Small Minna is a children's book, created on different continents by a writer and illustrator who share a passion for analogue art, heartwarming storytelling and high quality print finishing. This book is designed to please the eye, heart and mind. If you're curious about Small Minna's journey and the team behind the project, feel free to check out the info below and ask us any questions.
The following description is in English language, but we will publish an English and a German book version (as listed in the rewards section). If a reward is listed as "it's your choice: German or English edition", we will send you a followup email. If you want to pre-order an amount of books>3, please send us a message.
Alle Informationen zu diesem Projekt auf Deutsch: philomenahoeltkemeier.com/minna
Small Minna is a poetic tale, written by German author Philomena Höltkemeier with watercolor illustrations by Japanese illustrator Anna Takahashi. With all its beautiful pictures landscaping Small Minna’s world, this is not only a story of a journey, but also a heart-warming tale of love, loss and, eventually, recovery.
Let yourself be charmed by the world of Small Minna, a tiny person who is afraid of basically everything around her, but who one day bravely sets out on the journey of her life trying to save her only friend.
And what she really finds after all her adventures is something quite different, the ability to cope with the world on her own.
Though ostensibly a children's book, Small Minna is essentially allegorical: There is THE OLD MAN, a symbol for a child’s feeling of utter protection, THE WAR, who destroys Minna's life, the FOUR BROTHERS for the seasons of the year, and the forces of the earth you cannot control just like OCEAN, WIND, MOON and SUN, who Small Minna meets on her way. And there is SUMMER, the patron of life and happiness and the hope Small Minna clings to.
The story's essence is contained in the lines spoken between Small Minna and DAWN: "What kind of journey is this then?”, little Minna wanted to know. "It is your journey, Small Minna. And you are about to reach its end," the Dawn's voice was soft and calm. "The Moon said that there is no end. The Sun said that what one is searching for, one will never find. The Ocean wanted to swallow me, and the Summer is running away from me. But I do not want to go back home yet."
8 years ago I started wondering where all the great children's books went. I am a collector and big fan of children's stories that fire our imagination, help us reflect and grow and speak to our hearts.
One day there weren't many books to collect anymore. That's when a story came to my mind, one that grew with me over the years and took 8 years until it was ready: Small Minna (Die kleine Minna). I wanted to create a book that would be interesting to both, children and adults. A book that you might read to your kids at age 6 when they're not quite able to understand the meta-level but get the story and love the colorful pictures. But you parents get it and don't feel bored reading this bedtime-story. And every few years the kids will pull out that book from some place in the book shelf and each time they do so, they'll understand a little more, simply depending on their own experiences. And I'm hoping they'll keep pulling out that book when they're grown ups, just like I'm doing with only a few very special books I had as a child.
When I moved from Germany to L.A. in 2011, I met artist and illustrator Anna Takahashi who was - at that time - just waiting for a children's story to turn up. She fell in love with Small Minna. Anna created heartwarming illustrations that were surprisingly close to my own imagination of Small Minna's world. And if you look at the illustrations closely, you will find so many Japanese, Californian and German influences!
I teamed up with Anna Ranches from the German design-team COHEZION to finish the layouts for the print version. We are currently in the layouting process. You will be updated with cover designs and layout pages :)
There will be a German and an English version of the book. The German version will be published a little earlier (around Christmas).
8.000€ is the minimum we need to print a first version of the book, with the special design features we planned.
10.000€ will give us the possibility to produce our books cost-efficient and add several design-elements.
12.000€ will enable us to put up a new website and an online store for future publishing, so you can order the book online from all over the world. This will also be a great platform for our future stories.
15.000€ will give us the freedom of promoting our book at the book fair next year.
20.000€ is already more than we could dream of. We will start producing Small Minna puppets, bags and special features you can take home and snuggle with. Also in the pipeline: a theatre play, a stop motion film and a radioplay.
Any Euro above that will give us the possibility to achieve our next goals: It's an investment into our next book project (a series of character studies in poetry) featuring the Frankfurt based illustrator Irem Kurt. Also, we want to give back the great spirit you spread with your support. We will engage in finding places to read to children in need, refugess and mental patients, everybody we can cheer up with this story.
This dream will come to life because of your support. That's why we developed some rewards that might be fun for you and come from the heart!
As our books are and will always be handmade collectors' editions, sadly not everyone can afford them. That's why we created the TWIN BOOKS program, so you cannot only buy a book for yourself but also allow us to send one to an institution of your or our choosing (school, kindergarten, orphanage, public library, youth centre). In your name, as a present. We would like to thank all generous, open-minded and wholehearted people out there. You will make lots of people very happy!
Author: Philomena Höltkemeier (PHSC)
Translation, Lectorship: Henrike Meyer (PHSC)
Lectorship: Heinz-Walter Höltkemeier (PHSC)
Support: Anna Zhu (PHSC), Rebecca Lapresa (PHSC)
Illustration: Anna Takahashi
Layout: Anna Ranches (COHEZION)
Film: Hendrik Maximilian Schmitt (HEMAX FILM)
PR Consulting: Feyza Morgül (opera civil)
Risks and challenges
Our plan is to have this book sent to you before Christmas! Especially the German version, it might take us an extra month for the English version.
But as this is not a simple on-demand online print project, there might be delays due to print & shipping delays. If this happens, we will inform you soon enough so you can start being excited about your pre-easter gift!
Thank you very much for your support and feel free to ask us any questions!
- (43 days)