Funded! This project was successfully funded on October 5, 2012.

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A book that nurtures feelings of awe and curiosity in children

Update #1:

I can't believe we reached our goal in under 6 hours! Thank you all for your support. This was the minimum amount I needed for a first print run, so surpassing our goal means I can print even more books!

I will print as many books as are requested through Kickstarter over the next month, making the first print run of I Wonder custom ordered for all of you. I'm very much looking forward to sending you the first copies!

I Wonder

Before my daughter turned two, she began ignoring questions she couldn't answer. Then she moved on to giving answers she knew to be false. I realized that she had grown accustomed to being celebrated every time she answered a question correctly and was, naturally, less interested in exchanges that didn’t produce this response. But I also realized something even more important: I hadn’t taught her to say “I don’t know” let alone celebrated her ability to do so.

I believe that one of the most important gifts we can give our children is the confidence to say “I don’t know.” It’s the foundation from which we begin our investigation of the world: asking questions, taking the necessary time to understand the answers, and searching for new answers when the ones we have in hand don’t seem to work. The feeling of not knowing is also the source of wonder and awe.

In all social and emotional learning, children need our help identifying the many new feelings they experience: “Oh, that Batman costume scared you,” or “I know, you feel sad when Mommy leaves.” So I went looking for a children’s book that would help me talk about the experience of not knowing with my daughter, but I couldn’t find one…

The Book

I Wonder is about a little girl named Eva who takes a walk with her mother and encounters a range of mysteries – from gravity, to life cycles, to the vastness of the universe. She learns to talk about how it feels to not know something, and she learns that it’s okay to say “I don’t know.” Eva discovers that she has much to learn about the world and that there are many things even adults don’t know – mysteries for everyone in the world to wonder about together! 

I Wonder is a 24-page picture book for children ages one and up, and it is designed to appeal to parents as much as to their kids. It is intended as a guide for parents who are beginning a conversation with their children that will evolve over many years. 

The Artwork

One of the most important steps in writing this book was choosing the right artist to work with. After much searching, I discovered John Rowe. John creates original art and oil paintings for a wide range of clients including the United Nations, Disney, Random House, Simon and Schuster, and Buena Vista Pictures. His work vividly communicates a feeling of awe, and he has already made important contributions to Eva’s story. 

The book pages for I Wonder will be full color prints of John’s oil paintings. John is still in the early stages of creating the illustrations for I Wonder, but here are a few of his initial “compilation sketches” on which the oil paintings will be based:

Compilation Sketch #1
Compilation Sketch #1
Compilation Sketch #2
Compilation Sketch #2
Compilation Sketch #3
Compilation Sketch #3

Why

We live in a society where people are uncomfortable with not knowing. Children aren’t taught to say “I don’t know,” and honesty in this form is rarely modeled for them. They too often see adults avoiding questions and fabricating answers, out of either embarrassment or fear, and this comes at a price. To solve the world's most challenging problems, we need innovative minds that are inspired in the presence of uncertainty. Let's support parents and educators who are raising the next generation of creative thinkers.

I’ve decided to self-publish I Wonder, which is why I am launching this project on Kickstarter. It’s important to me to maintain careful control over all the elements of the book – from the story, to the illustrations, to the quality of the paper. I want to create the most beautiful book I can, while staying true to its message. 

The most expensive part of the publishing process is the actual printing of the books, so I’m raising money for my first print run of I Wonder by selling copies in advance. Those of you who support this Kickstarter campaign will receive the first copies of I Wonder to read to your children or to give as gifts to your friends. 

Let’s celebrate the feelings of awe and wonder in our children, as the foundation for all learning. Let's teach children to say “I don’t know” and help them understand the power behind it. And let's be honest with children about the limits of our own knowledge. There is so much for all of us to wonder about together!

I hope you enjoy the book, and I want to thank you for helping me bring it to press.

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