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The first in a series of early reader guides that connect young kids with the natural world around them.

"Young children are kind of like polliwogs coming out of the water for the first time.  Every thing is new, so many things to learn about. "

Hi, I'm Marcy Horner, a retired librarian, life-long naturalist, and entomologist - a bug lady. When I was a child, I was always full of questions.  My mother never answered with "Just because" or "I don't know" . She always said, "Let's go look it up!"  It's probably why I became a librarian.  I've tried to instill that sense of discovery in my children and grandchildren.

When my six-year-old granddaughter, Tori, started asking questions about the natural world, we went looking for a field guide for her, something for the really beginning beginner.  One she could read for herself, to learn to identify some of the animals and plants she found. Most of the books were for teens or adults.  We couldn't find one just right for her. 

Three Green Sea Turtles swim silently by.
Three Green Sea Turtles swim silently by.

So, the idea of "Polliwog's Guides to the Natural World" was hatched.  A series of books and ebooks for early readers that introduces plants, birds and other wildlife, and helps budding naturalists learn to identify and care for the creatures that live here on Planet Earth with us.

Five Hermit Crabs skitter sideways down the shore.
Five Hermit Crabs skitter sideways down the shore.

We need your help to Kickstart this series and publish the first book -  One Giant OctopusOne Giant Octopus will explore marine life.  Polliwog will introduce your young child to 20 animals that live in the ocean. Flashcards will partner with each title to help them learn the names of the animals, and reinforce counting and alphabet recognition skills. The book will also include tips for exploring the seashore and tide pools along with guidelines for handling the creatures you may find. 

My husband, Jack Green, and I formed Laughing Two Owls Publishing, in order to create this series. We've teamed up with Jill Carter, a talented illustrator, and a few of our friends and family members to develop nature guides that young children can use to explore their world. Other titles in the series, when we are successful in getting this one published, will include One Great Blue Heron, for beginning birders, and A is for Alder for budding botanists.  We are also working on books about bugs and desert critters.

If you aren't familiar with how Kickstarter works, check out the FAQ for details. In short, Kickstarter is an all-or-nothing crowd funding platform.  You choose a reward and pledge amount.  If we meet our goal in thirty days, your credit card will be charged the amount to which you agreed. We'll send you a thank you email and get busy making books and other rewards.  If we don't meet our goal, you are charged nothing, we are very sad, and we try to find another way to get busy making books.

 When you Kickstart this project, you will help:

1. Finish the development and promotion of the website.

2. Cover costs of illustrator and photographer.

3. Cover time and expenses for editing and book layout.

4. Cover production costs for the books, flashcards and other rewards.

Two sleek Sharks cruise the deep water.
Two sleek Sharks cruise the deep water.

Please take a few minutes to learn more about our plans here on our Kickstarter site, and check out our website, www.laughing2owls.com.  Find a reward that's just right for you, make a pledge ( please) and then tell all your friends and neighbors about Polliwog's Guides to the Natural World!

Oh, there's a Facebook page you can like too !

Polliwog's refrigerator magnet
Polliwog's refrigerator magnet

Thanks again.

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Ebooks are in a constant flux. We will face a challenge in making our books accessible on different platforms. We have years of techie expertise on our team so we will be able to meet that challenge.

One non-technical challenge we face is finding a printer ready to dropship the flashcards along with the books. We plan on a print, pack and ship party to complete the rewards while we continue to search for a long-term printing partner.

A is for Alder will take longer to create than we had planned. We want to get fruit, flower, seed or nuts from each plant. That means we need to photograph each variety at different seasons. We had hoped to use the native plant gardens at University of Washington and Washington Capitol Museum for photo locations, but they are in sad need of repair. Some are overrun with invasive plants, others neglected due to lack of budgets. We have located specimens of the plants on the Evergreen College campus, so we can finish the photography next summer.

The main challenge is to raise the funds to make this happen, and with your help we can overcome that one!

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  • Pledge $3 or more
    You selected

    6 backers

    For your pledge of $3 you receive our eternal thanks (forever!) and one Polliwog's "Be Curious - But Be Careful" refrigerator magnet to make you smile.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships within the US only
  • Pledge $10 or more
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    6 backers

    Copy of "One Giant Octopus" ebook when it is completed. Ebook contains print-your-own set of flashcards. Gift announcement card and set of Polliwog's temporary tattoos will be mailed to child of your choice.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships within the US only
  • Pledge $20 or more
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    13 backers

    A pledge of $20 adds the softcover edition of "One Giant Octopus" to the rewards above.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships within the US only
  • Pledge $35 or more
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    4 backers

    At $35 we will send you a printed set of flashcards and the softcover version of "One Giant Octopus". Gift announcement card and set of Polliwog's temporary tattoos will be mailed to child of your choice.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships within the US only
  • Pledge $50 or more
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    8 backers

    A hardcover version of "One Giant Octopus", a printed set of flashcards, and Polliwog's refrigerator magnet are yours for a pledge of $50. Gift announcement card and set of Polliwog's temporary tattoos will be mailed to child of your choice.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships within the US only
  • Pledge $75 or more
    You selected

    2 backers Limited (73 left of 75)

    Polliwog Club Kids T-shirt, copy of "One Giant Octopus" as a hardcover book, and a printed set of flashcards, will be delivered to you when completed. Gift announcement card and set of Polliwog's temporary tattoos will be mailed to child of your choice.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships within the US only
  • Pledge $250 or more
    You selected

    1 backer Limited (4 left of 5)

    Five signed hardcover copies of "One Giant Octopus" and printed flashcard sets will be donated to the school, library or children's museum of your choice.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships within the US only
  • Pledge $500 or more
    You selected

    1 backer Limited (4 left of 5)

    Framed Poster featuring marine life and five signed hardcover copies of "One Giant Octopus" with printed flashcard sets will be donated to the school, library or children's museum of your choice.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships within the US only
  • Pledge $1,000 or more
    You selected

    0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)

    You will help design the dedication page for "One Giant Octopus" featuring the things that are most important in your life - your favorite beach or forest, your grandchildren, or cute baby animals. Five signed copies of "One Giant Octopus" and printed flashcard sets will be donated to the school, library or children's museum of your choice.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships within the US only
Funding period

- (45 days)