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My first children's book called "If I Had Eleven Toes."
137 backers pledged $5,457 to help bring this project to life.

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$5,457

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Teaching positive self-esteem through "If I Had Eleven Toes," the first book in The Extra Part Series—a poetic, whimsical, playful, laugh out loud children’s series about what life would be like with an extra body part.

Journey alongside writer and author Jill D. Clark as she partners with award-winning author/illustrator Lynda Farrington Wilson on "If I Had Eleven Toes," Jill’s very first children’s book as part of a series called The Extra Part Series, targeted at preschool and Kindergarten-aged children. Together, they’re building positive body image and self-esteem through playful banter and visual delight.

Pre-Reader Testimonials

“It took me back to when I was young and my uncle would read us all Shel Silverstein. I loved it!” —Bridget, Kindergarten Teacher

“The poems had me laughing out loud, and I loved how they built on each other, but could also stand alone. The teacher in me sees a great expansion activity where kids could write their own ideas. I know my boys would love the silly poems, and the illustrations will really take it over the top.” —Laura, Parent and Teacher

“I read them to my daughter, and she was giggling! She thought the concept was just so silly. It was a perfect giggle for her.” —Joy, Parent

“The Extra Part Series is fun, interesting, playful, intriguing and different all at the same time. So very cool!” —Elizabeth, Former Teacher

If I had eleven toes instead of just the ten, imagine all the things I'd do over and again.
If I had eleven toes instead of just the ten, imagine all the things I'd do over and again.
I'd zoom along at lightning pace. I'd beat a cheetah in a race.
I'd zoom along at lightning pace. I'd beat a cheetah in a race.
I'd outrun all the kids at school, outswim a dolphin in a pool...
I'd outrun all the kids at school, outswim a dolphin in a pool...
swing like a monkey at the zoo, jump higher than a kangaroo.
swing like a monkey at the zoo, jump higher than a kangaroo.
I’d be a giant superstar, travel the world—both near and far.
I’d be a giant superstar, travel the world—both near and far.

About The Extra Part Series

At some point in our lives, we’ve all wanted to be something (or maybe someone) different. Whether it’s having different color eyes, a different complexion, a different shaped nose or something else—it seems that, from the moment we’re born, we imagine what our lives would be like “if only…”

The truth is, there aren’t many children’s books that address this part of our daily insecurities—at least not well, or in a way that captures the imagination and wonderment of a child. Instead, most are written from an adult’s point of view and lack the whimsy, enchantment and visual fantasy required to get at the heart of children.

That’s why award-winning writer and author Jill D. Clark created The Extra Part Series—a poetic, whimsical, playful, laugh out loud children’s series that gives you a glimpse into the imagination of a child who—for a moment—thinks about what life would be like with an extra body part. From eleven toes to an extra ear, eye or nose, The Extra Part Series plays into our most fragile human ponderings. Travel alongside the characters in this series as they consider the “what ifs.”

What if I had eleven toes? Would I jump higher than a kangaroo? Or outrun all the kids at school? Would that little piggy go to the market (or eat roast beef)? Would my socks still fit?

What if I had an extra ear? Would I be able to hear my parents from an entire bedroom away? Would I be able to tuck all my hair behind that third ear? What about all that extra ear wax?

What if I had an extra nose? Would I be able to smell more flowers, a fresh springtime rain, pine needles—or most importantly—lasagna?! Or, would I just need more tissues for when I’m sick? And what about all that extra nose hair?!

But if I had an extra toe, would socks and shoes still fit? Oh no!
But if I had an extra toe, would socks and shoes still fit? Oh no!

I guess having an extra body part isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. So, I’m glad I am who I am. After all, I’ve been this way for years! This sentiment is perhaps best captured in the last two verses of Jill’s first book “If I Had Eleven Toes.”

I guess having an extra toe
is not the greatest way to go. 
I’m glad I have just ten, you see.  
I’m happy I’m exactly me.

