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Join Tessa in this whimsical, pattern-laden children's picture book about tessellations and the magic of the backyard.
Join Tessa in this whimsical, pattern-laden children's picture book about tessellations and the magic of the backyard.
Join Tessa in this whimsical, pattern-laden children's picture book about tessellations and the magic of the backyard.
237 backers pledged $8,307 to help bring this project to life.

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Tessalation!: A Children's Picture Book with Tessellations

$8,307

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Hi, I'm Emily Grosvenor, the author of Tessalation!

You could say that Tessalation is a book about tessellations (repeating tiled patterns), but it is really a children's picture book about discovering order in a chaotic world.

The Story

Tiny Tessa Truman-Ling finds patterns in the coolest things!

One day, Tessa's mama sends her outside to play. There, in a game of hide-and-seek, she discovers a thrilling beauty in the patterns of nature.

In the wonderland of her backyard, Tessa explores a bee hive, a mushroom ring, a pile of leaves, and makes friends with turtles, fish and butterflies.

Join Tessa in this whimsical and engaging picture book, which will inspire you to get outside to look for patterns in nature.

Our book trailer

This book needs to exist because:

  • It has an inherent message that the world, even when it seems chaotic, has a deep order and beauty to it. 
  • It gets younger children excited about the mathematical concept of tessellations, or repeated tile patterns, by introducing the idea of a tessellation. 
  • It inspires children to look for patterns in other areas of their life. 
  • It taps into children's intrinsic need to be found, in a literal and metaphorical sense.
  • There is no other children's book on the market about tessellations.
  • It encourages children to explore their natural surroundings, especially in the backyard. 
  • It stars a Chinese-American child. Why? Because my niece is half-Chinese and I want her to have a book that looks like her that has nothing to do, content-wise, with being biracial. Did you know only 2% of picture books feature ethnically Asian characters?

The author: Emily Grosvenor

I am a professional magazine writer based in Oregon wine country. If you read only one of my articles, make it the one about that time I won (spoiler alert!) Live-Action Oregon Trail, published in The Atlantic. You might also enjoy some of my funny essays about motherhood for Salon.com, like the time I outed myself as an Elmo hater (don't worry, it has a happy end). You can find more of my work here. Or you can follow me on Twitter @emilygrosvenor.

The illustrator: Maima Widya Adiputri

Maima has been in love with drawing since before she can remember. She is a member of the illustration studio Reeham Visual Courier and is working on a comic magazine called Fairyframe. She lives in Indonesia, where she is studying watercolor and arabesque, a pattern-making technique involving arithmetic. Maima was the perfect collaborator for the Tessalation project because of the immediacy of her watercolor technique and her willingness to experiment with creating the tessellations.

Meet Tessa

This is Tessa. She's tiny for her age, but that doesn't keep her from exploring the patterns in her family's backyard.

The website

The Tessalation website
The Tessalation website

Part of my interest in publishing this book was to explore and share lessons learned throughout the process. You can read about the decisions I've made along the way on the Tessalation! page, Publishing a Children's Book Blog.

I also have a keen interest in developing a resource where children can learn how to make tessellations themselves, and am currently working to create a page on the site with tutorial videos. I'm also passionate about coloring with my kids, so I'm making free coloring pages available to anyone who wants them!

The tessellations

Tessalation! features seven full-color pages of tessellations. Here is an image of one of my favorites, the tessellating turtles. Older children will have fun seeing how the image and shape repeats itself (and might be inspired to make their own). Younger children will like pointing out where Tessa is (where's Waldo-style!), in the tessellations.

Here's another....

The Extras!

As part of this Kickstarter, I am developing learning tools for teachers to bring tessellations into the classroom. These will be made free on the Tessalation! website and include:

  • Tessalation! coloring pages
  • A Build-Your-Own Tessellation video tutorial
  • A Classroom Guide for using Tessalation! in the classroom (geared towards 2nd to 4th graders, but I've made tessellations with my kindergardener)
  • #TessaHikes! A themed hiking experience made in collaboration with the international organization HIKE IT BABY

I need your help

This project has meant the world to me; but now, to make it a physical thing, I need your help! I'd like to do a first-run of 300 (minimum) hardback printing hardback copies of Tessalation! for the people I've already heard from who are interested in the book and for new Tessa fans I haven't met yet. 

