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A handmade children's book, designed to please the eye, heart and mind in a one-of-a-kind international cooperation.
A handmade children's book, designed to please the eye, heart and mind in a one-of-a-kind international cooperation.
130 backers pledged €8,581 to help bring this project to life.

About

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€8,581

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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 - Anna Takahashi
Small Minna - Anna Takahashi

STORY

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.

Small Minna - Dawn (Illustration: Anna Takahashi)
Small Minna - Dawn (Illustration: Anna Takahashi)

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.

Small Minna - Old Man (Illustration: Anna Takahashi)
Small Minna - Old Man (Illustration: Anna Takahashi)

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."

THE PROCESS

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!

Anna Takahashi at work
Anna Takahashi at work
Small Minna's House (Illustration: Anna Takahashi)
Small Minna's House (Illustration: Anna Takahashi)

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).

GOALS

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.

YOUR REWARDS

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!

One of many rewards
One of many rewards
One of many rewards
One of many rewards
One of many rewards.
One of many rewards.

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!

TEAM INFORMATION

Author: Philomena Höltkemeier (PHSC)

Translation, Lectorship: Henrike Meyer (PHSC)

Lectorship: Heinz-Walter Höltkemeier (PHSC)

Support: Anna Zhu (PHSC), Rebecca Lapresa (PHSC)

www.philomenahoeltkemeier.com

PHSC crew (Lapresa, Zhu, Höltkemeier, Kurt)
PHSC crew (Lapresa, Zhu, Höltkemeier, Kurt)

Illustration: Anna Takahashi

www.annatakahashi.com

Anna Takahashi
Anna Takahashi

Layout: Anna Ranches (COHEZION)

www.frankfurt-grafikdesign.de

Anna Ranches & Lene Euler, Cohezion
Anna Ranches & Lene Euler, Cohezion

Film: Hendrik Maximilian Schmitt (HEMAX FILM)

www.hemax-film.de

Hendrik Maximilian Schmitt, HEMAX FILM
Hendrik Maximilian Schmitt, HEMAX FILM

PR Consulting: Feyza Morgül (opera civil)

www.opera-civil.de

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!
Love, Philomena

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge €3 or more About US$ 3

    SUPPORT ONE TINY STEP OF MINNA's JOURNEY
    Watch out for SmallMinna in a forest nearby 'cause it's time for a high-five! Although a Small Minna high five is an ankle-low five for you. Be prepared!

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge €6 or more About $7

    MINNA SENDS YOU A POSTCARD
    A "Small Minna" ("Die kleine Minna") picturebook-postcard, sent to you, your child or a friend by Small Minna herself!
    + German or English, she speaks both languages!

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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge €10 or more About US$ 11

    YOUR WISH STONE IN THE GERMAN FOREST
    Small Minna is so happy you supported her journey. She will not send you a simple digital thank you. She will place a stone with best wishes for you and your name on it beneath a magical tree in a German forest and send you a picture of it.

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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge €15 or more About US$ 17

    EVENT TICKET
    Your ticket to the December public reading event - valid for one person / Frankfurt am Main area
    + including a postcard from Small Minna
    + bookreading will be in German language

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge €30 or more About $34

    EARLY BIRD BOOK ORDER (English Edition)
    Be the first one to own this collectors' edition! The early birds receive their copy at a reduced price.
    + signed
    + social media shoutout

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    Pledge €30 or more About $34

    FRÜHBUCHER-AUSGABE (Deutsche Ausgabe / German Edition)
    Sei einer der ersten, der dieses Kinderbuch-Sammlerstück in den Händen hält. Du erhältst es zum einmalig reduzierten Preis.
    + signiert
    + Erwähnung in den Sozialen Medien

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    Reward no longer available 25 backers
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge €35 or more About $40

    THE BOOK (English Edition)
    Receive your hardcover copy of the first collector's edition
    + signed
    + It's your choice: German or English edition
    + social media shoutout

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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge €35 or more About $40

    ERSTAUSGABE (Deutsche Ausgabe / German Edition)
    Hier kannst du die deutsche Ausgabe unseres Buches bestellen.
    + signiert
    + Erwähnung in den Sozialen Medien

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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge €65 or more About $73

    DO GOOD, GET TWIN-BOOKS (English Edition)
    Small Minna would love to see you make others happy! There are kids out there who can't afford a book, especially not such a handmade print. But you can send them a gift they're not expecting. You will receive a signed hardcover copy of your book and
    It's twin (2nd hardcover copy) will be sent to a social organization or public institution (refugee camp, school, kindergarten, orphanage, public library, youth centre) in your name
    + signed
    + Small Minna high five
    + social media shoutout

