Ben’s Adventures: Circus Day (working title) is the second picture book in the Ben's Adventures book series about a little boy who has dreams and an imagination. He loves to play. He loves his surroundings and his experiences. He has friends. He loves adventures. And he has cerebral palsy. But that doesn’t define him. It makes him interesting and stronger. It gives him depth and dimension. Ben shows us that all kids can play & dream.
In this second book, Ben finds himself in his school classroom and that's where his imagination takes flight. He loves his class so much and there is always so much going on, that he dreams it's like a circus! And his teacher is the ringmaster. An exciting and fun, fast-paced adventure ensues.
Ben's Adventures is a sweet and inspiring book series that proves the power of one’s imagination. It supports diversity and inclusion, and shows Ben thriving in his every day typical surroundings.
It’s a tribute to all the educators who care about our children and make learning fun in the process. This special group dedicates most of their day and year to our children, typical or not, and encourages them and guides them in growing and developing. They understand individual kids’ needs and cater learning for each child, while supporting families at the same time.
It introduces young minds to the concept of disability – the main character Ben uses a wheelchair, but it's not central to the story. It simply provides a subtle nod thus allowing kids to be curious and ask questions such as Why is Ben in a wheelchair? There are few mainstream children's books that represent disability, and this is important as kids want to see others ‘like them’. PLUS, it is a great tool to open discussions about the importance of acceptance and empathy.
The writing style is in rhyme and meter, giving it an expected flow and making it fun to read. Kids will begin to hear the pattern and guess what rhyming words are coming next.
The beautiful illustrations were crafted with care and show the excitement and fun of a child’s imagination as I intended it.
It was inspired by a real-life boy named Benjamin.
The Ben’s Adventures book series was inspired by a sweet, happy little boy who had cerebral palsy. He was my son. I had triplets (two boys and a girl) very prematurely. After not meeting his milestones early on, my son Benjamin was diagnosed with cerebral palsy. He had significant needs including therapies, appointments, breathing support, special diets, medicines and feeding tubes. But he thrived. He lived. He loved. He was loved. And he smiled. Every single day.
When entering preschool at age three, Ben was placed in a blended classroom where he could interact and make friends with other kids – his peers that were typically-developing.
His new friends were accepting and saw past his wheelchair or his motor limitations. School is where he blossomed. He was nonverbal but he smiled when I would take him to school – and he frowned when I would pick him up. This is how I knew he LOVED it.
After a long series of respiratory illnesses, Benjamin passed away in May 2016, just before his 4th birthday. We have since established the Ben Smiles Memorial Foundation (www.BenSmiles.org) and the Ben’s Adventures children’s book series (www.Bens-Adventures.com) – both as a tribute to him and to continue to spread the joy that he brought to our lives.
By backing this campaign you will have access to rewards and perks that will not be available once the campaign is over.
The story and manuscript are complete, and the book is currently being illustrated (graphics shown here are samples and not yet final). The fundraising goal will help with costs of book design, book printing, shipping (fulfilling backer rewards) and Kickstarter fees (8% of goal).
The illustrations will be completed in May. From there, it will go through final editing and approval then will head to the printer. Book printing can take up to two months. I anticipate I will start to fulfill orders/rewards in August… just in time for the new school year!
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Risks and challenges
There is no risk to you. The risk all lies with me since I have already absorbed significant time and investment to develop the book.
This is an ‘all or nothing’ campaign – if the fundraising goal is not met, the project will not fund and your credit card will not be charged. If the fundraising goal is met, your card will be charged at the reward level you selected, and I will ship out the reward once it’s available.
If you are unable to be a financial backer at this time, you can still help by sharing the campaign! Please share with your social networks, with your mom/dad friends, your teacher/educator friends and whoever else you think will be interested.
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