of God as a little girl doing an art project. 

 At once both simple and profound, When God was a Little Girl is a story about art, exuberance, and the creation of the world. Unfolding in a tender dialogue between father and daughter – and richly captured in evocative and inviting illustrations – this tale will enchant and delight children, confirming their intuition that, however the world came to be, it happened by way of joy and love. 

Older readers, as well, will encounter a story of profound depth, one that engages their imaginations in the big questions of theology, anthropology, and cosmology. What is God like? What does it mean to be human? And what is our place, our purpose, in the world? 

This book has multiple beginning places:

  • On long car-rides with his daughter, Susanna, David fashioned countless tales to pass the time (though never this exact tale). Meanwhile, when at home, they embarked on countless art projects … and did so with boundless joy. 
  • As a father committed to the equal value of girls and women, David wanted to create a story that invited 5 year-old Susanna and, through her, all women to see themselves as fully imago Dei – in the image of God. 
  • Having taught college courses in eco-theology, David hoped to lift up some the themes already present in the biblical creation account that might sow seeds of a healthier attitude toward our own planet. 
  • As a college religion instructor David sought to help first- and second-year college students understand why scholars say that the biblical creation accounts speak meaningful truths without forcing them to carry scientific fact. 
  • During her years as an education major focused on reading, Joan became keenly aware of how often the images in children’s picture books carry messages that include only a few and exclude so many more. 
  • As a painter, Joan knew that when the opportunity presented itself, she would paint a world that included as many people as she could. 

While our story clearly bears echoes of the familiar Genesis account of creation, it aims respectfully, intentionally, and joyfully, to offer a tale especially resonant for the fragile, diverse world we inhabit today. 

The Book Itself 

Thirteen years have passed from the first text to the final layout, and Susanna has grown from a five year-old girl into a seventeen year-old young woman ready to graduate from high school. 

 Joan has completed fifteen beautiful oil paintings. David has polished and re-polished the manuscript. Our designer, Jenna, has married the words and images together just so. 

Most recently we’ve been working with Beaver’s Pond Press, a mentoring press in the Twin Cities Metro with a strong legacy of publishing beautiful, meaningful, award-winning books. We’re pleased to be adding our book to their fine offerings. Thanks to our editors at Beaver’s Pond, Lily & Hanna, we now have not only a great story with gorgeous pictures, but A BOOK that we are exceedingly proud of. 

We are ready to publish this book. We believe the world is ready to read it. And we hope you are ready to help. 

Your Help 

We’ve poured ourselves into this project over the course of a decade. Now we’re poised to have a high quality, richly illustrated, professionally designed and edited book ready in time for Christmas. You and your generosity – on any scale – can help us complete the final step. Our project budget is $10,965: 

$  250 - Preliminary expenses (scanning paintings, manuscript drafts, dummy proofs) 
$  800 - Editorial assistance from Beaver’s Pond Press
$1500 - Book design and typesetting
$7325 - Actual print cost for 1500 books, including freight 
$  265 - Initial warehouse fee to be set up for bookstore/online sales
$  425 - Service fees related to Kickstarter (approx. 8.5% of $5000) 
$  400 - Anticipated packaging & postage for rewards
$10,965 Total funds needed for this project 

Our Kickstarter Goal is $5000. While we would love to see an outpouring of support to fully fund our project, this book has been a dream of ours for years, and Joan and I are ready to invest our own funds as well. If we surpass our Kickstarter goal, we'll recover our own expenses more quickly and be able to invest in some marketing opportunities.

SPECIAL NOTE: Kickstarter has proven itself 100% secure in my past experiences with it, both as a funder and as a creator. But I know some people have reservations based on their own experiences and will absolutely NOT pledge online. In that case, I encourage you to contact me privately by e-mail (drw59@comcast.net), and I can give you instructions for mailing in a check. ~ David

Risks and challenges

At this point, there are NO obstacles in our way. The book is already AT the printer! (One possible setback would be an unexpected delay at the printer.)

There are only two possible outcomes: either we miss our goal and wind up with 1500 gorgeous children’s books (and a HUGE pile of debt) … or (thanks to you!) we reach our goal and have 1500 gorgeous children’s books (and a much more manageable debt). The printer has promised finished books by Thanksgiving. So this year, as our homes fill with the aroma of this annual feast, we expect both our households to be filled with boxes of books and hearts of gratitude as well. Thanks for your support!

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Funding period

- (30 days)