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A children's book about particle physics; The story of a graviton who wants to meet a photon, but she just can't seem to catch him.
A children's book about particle physics; The story of a graviton who wants to meet a photon, but she just can't seem to catch him. The book will be available in September 2017 from Tiny Quasars.
A children's book about particle physics; The story of a graviton who wants to meet a photon, but she just can't seem to catch him. The book will be available in September 2017 from Tiny Quasars.
415 backers pledged $11,520 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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The Little Particle That Could: Particle Physics...For Kids

$11,520

415

We're fully funded! But we're not finished. Please check out our 2/13/2017 update for information on stretch goals and future projects.

The Little Particle That Could is the story of a happy little graviton, who spends her days spinning on her axis and pulling jumping children, flying baseballs, and falling cats back down to earth. One day the graviton notices a photon flying by, and she desperately wants to meet him. So she chases the photon away from earth and through the far reaches of space, never quite catching up to him (neither can travel faster than the speed of light). She eventually follows him into a black hole, which is filled with other gravitons pulling photons toward them. There she finally gets to properly meet the photon, and they begin their friendship. 

Particle physics, gravity, relativity, light, and black holes - all packed into 20 pages of whimsical fun.

Back in 2012 Jason Rodriguez, Noel Tuazon, and Dylan Todd set out on an adventure - to make a book about particle physics, general relativity, gravity, and light for kids. The book that they created was called The Little Particle That Could. It was a Kindle-exclusive, black & white book that people seemed to love, but they never really felt finished with the project.  

Now, in 2017, the team is expanding and the book is being updated for a print edition. Rob Croonenborghs has been brought on to color the original pages, and Jason Hanley is re-lettering the book according to an updated script from Jason Rodriguez. Instead of restricting the book to bits and bytes, we plan on printing the new version as a hardcover children’s book (and eventually, a board book). Welcome to the Kickstarter. 

The original version of The Little Particle That Could was illustrated by Noel Tuazon, who Jason has worked with on many different comic book projects. The snazzy cover was created by Dylan Todd. It has only been available in black & white through the Kindle, and it was designed as a callback to some of the wonderful children’s books of the fifties and sixties. 

And it was a good book.   

But the team wanted to do something special for the print edition - and what’s more special than rich color, exciting lettering, and clever tweaks to the script? Rob Croonenborghs was brought on to put watercolor washes over the original art, and Jason Hanley re-lettered the pages so that the new version of the book went from this…  

The Little Particle That Could in black & white
The Little Particle That Could in black & white

...to this:  

The Little Particle That Could with colors and new letters.
The Little Particle That Could with colors and new letters.

Now the particles are alive and in color. The text makes full-use of the page and brings color and life to the story. The final piece will inspire children to spin, spin, spin much like the happy particle - and inspire them to learn why particles spin and how they work. The initial funding goal is to produce a hardcover version of the book with high-quality, glossy paper stock. The first stretch goal will bring our true vision to life - a 20-page board book that can survive the wear-and-tear of teeth and juice and children spinning along with the happy particle. We thank you for checking out this page, and we hope you can help us bring this full project to life.   

The book will be printed at 4" x 8.5", in landscape format. We want a book about science that children can hold; one that encourages them to want to learn more about the wonders of the world around  them. In a time when science is constantly questioned and misunderstood, we want to help to chart a new path - one where young kids learn to trust and believe in the many scientific advances that happen everyday, and maybe decide to pursue their own careers in science from an early age.

 

And here’s the icing on the cake - what do you get for supporting this book? At the $1 level, you get to know that we thank you for supporting this vision and that you’re doing your part to bring a beautiful book about particle physics in to the world. But at $5 - things start to get interesting. At $5 you’ll get the digital copy of the book in PDF format, so that you can read the book and see the final product. The digital copy will be sent out in March. All physical copies of the book can come with FREE stickers, temporary tattoos, and notepads. When you're done reading about the rewards, make sure you check out The Little Particle Street Team, towards the bottom of this page.

 Sometimes you’re starting at zero meters-per-second and that’s OK. It took you a little while to get here, but now that you’re zipping along at the required speed you can get a copy of The Little Particle That Could for $15. You’ll also get the book by July, and the digital copy of the book.   