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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge €65 or more About $73

    MACH MEHRERE MENSCHEN FROH MIT DEM ZWILLINGSBUCH (Deutsche Ausgabe)
    Die kleine Minna würde sich sehr darüber freuen zu sehen, wie du auch anderen eine Freude machst! Denn da draußen gibt es Kinder, die sich keine Bücher leisten können, vor allem keine Sammlerstücke. Schick ihnen ein Geschenk, das sie nicht erwarten.
    Du erhältst eine eigene Ausgabe der kleinen Minna und eine zweite Ausgabe wird an eine soziale Organisation oder an eine öffentliche Institution in deinem Namen gesendet (Flüchtlingsheime, Schulen, Kindergärten, Kinderheime, Büchereien, Kliniken und Jugendzentren)
    + Small Minna high five
    + Erwähnung in den Sozialen Medien

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  11. Select this reward

    Pledge €95 or more About $107

    1 FÜR DICH UND 2 ZUM VERSCHENKEN (Deutsche Ausgabe)
    Die kleine Minna würde sich sehr darüber freuen zu sehen, wie du auch anderen eine Freude machst! Du erhältst 3 Ausgaben der deutschen Version für 95 statt 105 Euro.
    + Small Minna high five
    + Erwähnung in den Sozialen Medien

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    12 backers
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  12. Select this reward

    Pledge €95 or more About $107

    1 FOR YOU AND 2 FOR YOUR FRIENDS (English Edition)
    Minna says: "Sharing is caring." Make your friends happy by sending them a Small Minna book print.
    You receive 1 for yourself and 2 more prints to give to your friends - at a reduced price of 95€ instead of 105€.
    + Small Minna high five
    + social media shoutout

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  13. Select this reward

    Pledge €100 or more About $113

    OUR BOOK + A SKYPE SESSION WITH THE WRITER OR ILLUSTRATOR
    You have so many questions concerning the book and our work? That's great! Wherever you are in the world, we'd love to answer your questions, so let's have a skype session!
    + You receive a copy of the book (it's your choice: German or English Edition)
    + Small Minna high five

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  14. Select this reward

    Pledge €150 or more About $169

    YOUR NAME IN MINNA's HEART & BOOK CREDITS
    Minna thinks it's time you got mentioned as one of our donors in the ThankYou-Section of our book.
    + Minna will place your wish-stone beneath a magical tree in the forest and send you a picture of it
    + You receive the book (German or English edition)
    + social media shoutout

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  15. Select this reward

    Pledge €250 or more About $282

    AFTERNOON FOREST-WALK WITH THE WRITER
    A Sunday afternoon walk with the writer (Germany: Rhein-Main area or Ostwestfalen).
    + You will be mentioned as one of our donors in the ThankYou-Section of our book
    +Including the bookprint (German or English edition)
    + Including coffee and cake the way Small Minna would like it
    + Ask any questions concerning the book

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    1 backer
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  16. Select this reward

    Pledge €500 or more About $565

    MINNA FINE ART PRINT
    A "Small Minna" ("Die kleine Minna") art print from the book illustration of your choosing, signed by the illustrator
    + You will be mentioned as one of our donors in the ThankYou-Section of our book
    + Small Minna hardcover copy (German or English edition)
    + Minna will place your wish-stone beneath a magical tree in the forest and send you a picture of it
    + social media shoutout
    + a very warm hug if we ever meet.

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  17. Select this reward

    Pledge €750 or more About $847

    BOOKREADING
    You can order your personal bookreading for your own home or an event or give it to a social institution as a gift (anywhere in Germany).
    + You will be mentioned as one of our donors in the ThankYou-Section of our book
    + Your own hardcopy of "Small Minna"/"Die kleine Minna" (German or English edition)
    + Minna will place your wish-stone beneath a magical tree in the forest and send you a picture of it
    + Social media shoutout
    + It's time for a thank-you-hug!

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    0 backers
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  18. Select this reward

    Pledge €1,001 or more About US$ 1,131

    ONE DAY IN PARADISE (STUDIO VISIT)
    If you ever wanted to see paradise, well, Minna's paradise, we invite you to visit our studio. It's a 3.000 square meter secret garden that's not open to the public (close to Frankfurt am Main, Germany).
    + Bring your stuff and work alongside Philomena and the PHSC team for one whole day
    + Bring a friend if you like (Minna knows how important it is to have a really good friend to share everything with)
    + ask us questions
    + eat and drink with the team
    + and enjoy the bonfire at the end of the day
    + be prepared to get inspired in a way you have never been before!

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Funding period

- (43 days)