My middle child, who is now eight, begged me that the next story I write be on spiders. She came home from school one day and was so upset. She had seen a spider while waiting in car line and when she went to show it to her friends, they had screamed... and squished it. Her heart was broken.
You see, she had been raised to appreciate nature. She knew which spiders were dangerous and which offered no threat. She saw the beauty and the life where her friends did not.
She asked me to write the book, because her friends all read the series and she hoped it would help show them what she saw. And so, I set out to figure out how on earth I was going to come up with a Samantha adventure about spiders. It turned out better than I could have imagined. This story gives a lot of information about spiders which I hope will help people appreciate their beauty and significance, but more than that it is a story of acceptance and appreciation in general.
Samantha Spins a Web features a new character based off of a real-life boy named Emerson who has autism. While Samantha is struggling to get her friends to stop being afraid of spiders because they don't understand them, she realizes she has treated Emerson the same way. She didn't understand why he acted differently and had been freaked out by him. By the end of the story she starts seeing the great person Emerson is and her friends start seeing that you don't have to fear spiders.
The first chapter book I wrote, Samantha Loses the Box Turtle, was done mostly as a project to bond with my oldest daughter who was eight at the time. She is the model for Samantha. Throughout all the books, my children have been intrinsic in their creation. They add in ideas, tell me what they like and don't like, discuss problems and solutions with me. It is to this day a fantastic bond I have with them. It became something bigger, however as I started getting feedback from others who read the stories. This series isn't just for my children, it's for all children. Each book has taken a single animal and created an adventure that these little girls go on as they try to care for and learn about the animal. At the end of the book there are questions about the story and fun facts about the animal.
I am lucky enough to work with a fabulous illustrator, Matthew Gauvin. His work adds so much to the books. If you have read any of the other Samantha Books you will notice that he leaves little details in the illustrations that give clues to what's happening or add to the story great ways.
Samantha Spins a Web has been through the rough sketch phase of illustration and Matthew is now working on the final illustrations. Matthew has gone over the entire book and worked with me to determine the best scenes and layout for illustrations. For each illustration he has done a rough sketch to make sure we are on the same page for what we want it to look like or a few rough sketches to try out a few different layouts for a scene.
There are a couple of new characters introduced in Samantha Spins a Web and Matthew had to do character development before going on to the final sketches.
Matthew is now sending me new completed artwork every week and we are on schedule for having everything ready for publishing this fall. I love how they are turning out. Here's Uncle Daniel teaching Samantha and Sophie about black widows:
And here's Emerson giving Samantha a hug:
I Don't Have A Kid, Though. Why Should I Pledge?
Here are some ideas of who to get it for, if not for yourself: Your future children, your friends' kids, your nieces and nephews, your cousins, your cousins' kids, your grandkids, your local elementary school, your local library...get creative! Have fun with it!
Please feel free to select multiple rewards. I will be happy to send books to multiple addresses or libraries and classrooms if their address is provided in the survey after the campaign has ended.
“In the end, we will conserve only what we love. We will love only what we understand. We will understand only what we are taught.” ~ Baba Dioum
This is the message on a sign at the Louise Kreher Forest Ecology Preserve in the town where I live, Auburn, AL. I believe this message is true. When I came to live in the city of Auburn, I felt a bit trapped, even though I know it's small as cities go. The Ecology Preserve was my sanctuary. To go walk the trails was to find peace and grounding to my day. I knew to seek out nature and treasure it because I had grown up with those values, but not all children are as lucky as I am.
I've been living right smack in the middle of Auburn for 13 years now. I've graduated from Auburn University with a degree in Zoology. I'm mother to three inquisitive children. Now, I spend a lot of my time getting to know children. I teach preschool through the city. I care for my children and their friends. And when time permits, I teach as a Naturalist at the Preserve. It never fails to amaze me how little interaction most children have with animals and nature on a regular basis. They are hungry for it though. Children (and all of us) need that connection. It builds something beautiful in us as people to appreciate other creatures and the natural world I do all I can to help on a small scale here in Auburn. I am forever bringing one creature or another to various classrooms. I teach and show and tell stories about nature all the time. My books are a way to branch out to a larger audience. My hope is they perpetuate a love of nature to children throughout the world.
What the Money goes for:
Funds will go towards paying the illustrator, printing and shipping.
Questions? Contact me directly: DaisyGriffinWrites@gmail.com
If you have an idea for a reward that would better suit you or your organization or if you have any questions about Samantha Spins a Web or an existing reward, please contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org I am open to any suggestions or opportunities.
Risks and challenges
The biggest challenge is funding. It's going to take a lot of support to make this project a success. I'm going to do all I can to get the word out and I hope you will help me with that. Please, share this project on facebook. Tell your friends about it. Spread the word!
The other challenge is timeline. The book is written in rough draft form and illustrations are in the works, but it still needs a lot of work before it's ready to send to you guys. I always try to give myself more time than is needed so that I can handle snags along the way without sacrificing quality. Matthew and I have collaborated on three books previous to this one and know how to work together and create a final project to be proud of.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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