At this reward level you get the physical copy of The Little Particle That Could along with a copy of Jason Rodriguez’s Try Looking Ahead, a collection of sci-fi and fantasy short stories aimed at middle graders and young adults. All for the low price of $22. Try Looking Ahead was published by Rosarium Publishing and features beautiful spot illustrations by Stacey Robinson and a cover by Dell Harris. You also get the digital copy of Try Looking Ahead.   

At this reward level you get TWO physical copies of The Little Particle That Could - one for you to keep and one to give to anyone who may enjoy a little lesson in particle physics. You’ll also get the digital copy of The Little Particle That Could.  

 At this reward level you'll get the physical copy of The Little Particle That Could along with a commemorative bookplate, signed and doodled in by writer Jason Rodriguez and artist Noel Tuazon. You’ll also get the digital copy of The Little Particle That Could. The bookplates will be self-adhesive, 3.75"X8", and look like this:

 2/20/2017 update: You can now upgrade ANY book to the signed bookplate edition for $10 per book/bookplate!

At this reward level you’ll get the physical copy of The Little Particle That Could as well as Jason Rodriguez’s nonfiction anthology Colonial Comics: New England, 1620-1750. This volume of Colonial Comics features 16 illustrated stories from over 30 comics creators; it features tales about Puritans and free thinkers, Pequots and Jewish settlers, female business owners and dedicated school teachers, whales and livestock, slavery and frontiers, and many other aspects of colonial life. You’ll also get a digital copy of The Little Particle That Could.   

 At this reward level you’ll get the physical copy of The Little Particle That Could as well as Jason Rodriguez’s nonfiction anthology Colonial Comics: New England, 1750-1775. This volume of Colonial Comics features 16 illustrated stories from over 40 comics creators; it features stories about gravedigging medical students, counterfeiters, female playwrights, instigators of civil disobedience, newspaper editors, college students, rum traders, freemen, and slaves. You’ll also get a digital copy of The Little Particle That Could.

At this reward level you’ll get the physical copy of The Little Particle That Could, Try Looking Ahead, Colonial Comics: New England, 1620-1750, and Colonial Comics: New England, 1750-1775. This way you get everything from particle physics to colonial American history. You’ll also get a digital copy of The Little Particle That Could

At this reward level you’ll get the physical copy of The Little Particle That Could and the signed and doodled bookplate, along with an original drawing by Noel Tuazon. This way, your kid can enjoy the book and also have a drawing of the happy little particle in his or her room, always reminding them to never stop spinning. There’s a limit of 10 of these rewards, so get them quick! You’ll also get a the digital copy of The Little Particle That Could

At this reward level you’ll get the physical copy of The Little Particle That Could and the signed and doodled bookplate, along with an original story by Jason Rodriguez. The story will be a further adventure of the graviton and the photon as they explore the blackhole and beyond! Jason Rodriguez will incorporate the names of the children that you'd like to give this one-of-a-kind story to. Each story at this reward level will be different, and the stories will never be reproduced anywhere! There’s a limit of 10 of these rewards, so get them quick! You’ll also get a the digital copy of The Little Particle That Could.

Do you know a teacher who would love to give her students a children's book about particle physics? At this reward level, you introduce Jason Rodriguez to the teacher and he'll send the teacher a pack of 30 books, shipping included. He'll also include a note to the classroom about art, science, and why it's important to appreciate both. In return for your generosity, you'll get a copy of the book with a signed and doodled bookplate. This reward level is only available in the United States.

In addition to sending 30 books to a classroom of your choice, Jason Rodriguez will call the class via Skype and give a one-hour talk on art, science, and different ways to do creative things with what the kids are learning in school. In return for your generosity, you'll get a copy of the book with the signed and doodled bookplate, and a handwritten thank-you letter complete with doodles and non-sequiturs from Jason Rodriguez. This reward level is only available in the United States.