My body is the way it is
from knees to eyes and hairs that frizz.
But one more thing I’ve asked for years.
What if I had…

three big round ears?

In the end, the The Extra Part Series reminds us that we’re all created the way we were meant to be—and we wouldn’t want it any other way. Now it’s time to celebrate it!

Use The Extra Part Series in the Classroom or Sunday or Hebrew School

The Extra Part Series is a perfect way to illustrate that, as human beings, we are all alike in some ways, and we are also all unique, different and come with our own special set of gifts and traits. This lesson is perfect for pre-school and young elementary students who want to dive deeper into these themes—or, come up with some imaginative pros and cons of their own about what life would be like with an extra body part. Older children could even write their own poems!

In addition, the series is perfect for churches and other religious organizations who want to teach these same lessons through a religious lens. The message here is, God made each of us in God’s own image. We are the result of divine thinking, and we should celebrate who we are—beautiful children of God. There are many scriptural verses that help illustrate this. The books also fit with Christian themes about being part of the body of Christ (Christ is the most important body part that binds us all together as a community of faithful believers—so, no need for that extra toe).

Jill has written both non-sectarian and religious lesson plans that fit with the reading of her book. Teachers, librarians and religious leaders will be able to download them for free on Jill’s author website (downloads coming soon). Of course, you are also more than welcome to book Jill for a speaking engagement, read a-loud or children’s message. She has a master’s degree in theology and a Ph.D. in religion with an emphasis in media studies with an education background. A perfect fit for any of your needs! Oh yeah, she’s also a parent of two small, silly children.

Partnership with Lutheran Family Children Services (LFCS) 

Jill is beyond thrilled that she has officially partnered with Lutheran Family and Children's Services (LFCS) of Missouri for this book series. 

Now celebrating its 150th anniversary, LFCS helps families, children and individuals experience greater hope and wholeness of life through services such as foster care, child care, adoption services, counseling, youth mentoring services and more. By choosing one of the pledge options to donate a book through LFCS, you are giving a child an unforgettable experience to meet a published author and receive a signed copy—of a book that promotes self-esteem, the perfect fit for children who receive services through LFCS. With the donated copies, Jill will visit LFCS’ Hilltop Child Development Center, read the book to the children and hand-deliver signed copies to each child. Should there be a large amount of donations, Jill plans to give additional copies with LFCS school counselors, child and family therapists, as well as mentoring staff to share with their clients. What an amazing gift! 

Pledging Now Pre-Orders Your Book(s)

By pledging now, you’ll give Jill a good idea of how many books she should print on the first run. Think of it like a pre-sale. On the right-hand side of this Kickstarter campaign, you’ll see what you’ll receive with each pledge level.

Thanks to everyone who has helped contribute to this book series so far. From the pre-readers who expressed “love at first read” to Lynda’s vision and character development and my family who inspires me every day, this has been a collaborative effort from start to finish. I am truly grateful.

 About Jill D. Clark

Jill is a God-fearing, outdoor-loving, Netflix-binging, friend and family-obsessed parent of twins, Noah and Eleanor. She is married to her fabulous husband, Brent, and together they live in St. Louis, Missouri, with said goofball twins.

Brent, Jill, Noah and Eleanor
Brent, Jill, Noah and Eleanor

Jill has been writing professionally for nearly 10 years. She has a Ph.D. in religion and social change with an emphasis in media studies, and she originally started her career as a college professor. But, the game of life (and marriage) quickly took her into the world of marketing and communications and speechwriting in both the higher education and the JK-12 sectors. Currently, she serves as the Chief Storyteller at MICDS, an independent JK-12 school in St. Louis, Missouri. People think her job sounds really cool. And guess what—it is! She has been doing—and loving—it ever since.