 All of the illustrations for the book are finished, the text is completed, and our cover is being created now by graphic designer Jeff Diesburg. I've put together some fun funding categories so you can become a part of this book's creation at whatever level makes sense to you.

Project Budget:

Illustrations: $500
Graphic Design: $500
Marketing: $300
Printing cost for 300 hardbacks through Signature Book Printing of Gaithersburg, MD: $3,537
Shipping Costs: $950.00

Kickstarter fees: $463.00

Total: $6,250

Will you become a piece in the Tessalation! puzzle?

Thank you for checking out our page and considering us!

My sons, Puzzle Dash and Puzzle Griffin, trying out a Tessalation puzzle.
My sons, Puzzle Dash and Puzzle Griffin, trying out a Tessalation puzzle.

Risks and challenges

The creative on this book is 90% finished. All that remains is for the graphic designer to finish marrying text to image and create a jacket flap. The illustrations are done, the text is done, the cover is done. We have been able to keep costs down by working within the family.

I have explored several options for printers and have decided to go with a family-run printer Signature Printing Co. I found through my friend Angela Guzzo, who runs www.waldorfbooks.com, where the book will be available after the initial Kickstarter campaign rewards are sent out.

My comprehensive marketing plan for this Kickstarter focuses on three core audiences:

1. Elementary math teachers
2. Homeschooling moms (who love to use novel ideas in their classrooms)
3. Gifted teachers and moms of gifted children
4. Groups that support girls' interest in mathematics

I already have a date set to visit a science class in Salem, OR to teach a tessellation tutorial and will set more when Tessa is out in the world!

If you have any questions about this Kickstarter, don't hesitate to pop me an email!

Thank you!

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    TURTLE PACKAGE!

    OUR THANKS

    Just our endless gratitude for helping Tessalation! become a reality and your name and link (when applicable) posted on our webpage!

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    BEE PACKAGE! (Digital Bundle) + postcard

    OUR THANKS + POSTCARD + NAME IN BOOK + DIGITAL PDF

    Our endless gratitude for helping Tessalation! become a reality.

    We will send you a Tessalation! postcard thank-you upon publication of the book and will list you or your business on the project’s webpage.

    We will send you a digital PDF copy of Tessalation! upon its release to the email specified and will list you or your business on the project’s webpage. Share and share alike with this one! We believe in sharing.

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    KOI PACKAGE! (Digital Bundle + Postcard + Stickers!)

    Our endless gratitude for helping Tessalation! become a reality.

    We will send you a Tessalation! postcard thank-you upon publication of the book and will list you or your business on the project’s webpage.

    We will send you a digital PDF copy of Tessalation! upon its release to the email specified and will list you or your business on the project’s webpage. Share and share alike with this one! We believe in sharing.

    We will send you a sheet of Tessalation! stickers to the address you specifiy.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    TESSALATION! HARDBACK PACKAGE

    OUR THANKS + POSTCARD + NAME IN BOOK + DIGITAL PDF + SIGNED HARDBACK

    Our endless gratitude for helping Tessalation! become a reality

    We will send you a Tessalation! postcard thank-you upon publication of the book and will list you or your business on the project’s webpage.

    We will list you in the limited edition hardback version of the book.

    We will send you a digital PDF copy of Tessalation! upon its release.

    We will send you one of the limited edition, signed, hardback copies of Tessalation! sent to the U.S. address you provide.

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    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    TESSA IN THE WORLD PACKAGE!

    OUR THANKS + POSTCARD + NAME IN BOOK + DIGITAL PDF + SIGNED HARDBACK

    Our endless gratitude for helping Tessalation! become a reality.

    We will send you a Tessalation! Postcard thank-you upon publication of the book and will list you or your business on the project’s webpage.