This is the big one. Imagine that teacher you know from the "Skype a Classroom" level. Imagine how happy that teacher would be if, instead of just receiving books and getting a one-hour talk, Jason Rodriguez tailors a comic book making workshop to the subject matter of the teacher's choice, flies out to the school, and spends up to a full day helping the students make their own comic books or art books based on what they're currently learning about. Jason Rodriguez has done workshops like this at all levels - in elementary school science classes, high school English classes, college art students, museum workshops, and even at the American Library in Paris. Teaching kids how to apply what they've learned to a creative story is one of the greatest ways to get them to grasp difficult concepts. The teachers will not only benefit from having Jason teach the class, but they can also choose to model future lesson plans to Jason's approach. If you choose to fund at this level, you will put Jason in touch with the teacher of your choice so that they can discuss possible dates and focuses for the workshop. Jason will try his hardest to make dates fit for the Fall 2017 semester. In return for your generosity, you'll get a copy of the book with the signed and doodled bookplate, and a handwritten thank-you letter complete with doodles and non-sequiturs from Jason Rodriguez. This reward level is only available in the United States. 

Jason Rodriguez leading a comic book workshop at the Concord Museum.
Jason Rodriguez leading a comic book workshop at the Concord Museum.

 

Anyone who pledges at "The Little Particle That Looked Ahead" (the $22 level) or above can add on extra copies of The Little Particle That Could for $12 each. You'll be asked how you want to allocate your extra pledge money in the post-funding survey. So, if you want three copies of The Little Particle That Could, pledge $36, select the $24 "Double the Acceleration" level, and in the post-funding survey (which will be sent out early March), you'll have to specify that the extra money was for an extra book, and not just you being nice (I mean, you are nice. You're fantastic, in fact, no matter what you pledge). If you want the History and Physics pack ($80) and an extra copy of The Little Particle That Could, just pledge $92 and in the post-funding survey you can specify that extra $12 should go towards an additional book.

If you look over at the rewards, you'll notice you can only get the signed bookplate if you choose the "Signed & Doodled" option at $25. But what if you want a bookplate with your "History & Physics Pack?" Or if you want two bookplates with "Double the Acceleration?" You can upgrade any copy of the book to the bookplate edition for just $10 per book/bookplate. So, if you want the "History & Physics Pack" with a signed and numbered bookplate, pledge $90 instead of $80. If you want "Double the Acceleration" with two bookplates, pledge $44 instead of $24.  In the post-funding survey you can specify that the extra money should go towards signed bookplates. The bookplates will be self-adhesive, 3.75"X8", and look like this:

 

We currently have three stretch goals lined up, and they're all pretty cool. 

Stretch Goal #1 - Upgrade to a Board Book ($10,000)
This is the goal we desperately want to hit. We want the final book to have some heft. We want it to be able to survive juice spills and tiny fingers. And if we hit $10,000 - we're going to upgrade all of the books to a wonderful board book; made of sturdy, glossy boards that resist bending and tearing and orange juice spills.

Stretch Goal #2 - Spot UV ($12,500)
Who doesn't like a book with a little bit of texture? Stretch goal #2 is a cover upgrade that'll really make the little particle stand out on any bookshelf. A shiny and smooth particle gracing the cover of the book will draw the eye of your friends when it's on the coffee table and the imagination of your kids when it's in their hands.

Stretch Goal #3 - A Children's Guide to Particles and Relativity ($20,000)
One thing that the digital book had that the print book won't have is a primer on particles and relativity written specifically for kids. If we hit this third stretch goal, we'll whip up a brand new mini-comic that further explains particles and relativity. The mini-comic will be included in every reward level that has the physical copy of the book ($12 and up). The Digital Spin level will receive a PDF of the mini-comic.

More stretch goals could be added as we approach Stretch Goal #3.
 The Little Particle Street Team is a promotion where you can get free swag in exchange for helping us tell people about this project. There are three levels of advocacy that you can be part of, each one featuring increasingly more awesome swag. Please note - you can only get the swag if you already backed the project at a level that gets you physical rewards ($12 or higher).

Share this Kickstarter on any social media platform (FaceBook, Twitter, Instagram - even MySpace), and you'll get the free vinyl stickers shown above. A share gets you one sticker, a share along with some words on why you backed this project gets you both. Just send me a link to the post and you get stickers! The stickers are 2.25" x 2".