Jill’s writing has appeared in chapter books, edited volumes, journals, magazines and blogs. In addition, she has written hundreds of speeches for presidents, heads and administrators of educational institutions. She has received a few awards for her work, including a GOLD InspirED Brilliance award for best private school digital magazine. All of her writing relates in some way to education.

Jill on the beach in San Diego with twins Noah and Eleanor
Jill on the beach in San Diego with twins Noah and Eleanor

As a parent of two little ones, she also sees the need for really good children’s writing that elevates self-esteem for each and every child. As a child and young adult—and even now—Jill herself has struggled with self-esteem and body image issues. From constantly comparing herself to others growing up to previous relationships that have left her questioning her self-worth and her struggle with infertility, Jill’s passion for promoting self-esteem stems from her own life experiences. Therefore, the Extra Part Series has captured her heart and soul, and she looks forward to this new venture.

Risks and challenges

At this point, the risks for me are mostly financial, which is why I'm launching this Kickstarter! However, I have already invested a bulk of the finances required to launch this book. I have hired an illustrator who is just now finishing all of the sketches, and I have secured a printer who is ready to hit "submit" as soon as the campaign ends. My future challenges will be to ensure printing goes smoothly and the books come in a timely manner.

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    High Five

    Receive a high five. If you live in St. Louis, it could be a legit, real high five. If you live somewhere else (unless someone has invented a cheap way to teleport), you’ll have to settle for an air high five.

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    E-Copy

    Receive an e-copy of my first book “If I Had Eleven Toes.”

    This is a great way to taste and see whether this series could be a good fit for your family, your classroom or your church. My website will have free downloadable lesson plans and children’s message/Sunday School scripting. Of course, I’d rather come do the lesson/children’s message for you, along with a book signing though

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    Receive a signed hardcover copy and an e-copy of “If I Had Eleven Toes.” You never know when you’ll find yourself on an airplane with a toddler and without your hardcover copy…the e-copy could be a lifesaver!

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    2 Signed Copies from Series + E-Copies

    Receive two signed hardcover copies plus e-copies of your choice from the series (the books will come one at a time as they are published).

    “If I Had Eleven Toes”
    “If I Had an Extra Nose”
    “If I Had an Extra Ear”
    “If I Had an Extra Eye”

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    Receive two signed hardcover copies plus e-copies of your choice from the series AND donate two signed hardcover copies of Jill’s first book to children through Lutheran Family and Children’s Services.

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    All 4 Signed Copies in Series + E-Copies

    Receive all four of the books in the series in hardcover form and signed, along with the e-copies.

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    Bulk Order/Donation Or Author Visit

    Receive all four hardcover copies signed AND donate six signed copies of Jill’s first book to a child through Lutheran Family and Children’s Services.

    OR

    I will come to the preschool/elementary school of your choice and do a read a-loud and supplementary lesson plan of “If I Had Eleven Toes” and give away 10 signed copies (must be within 6-hour drive of St. Louis).

    OR

    I will come to your church for a read-aloud of “If I Had Eleven Toes” and children’s message about how God created us each uniquely and wonderfully along with 10 signed copies (must be within 6-hour drive of St. Louis).

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    Bulk Donation or Author Visit

    Donate 15 signed copies through Jill’s partnership with LFCS. Each child will receive a signed copy, read aloud, and meet the author.

    OR

    I will come to your preschool/elementary school for a read a-loud and supplementary lesson plan of “If I Had Eleven Toes” along with 15 signed copies (must be within 6-hour drive of St. Louis).

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    Read-aloud and church children’s message along with 15 signed copies (must be within 6-hour drive of St. Louis.).

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    Bulk Donation + Acknowledgements

    Donate 35 signed copies to children through LFCS and add the first name of your choice to the list of acknowledgments in the front inside cover of the book.

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    All 4 Copies + Original Watercolor

    Receive all four signed copies in the series and e-copies AND receive one of Lynda Farrington Wilson's original watercolors from the book illustrations.

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Funding period

- (30 days)