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A children's picture and activity book about a child suffering from insomnia and anxiety (ages 4–10).
118 backers pledged $4,224 to help bring this project to life.

About

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$4,224

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Thank you for your interest in my AWAKE children's picture and activity book to improve sleep for children struggling with insomnia and anxiety! This is a project that combines my numerous passions as both a practicing artist and a mental health therapist. I hope this book provides children (and adults!) with comfort in knowing they are not alone in their quest for sleep. Perfect for caregivers and mental health practitioners---the books will be available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble in both print and digital formats.

My goal: BETTER SLEEP for children (and their caregivers!)
My goal: BETTER SLEEP for children (and their caregivers!)
AWAKE picture book mock up
AWAKE picture book mock up

Why Childhood Insomnia?

As a child, I suffered from insomnia, feeling that I was the only one awake in the middle of the night. I would try all sorts of "experiments" to make sure that I would fall asleep: from running in place right before bed to exhaust myself (that didn't work) to laying on the couch hours before bedtime in the hopes that sleep would be a natural transition (that didn't work either!). I was left lying awake with the "hamster wheel" of thoughts in my brain running. I would also often wake early in the morning but this time, I would get out of bed hours before my parents woke up and draw or stitch, finding comfort in these activities.

Interior illustration from AWAKE
Interior illustration from AWAKE

But it's not just personal, I explored this topic for my masters thesis in Mental Health Counseling and found that childhood insomnia and anxiety are the two most common caregiver concerns reported to medical and mental health professionals. They are distressing to the child and their family and can also lead to depression, anxiety, and substance use disorders later in life. But there is hope! Treatment in childhood that explores underlying emotional processes and environmental factors coupled with developing coping skills can lead to long-term improved sleep. 

How will AWAKE help children? 

The story follows a young boy who lies awake night after night, counting sheep, and still not able to sleep. One night he becomes drawn to the moon and decides to capture it for himself with the aid of his three animal companions and his favorite swing. No spoilers, but this book teaches an easy-to-learn meditation technique to use for children (and adults!). In addition to the picture book, I also have created an accompanying activity book with worksheets and coloring pages to explore and express feelings and fears, instructions and templates for making the animal characters from the book, and a meditation script based on the picture book. 

Comfort animals from my AWAKE activity book!
Comfort animals from my AWAKE activity book!

What makes AWAKE unique?

AWAKE also combines my love of creating in textiles and paint. I completed the illustrations of the boy in watercolor and ink. The moon and surrounding night sky were embroidered using hand-dyed threads on hand-dyed fabric, all completed by yours truly! Completed over 18 months, the embroideries show the phases of the moon as they arc across the pages from the beginning to the end of the book. The final artistic step was digitally blending the paintings and embroideries into full-page spreads. See my instagram for process videos @sfkcreate!

Laying out (literally!) the embroideries and sketches for AWAKE in August 2018
Laying out (literally!) the embroideries and sketches for AWAKE in August 2018

Risks and challenges

All of the painted and embroidered illustrations for the AWAKE picture book are complete and have been digitally laid-out. It will be released on May 5, 2019 to coincide with Children's Mental Health Matters Awareness week.

There are a few more drawings to complete for the activity book, and then it will be laid out for print and digital format. The AWAKE activity book will be released in June 2019 as many children begin summer break.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 5 or more About US$ 5

    New Moon Level

    Color your way to better sleep with this phases of the moon coloring pages in an easy-to-download format!

    Includes:
    • Phases of the Moon Coloring Pages (digital download)
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    Pledge US$ 10 or more About US$ 10

    Crescent Moon Level

    Get a digital download of the full Awake picture book and the phases of the moon coloring pages!

    Includes:
    • Phases of the Moon Coloring Pages (digital download)
    • AWAKE Picture Book (digital download)
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    Pledge US$ 20 or more About US$ 20

    Quarter Moon Level

    Get a signed hard copy of the AWAKE picture book and a digital download of the phases of the moon coloring pages!

    Includes:
    • Phases of the Moon Coloring Pages (digital download)
    • AWAKE Picture Book (signed hard copy)
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    Pledge US$ 30 or more About US$ 30

    Gibbous Moon Level

    This is the complete package for improving sleep in childhood insomnia! Get a signed hard copy of the AWAKE picture book, a signed paperback of the AWAKE activity book, and the digital download of the phases of the moon coloring pages.

    Includes:
    • Phases of the Moon Coloring Pages (digital download)
    • AWAKE Picture Book (signed hard copy)
    • AWAKE Activity Book (signed paperback)
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    Ships to Only United States
    Limited 35 backers
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    Pledge US$ 50 or more About US$ 50

    Full Moon Level

    This is the ultimate package for improving sleep in childhood insomnia! Get the AWAKE picture book in both digital and signed hard copy, the AWAKE activity book in both digital (for ease of printing worksheets) and signed softcover, and the phases of the moon coloring pages.

    Includes:
    • Phases of the Moon Coloring Pages (digital download)
    • AWAKE Picture Book (signed hard copy)
    • AWAKE Picture Book (digital download)
    • AWAKE Activity Book (signed paperback)
    • AWAKE Activity Book (digital download)
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    Ships to Only United States
    Limited 23 backers
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    Pledge US$ 100 or more About US$ 100

    Harvest Moon

    For those who want the ultimate package but want to pledge more to make this dream a reality! Get the AWAKE picture book in both digital and signed hard copy, the AWAKE activity book in both digital (for ease of printing worksheets) and signed softcover, and the phases of the moon coloring pages.

    Includes:
    • Phases of the Moon Coloring Pages (digital download)
    • AWAKE Picture Book (signed hard copy)
    • AWAKE Picture Book (digital download)
    • AWAKE Activity Book (signed paperback)
    • AWAKE Activity Book (digital download)
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    Limited 1 backer
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    Pledge US$ 250 or more About US$ 250

    Super Moon

    For those who want the ultimate package, you'll receive 5 copies of the AWAKE picture book (plus digital version), 5 copies of the AWAKE activity book signed softcover (plus digital version for ease of printing), and the phases of the moon coloring pages. As an extra bonus, I will either come to you (within a 100-mile radius of Washington DC) or via Skype/video chat and read AWAKE in-person!

    Includes:
    • Phases of the Moon Coloring Pages (digital download)
    • AWAKE Picture Book (signed hard copy)
    • AWAKE Picture Book (digital download)
    • AWAKE Activity Book (signed paperback)
    • AWAKE Activity Book (digital download)
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    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    Limited 0 backers
    $
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Funding period

- (45 days)