The stickers arrived on 2/9/2017 and they are gorgeous:

 

If you send an email to some friends or write a blog post about this Kickstarter, you get the free temporary tattoos shown above. Just forward the email to jrodinator@gmail.com (I won't collect anyone's email) or send me a link to the blog post and you'll get free tattoos! The tattoos are 1.5" x 3" for the graviton and 1.5" x 2" for the photon. 

The tattoos arrived on 2/11/2017 and they are slick:

 

This level is great for someone who's connected to a media outlet. They could work for a newspaper, website, science advocacy group, podcast, parent-teacher association, etc. If you introduce us so that I can pitch them this project, you'll get a free spiral-bound scientific notebook. Just email me at jrodinator@gmail.com with the introduction. The notebooks are 8.5" x 11" and feature graph-ruled paper, so you or your loved one can plot the frequency of birds or the change in tympanic temperature after eating ice cream.

The notebooks arrived on 2/13/2017 and Twinkie is using one to count birds:

 

Jason Rodriguez’s childhood largely consisted of reading comic books and these old Charlie Brown Encyclopedias about science, history, and government while sitting in his parent’s old apartment in Brooklyn, NY. When he was a young nerd (but old enough to form memories), his parents packed him in a car and drove him down to Florida to visit his grandma. Part of the trip involved a trip to EPCOT Center, where Jason rode Spaceship Earth and began to realize how wonderful the written word truly was - how our ability to communicate complex ideas and theories is how we got to where we are today as a species. It was at that time that Jason realized that he wanted to be a scientist and a writer, and that’s what he did.  
Jason Rodriguez wore Captain American gear from the very beginning.
Jason Rodriguez wore Captain American gear from the very beginning.
Jason Rodriguez Makes Comic Books
Jason started making comic books back in 2003. He started by editing the Western Tales of Terror anthology before moving on to editing the comics anthology Postcards: True Stories That Never Happened (Random House/Villard). At the same time, Jason Rodriguez was writing comic shorts for  Once Upon a Time Machine (Dark Horse Comics) and District Comics (Fulcrum Publishing). Eventually he started making comics that aligned more with his passions: educational comics. In 2014, Fulcrum Publishing released Jason’s first nonfiction anthology, Colonial Comics: New England, 1620-1750. In 2017 they released the sequel, Colonial Comics: New England, 1750-1775. The Colonial Comics books each feature over 40 artists, illustrators, and designers who brought underrepresented true narratives to life in the comics form. Between the Colonial books, Jason released two books with Rosarium Publishing - one of which was the middle grade prose collection, Try Looking Ahead, a series of stories about progress, science, fantasy, and time. Jason was finally making the nerdy books that he had always wanted to make, and he plans to continue making them in the future.  
COLONIAL COMICS, at a signing at BookCourt in Brooklyn.
COLONIAL COMICS, at a signing at BookCourt in Brooklyn.
Jason Rodriguez Is a Scientist 

Jason holds degrees in biomedical engineering and applied mathematics, and he pals around with physicists, biologists, epidemiologists, and chemists during the day. Jason believes that science is wonderful, and he always looks for ways to teach kids about difficult scientific concepts in a fun and engaging manner. It’s why he hosts comic book making workshops that center around science and science fiction for kids. He feels that almost anything that can be explained if the concepts are distilled down and explained in an engaging way. And that’s where The Little Particle That Could came from: a love for art, comics, and science, coming together to create a beautiful book about particle physics for kids. 


A page from The Little Particle That Could.
A page from The Little Particle That Could.

 

Noel Tuazon (artist) hails from Toronto and works full time at the Nelvana Animation Studio revising storyboards. In his spare time he draws comics and, sometimes, the odd children’s book or magazine. You can find his most current work in author Eric Hobbs’s graphic novel Family Ties from NBM and OSSM Comics’s Foster with writer Brian Buccellato.

Dylan Todd (designer) lives in Las Vegas and has done design work for Marvel Comics, Image Comics, smaller companies, and various webcomics. He writes about Star Wars at Comics Alliance.

