About this project
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.
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.
This is Tessa. She's tiny for her age, but that doesn't keep her from exploring the patterns in her family's backyard.
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!
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.
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.
Graphic Design: $500
Printing cost for 300 hardbacks through Signature Book Printing of Gaithersburg, MD: $3,537
Shipping Costs: $950.00
Kickstarter fees: $463.00
Will you become a piece in the Tessalation! puzzle?
Thank you for checking out our page and considering us!
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!
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