    We will list you in the limited edition hardback version of the book.

    We will send you a digital PDF copy of Tessalation! upon its release and will list you or your business on the project’s webpage. Share and share alike with this one! We believe in sharing.

    We will send you one of the limited edition, signed hardback copies of Tessalation!, sent the the global address you provide.

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    Pledge $45 or more About $45

    TESSA AND A FRIEND PACKAGE!

    OUR THANKS + POSTCARD + NAME IN BOOK + DIGITAL PDF + 2 SIGNED HARDBACKS

    Our endless gratitude for helping Tessalation! become a reality.

    We will send you a Tessalation! Postcard thank-you upon publication of the book and will list you or your business on the project’s webpage.

    We will list you in the limited edition hardback version of the book.

    We will send you a digital PDF copy of Tessalation! upon its release and will list you or your business on the project’s webpage. Share and share alike with this one! We believe in sharing.

    We will send you two (2!) of the limited edition, signed hardback copies of Tessalation!, for you and a friend, sent the the U.S. address you provide.

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    49 backers
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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    TESSA ON YOUR WALL PACKAGE!

    OUR THANKS + POSTCARD + NAME IN BOOK + DIGITAL PDF + SIGNED HARDBACK + CANVAS PRINT

    Our endless gratitude for helping Tessalation! become a reality.

    We will send you a Tessalation! Postcard thank-you upon publication of the book and will list you or your business on the project’s webpage.

    We will list you in the limited edition hardback version of the book.

    We will send you a digital PDF copy of Tessalation! upon its release and will list you or your business on the project’s webpage. Share and share alike with this one! We believe in sharing.

    We will send you one of the limited edition, signed hardback copies of Tessalation!, sent the the U.S. address you provide.

    We will send you ONE 12 x 18 " premium canvas print of the Tessalation! page of your choosing, to the U.S.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    MUSHROOM PACKAGE!

    OUR THANKS + POSTCARD + NAME IN BOOK + DIGITAL PDF + SIGNED HARDBACK + CUSTOM PUZZLE

    Our endless gratitude for helping Tessalation! become a reality.

    We will send you a Tessalation! Postcard thank-you upon publication of the book and will list you or your business on the project’s webpage.

    We will list you in the limited edition hardback version of the book.

    We will send you a digital PDF copy of Tessalation! upon its release and will list you or your business on the project’s webpage. Share and share alike with this one! We believe in sharing.

    We will send you one of the limited edition, signed hardback copies of Tessalation!, sent the the U.S. address you provide.

    We will send you one custom Tessalation! puzzle of your choosing (you pick the number of pieces and the page from the book you like!) to the U.S. address you specify!

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    Pledge $125 or more About $125

    TESSA FOR INDEPENDENT BOOKSTORES AND EDUCATIONAL WEBSITES

    We are so thrilled you want to carry Tessa in your store or list it for sale on your website. Thank you for putting her in more hands!

    We will send you a box of 12 (minimum number sent from the distributor) hardback copies of Tessalation! upon release of the book.

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    Pledge US$ 500 or more About $500

    TESSA IN THE CLASSROOM PACKAGE!

    OUR THANKS + POSTCARD + NAME IN BOOK + DIGITAL PDF + 3 SIGNED HARDBACKs + AUTHOR VISIT

    Our endless gratitude for helping Tessalation! become a reality.

    We will send you a Tessalation! Postcard thank-you upon publication of the book and will list you or your business on the project’s webpage.

    We will list you in the limited edition hardback version of the book.

    We will send you a digital PDF copy of Tessalation! upon its release and will list you or your business on the project’s webpage. Share and share alike with this one! We believe in sharing.

    We will send you three (3) of the limited edition, signed hardback copies of Tessalation!, for you and a friend, sent the the U.S. address you provide.

    Author Emily Grosvenor will visit your classroom (up to 30 elementary students) and will teach a class on how to make tessellations. Oregon schools only).

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Funding period

- (30 days)