Rob Croonenborghs(colorist) is an artistic buccaneer bent on undermining Belgium’s reputation as the home of ligne clair. Ever since a near-fatal pelting with mussels by irate Hergé fans, Rob has lived in hiding.

Jason “Jaco” Hanley (letterer) was born in Miramichi, New Brunswick, Canada, and is one of a small group of Canucks who isn’t a professional hockey player and doesn’t live in an igloo. His love of comics stems from his uncle’s stash of Conan the Barbarian magazines, which were likely gory coloring books. Although he has traveled the world, he still lives in New Brunswick and resides there with his partner, Serena, and their menagerie of animals.

Whenever I back a project a Kickstarter, I like to ask...how are the creators going to use my money? In case you're like me, I decided to add a Reward Pricing section to this Kickstarter campaign. The rewards are priced to be reflective of the cover prices of the books being shipped, and domestic shipping is included in all reward levels. The book will be 8.5" x 4" and 20 pages long, which is larger and thicker (and in a non-standard size) when compared to other board books. A similar board book would Hippopposites, which is 8"X8" and 38 pages long and has a list price of $16. The Goodnight Moon board book is 6"x5.2" and 30 pages long and has a list price of $9. Since our print runs will likely never match the print runs of either of those two books, we are estimating a list price of The Little Particle That Could to be somewhere between $10-$12 dollars, depending on our print run. 

Since we're including domestic shipping in the Reward levels, we feel the $12 and $15 dollar levels for the two "book only" rewards represent a cheaper total price than what you'd pay for the book if you bought it after the Kickstarter was over, unless you happened to find me at a comic book convention. 

In the interest of full disclosure, the list prices for the other books in this campaign are: 

  • Try Looking Ahead: $8 
  • Colonial Comics: New England, 1620-1750: $25.95 
  • Colonial Comics: New England, 1750-1775: $29.95 
The Colonial Comics books are heavier than the other books, so an increase in shipping costs is included in the reward price. Additionally, all books can come signed by Jason Rodriguez if you so choose. 

The rewards and goals are priced to get us to a place where we can print a minimum of 750 copies of the book, including fulfillment copies. If this Kickstarter happens to be a massive success, our plan is to carry a minimum of 250 copies in stock after fulfillment and use excess money to fund stretch goals, pay the creative team some extra money, donate books to schools and libraries, and fund more books like this one. 

Risks and challenges

WE ARE READY! At the time of publication, the pages are all done, the quotes are all in, and we're ready to send in the print order. There are, of course, some challenges. Hey - this is my first Kickstarter! But I'm very good friends with some creators of some VERY successful Kickstarters and they've been advising me every step of the way. I have spreadsheets and example scenarios all plotted out, contingency plans in the event that this is a monster, and plenty of hands prepared to pack boxes in exchange for some pizza.

WE ARE READY! The August ship date is feasible, but of course shipments from the printer can be delayed. I'll be getting a physical proof of the book, so that adds to the overall turn around time from the printer, but we planned for two months of unforeseen lag.

WE ARE READY! This may be my first Kickstarter, but this isn't my first book. I've been in the comics publishing business for almost 15 years. The rest of the team has been through it all and seen it all.

WE ARE READY! So please feel confident in your pledge, and know that we're going to bust our butts to get these books to you ahead of schedule.

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  1. Select this reward

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    One spin

    You're a good little particle, and you want to do your part to help teach kids about physics.

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    Digital Spin

    You prefer to hang around with electrons and that's fine! Backers get a PDF of the book.

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    Starting at the Speed of Light

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    Accelerate to the Speed of Light

    It took you a while to get there, but you're ready for a copy of the book to be delivered to your door. You'll also get the PDF of the book. Domestic shipping is included in the cost.

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    The Little Particle That Looked Ahead

    Get a copy of THE LITTLE PARTICLE THAT COULD as well as Jason Rodriguez's middle grade sci-fi/fantasy collection, TRY LOOKING AHEAD. You'll also get the PDF of the book. Domestic shipping is included in the cost.

