An Alphabet Journey is a children's alphabet book about OR-7, the wolf known as "Journey", the first wolf back in California in 80 years. Children can follow Journey on his journey through parts of Oregon and California. Through his encounters with bears and highways, ranch fences and wildfires, he looks for a place to belong and be happy.
This is a book for kids and parents who love animals and the environment. This is also a book for anyone who has felt like an outsider but never stopped trying to find a place to belong. Finally, this is a book for underdogs, human and otherwise.
Hopefully, this will raise awareness of endangered and displaced species like Californian wolves and grizzly bears, amongst others. This book is also unconsciously about the modern technological world that is the inheritance of this generation. This is evident in how digital media helped make Journey famous and also how Oregon Wild tracked Journey's travels via a tracking collar. This tracking collar will expire in 2014 and we will no longer know where Journey is, or how his journey ends. We can only hope that his dreams come true and he finds a home. An Alphabet Journey will continue to remind us about this amazing animal even after the collar expires.
An Alphabet Journey is illustrated in Schmincke watercolors on Arches paper with a limited palette of Manganese Violet and Chrome Yellow Deep that conveys Journey's loneliness and hope. The illustrations were kept loose and spare, so that Journey has space to look and dream and so do the readers. Apart from being a partial travelogue of his trek from Oregon to California, it is also an unconventional alphabet book that parents and children can read together.
The biggest risk for this book is that it will just disappear. So many books, even when published through major publishing houses, end up on a waiting list for a few years and then just vanish after publication. Because An Alphabet Journey is an independent children's book, it's going to be even harder for it to succeed. In order to even be printed, this book needs to be fully funded on Kickstarter within 30 days, otherwise I'll receive no funding at all.
The majority of funding for this project would go to a limited print run of the book and to high quality scans of the watercolor paintings for that print run. (I've scanned previous watercolor paintings with horrendous results and know that this picture book will need professional scanning to do justice to Journey.) I will also use some funding to advertise An Alphabet Journey because, unlike Journey, I'm not famous.
If I exceed funding for the above requirements, I would be excited to put it toward a limited giclée print run and an instructional video that recreates one of the paintings in the book. (In fact, it would be great to do a longer video and also a shorter one geared toward children.)
People who help Journey along his alphabet journey will receive some fun and beautiful rewards:
- You can get a copy of the eBook (a more environmentally friendly way to read picture books, if you have a Kindle, iPad, Android or other tablet).
- You can also tote all your organic produce and animal books in a lovely canvas bag printed with one of the watercolor paintings from the book!
- Of course, the reward list would be incomplete without signed hardcover and softcover copies of An Alphabet Journey in various tiers and packages.
- If you're an art enthusiast who loves animals and watercolor paintings, you can pitch in for your very own giclée print of your favorite painting.
- And if nothing but the original painting on Arches watercolor paper will do for you, you can even get one of the five original paintings available!
Risks and challenges
Because I'm both the author and the illustrator, the only risk of not finishing this book if funded is if something happened to me. I promise, if funded, that I will not cross busy streets incautiously, nor will I experiment with new cuisine (especially anything grown with pesticides), or let my mom convince me that we should finally make that nostalgic family visit to Pakistan.
I take this commitment very seriously. I first had the idea for An Alphabet Journey while I was completing my certificate in Children's Literature at the Vermont College of Fine Arts. I have the text and the thumbnails fully developed, as well as several pieces already finished. If funded, I would enthusiastically and quickly finish and publish this wonderful book.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)