Share this project

Done

Share this project

Done
Check out this inspiring story of inclusion and dreams in Under The Big Top! Sweet Ben takes us to the circus in this second book in the Ben's Adventures series.Did you miss the Kickstarter but still want to learn more? Click below to preorder.
Check out this inspiring story of inclusion and dreams in Under The Big Top! Sweet Ben takes us to the circus in this second book in the Ben's Adventures series.Did you miss the Kickstarter but still want to learn more? Click below to preorder.
166 backers pledged $7,069 to help bring this project to life.

About

Ben's Adventures: an inspiring story of inclusion & joy project video thumbnail
Replay with sound
Play with
sound

Ben's Adventures: an inspiring story of inclusion & joy

$7,069

166

 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. 

Gerlach Triplets
Gerlach Triplets

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. 

JUST ADDED!

GIVING BACK! 

 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!


Sharing is Caring! Click below to share the Ben's Adventures campaign with your Facebook network.

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.

Please help this tribute come to life!

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    Make Them Smile.

    We are deeply grateful for your support of our project. You are helping to spread SMILES and show that kids with disability are still KIDS -- they can laugh, have fun, make connections. You'll also receive special updates on the project. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    9 backers
    $

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

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

    Learn more about accountability.
  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    A BIG Thank You ... PLUS An eBook

    Thank you so much for your support. At this level, you'll get the Ben's Adventure eBook along with a Thank you note and a handful of bookmarks. AND .. become one of Ben's Friends (a list of supporters on both the website and in the book).

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    11 backers
    $

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

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

    Learn more about accountability.
  3. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $18 or more About $18

    EARLY BIRD: Adventure for One

    Get one of the first copies of the book at a reduced price! As an early supporter you get:

    Includes:
    • Signed & Dedicated hardcover book
    • Custom Bookmarks
    • eBook via download
    • Be One of Ben's Friends - listed on the website and in the book
    • Printable Activity Booklet
    • US Shipping Included
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Reward no longer available 25 backers
    $

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

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

    Learn more about accountability.
  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $22 or more About $22

    Adventure for One - Hardcover & eBook

    Includes:
    • Signed & Dedicated hardcover book
    • Custom Bookmarks
    • eBook via download
    • Printable Activity Booklet
    • Be One of Ben's Friends - listed on the website and in the book
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    43 backers
    $

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

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

    Learn more about accountability.
  5. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $28 or more About $28

    EARLY BIRD: Adventures for Two

    As an early supporter, you'll get TWO hardcovers (either two of the new book or one of each) for a special price!

    Includes:
    • Signed & Dedicated hardcover book
    • Custom Bookmarks
    • eBook via download
    • Printable Activity Booklet
    • Be One of Ben's Friends - listed on the website and in the book
    • US Shipping Included
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Reward no longer available 6 backers
    $

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

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

    Learn more about accountability.
  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    Adventures for Two: Hardcovers & eBook

    Order two and save $7.
    One for YOU and one for a FRIEND: You'll receive either two new books or one of each (your choice).

    Includes:
    • Signed & Dedicated hardcover book
    • Custom Bookmarks
    • eBook via download
    • Printable Activity Booklet
    • Be One of Ben's Friends - listed on the website and in the book
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    23 backers
    $

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

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

    Learn more about accountability.
  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Book Lovers Adventure Tote

    This is such a cute tote, I had to create a NEW Reward - books, tote and more!

    Includes:
    • Signed & Dedicated hardcover book
    • Ben's Adventures Tote
    • Custom Bookmarks
    • eBook via download
    • Be One of Ben's Friends - listed on the website and in the book
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    7 backers
    $

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

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

    Learn more about accountability.
  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $55 or more About $55

    Don't Dis My Ability Package

    With this special and exclusive package, you'll receive books, a very cool tee and some other stuff!

    Includes:
    • Signed & Dedicated hardcover book
    • Don't Dis My Ability tee
    • Original Book Promotional Poster
    • eBook via download
    • Custom Bookmarks
    • Printable Activity Booklet
    • Be One of Ben's Friends - listed on the website and in the book
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    6 backers
    $

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

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

    Learn more about accountability.
  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $65 or more About $65

    Spread the Smiles - B3G1 FREE (Save 27%)

    Share the LOVE with your three closest friends or donate the books to your church or school.

    Includes:
    • Signed & Dedicated hardcover book
    • eBook via download
    • Custom Bookmarks
    • Printable Activity Booklet
    • Be One of Ben's Friends - listed on the website and in the book
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    3 backers
    $

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

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

    Learn more about accountability.
  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Be In The Book!

    Get a Shout-Out from Benjamin in the book's end pages (limited to 10 backers).

    Includes:
    • Shout-Out From Ben!
    • Signed & Dedicated hardcover book
    • eBook via download
    • Custom Bookmarks
    • Printable Activity Booklet
    • Be One of Ben's Friends - listed on the website and in the book
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 13 backers
    $

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

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

    Learn more about accountability.
  11. Select this reward

    Pledge $350 or more About $350

    Adventure Pack for Classrooms

    Share Ben's Adventures with a classroom - this reward level includes books, downloadable lesson plans, fun activity pages and a 30-minute Skype or in-person session with Elizabeth. Plus, you'll receive a very big virtual thank you!

    Includes:
    • Signed & Dedicated hardcover book
    • Downloadable Lesson Plans
    • Printable Coloring Pages
    • 25× Custom Bookmarks
    • eBook via download
    • Author classroom visit - either Skype or in-person
    • A Ben's Adventures Tote for the Teacher!
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    0 backers
    $

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

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

    Learn more about accountability.
  12. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    Perfect for Donation or Fundraiser!

    You tell me where to send them and I will donate 100 SIGNED hardcover books! Perfect for your local church, youth community or school district.

    Includes:
    • 100× Signed & Dedicated hardcover book
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    0 backers
    $

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

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

    Learn more about accountability.

Funding period

- (30 days)