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    Double the Acceleration

    Two copies of THE LITTLE PARTICLE THAT COULD. Domestic shipping is included in the cost.

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    Signed and Doodled

    Get a copy of THE LITTLE PARTICLE THAT COULD with a bookplate signed and doodled in by Jason Rodriguez and Noel Tuazon. You'll also get the digital PDF. Domestic shipping is included.

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    The Little Particle From 1620

    Get a copy of THE LITTLE PARTICLE THAT COULD as well as Jason Rodriguez's non-fiction collection, COLONIAL COMICS: NEW ENGLAND, 1620-1750. Domestic shipping is included in the cost.

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    Double Signed and Double Doodled

    Get two copy of THE LITTLE PARTICLE THAT COULD with two bookplates signed and doodled in by Jason Rodriguez and Noel Tuazon. You'll also get the digital PDF. Domestic shipping is included.

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    The Little Particle From 1750

    Get a copy of THE LITTLE PARTICLE THAT COULD as well as Jason Rodriguez's non-fiction collection, COLONIAL COMICS: NEW ENGLAND, 1750-1775. Domestic shipping is included in the cost.

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    • The Little Particle That Could
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    History and Physics Pack

    Get a copy of THE LITTLE PARTICLE THAT COULD as well as TRY LOOKING AHEAD, COLONIAL COMICS: NEW ENGLAND:1620-1750, and COLONIAL COMICS: NEW ENGLAND, 1750-1775. Domestic shipping is included in the cost.

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    • Try Looking Ahead
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    Book + Art

    Get a copy of THE LITTLE PARTICLE THAT COULD and an original drawing by Noel Tuazon. Pick either the graviton or the particle and you'll receive an original illustration to hang on your wall! You'll also get the signed bookplate and a digital copy of the book. Domestic shipping is included.

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    • The Little Particle That Could
    • The Little Particle That Could - PDF
    • Original drawing by Noel Tuazon
    • Signed & Doodled Bookplate
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    Book + Original Story

    Get a copy of THE LITTLE PARTICLE THAT COULD and an original, handwritten, one-of-a-kind story from Jason Rodriguez. The story will continue the adventure of the graviton and the photon and will never be reproduced - it is all yours and only yours! The story will be around 500 words and can contain up to two names of your choosing. You'll also get the signed bookplate and a digital copy of the book. Domestic shipping is included.

    Includes:
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    • The Little Particle That Could - PDF
    • Signed & Doodled Bookplate
    • Original story by Jason Rodriguez
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    Sponsor a Classroom

    Do you know a teacher who would love to give her students a book about particle physics? At this reward level, we'll send 30 copies of the book to the teacher of your choice. Just put us in contact with the teacher once the Kickstarter ends and we'll take care of the fulfillment. You'll also get a physical copy of THE LITTLE PARTICLE THAT COULD with the signed and doodled bookplate and the PDF of the book. Domestic shipping is included.

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    Pledge $400 or more About $400

    Skype a Classroom

    In addition to 30 copies of the book to a classroom of your choice, Jason Rodriguez will call the class via Skype and give a one-hour talk on science, art, and finding creative ways to apply the things they've learned in school. You'll also get a physical copy of THE LITTLE PARTICLE THAT COULD with the signed and doodled bookplate and the PDF of the book. Domestic shipping is included.

    Includes:
    • 31× The Little Particle That Could
    • The Little Particle That Could - PDF
    • Skype talk with Jason Rodriguez
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    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    Limited 0 backers
    $
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    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

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  16. Select this reward

    Pledge $2,500 or more About $2,500

    Teach a Classroom

    In addition to 30 copies of the book to a classroom of your choice, Jason Rodriguez will travel to the class and lead a comic book creating workshop that's custom tailored to a topic of the teacher's choice. You'll also get a physical copy of THE LITTLE PARTICLE THAT COULD with the signed and doodled bookplate and the PDF of the book. Domestic shipping is included.

    Includes:
    • 31× The Little Particle That Could
    • The Little Particle That Could - PDF
    • Comic book workshop led by Jason Rodriguez
    • Signed & Doodled Bookplate
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    Limited 0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.

Funding period

- (30 days)