Every person has a magic book from childhood that showed them the world is beautiful and full of possibility. This is my book.
Now that the project has reached it's funding goal (Thank you everyone!), we wanted to let you know what the extra funds will be going toward. First, if we reach the $8,000 mark, everyone who has pledged $10 or more will receive a set of postcards with book images, along with the original rewards. If we reach the $10,000 mark, everyone will receive an additional copy of The Lost Party and if we reach the $13,000 mark, I will be printing in soft-bound format a second book I've been working on and giving to backers of over $20. Again, thank you for your support. I am just delighted and grateful to see things coming together and hope to see the project reach as many little (and big) hands as possible.
This project combines a number of my very favorite things: Art, writing, children, books and puppets. After pursuing many other projects in my life, I've finally spent the past half year completing one that I've wanted to complete for some time. I've written and illustrated a children's book.
The book is called The Lost Party. It will be a 7"x7" round-cornered board book, printed in the U.S.A. The story starts when Stork finds a party hat on the ground just outside the forest, and he can't help but put it on. He feels sure the hat is a sign that he's been invited to a very special party. Stork set out to find the festivities. He gathers friends along the way: a cake-baking deer, crafty foxes, a strawberry jam-preserving skunk, and a berry picking raccoon. Stork assures each of them that they've been invited to an elite event. However, as they walk deeper into the forest and sunset nears, the animals realize that there is no real invitation, nor even a real party. They are about to give up and go home when a sturdy, wise owl reminds them that they already have all they need for a perfect evening and that they don't have to wait for something great to happen. They have the ability themselves to create wonderful things.
Through my BFA in painting and my MFA in Creative Writing, I held a dear place and a hope that I could one day contribute back something that would enlighten the minds of children, the way so many authors and illustrators have done for me. I believe in books. I believe that well-written books with meaningful art open children's minds to beautiful worlds.
I've been making, exhibiting and selling works of art for over a decade (to see more works for sale go to ashmae.com). I've sold thousands of prints, both online and in person. I've painted hundreds of animal characters and have finally narrowed down some of my favorites into this storybook.
About the Book
The words to the book have been carefully crafted, revised and tweaked. I believe children are smart enough for big, juicy words. A favorite writing professor gave me one piece of advice as I graduated from the program, he said, "To become a better writer, read lots and lots of good writing." I believe the same principle applies to children, in both art and writing. My goal with both the illustrations and story of this book is to get children thinking and excited about creating.
In the months after the book is printed, I will be going on a book tour to elementary school classrooms. In the classroom I will read the story with the help of some puppets (another dear love of mine), guide the students in an art/writing lesson and leave the classroom with a copy of the book. I'd love to make it to a school near you.
The funds for this project will go towards publishing the first run of approximately 1,000 board books and to produce the other rewards offered to supporters (ie. pins, prints, postcards, etc.).
Book printing fees = $4,000
Publicity Material = $500
Kickstarter (and Amazon) overhead = $500
For every 10 books printed, one book will go to a classroom in need. The book is written, the paintings are done and we are ready to go!
Some Excerpts from the Book
I didn't list every possible combination of rewards for fear of making the list unwieldy and difficult to navigate, but if there is some unique mix of prizes that you would prefer to those listed (perhaps you want "Pins + Book + Portrait", or simply "7 Books", or whatever else, etc.), just make a donation equal to the sum of its parts and let me know by email. Roughly, the reward values are as listed here:
Five 1" Pins = $5
Printable puppet show = $5
Digital copy of book = $5
Printed board book + Digital copy = $10
Giclee Print = $10
Original animal painting = $60
Personalized family portrait = $120
I can manage to squeeze domestic shipping into those prices, but please add a reasonable amount to your donation where international shipping is requested. Thanks!
Examples of Personalized Portraits and Animal Paintings:
Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
We have contacted several book publishers both in the U.S. and out of the U.S., we are hoping to be able to print the books within the U.S. but are still on the search for an option that works best.
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.