Welcome to the world of Whistle-Stop Thistle! Whistle-Stop Thistle is an engaging children’s book centred around the tiny town of Whistle-Stop Thistle and the little people who live here.
The book is illustrated with physical, handmade models. We like to call this ‘Puppet Illustration’. All of the buildings, sets and props have been made by hand, alongside the Thistle-folk characters themselves who are charming poseable puppets that can be photographed as they plod through the scenes. This is a format of illustration that is quite unusual and not something you see dominating children’s bookshops; Whistle-Stop Thistle is the result of hours of detailed model-making and is a story that will capture imaginations with its innovative visuals.
The Thistle-folk are tiny creatures who live behind a bramble bush in the woodland, the same place where our crisp packets and bits of rubbish might end up after a picnic! Whistle-Stop Thistle has a special visitor, the friendly magpie, who drops in rubbish he finds in the woods that might be useful for the Thistle-folk. The Thistle-folk try to look after their tiny world by recycling any scrap materials they find. Their whole world was built from scraps: cardboard buildings, paper flowers, lollipop roof tiles.
I believe that we can all learn a lot from these little people. The story promotes reusing found materials and recycling scraps, which is just what we did in production: we made the town with things that would otherwise be thrown away. Maybe if we were all a bit more curious and crafty with our scraps then there wouldn’t be as much waste in the world. My hope is that this book will help children to get creative by repurposing materials and make art from rubbish.
I began making Whistle-Stop Thistle in 2018 for my final project at university. I built each of the houses with scrap cardboard and repurposed acetate for the windows. The town has since been relocated when I moved house and some of the tiny Thistle-folk houses now need repairs and repainting. We'd also like to add more sophisticated interior lighting and finish the props to a higher visual standard to really make the world spectacular.
The story is written, the world has been built, but we need your help to bring the Thistle-folk to bookshops. The creation of this intricate book has required a lot of patience and hard work but we hope it will all pay off once we can take the story to print.
This Kickstarter will give myself and my collaborative partner, Graphic Designer and Artworker James Paylor, the funding we need to finish these little details in the town and then to produce and publish the book professionally. If we reach funding we can finish putting the book together and start getting it printed! The funding would go towards the cost of materials, printing, distribution and we also have plans for animations, toys, merchandise and more that we can’t wait to share with you.
During production we will be posting videos and process shots so you can see what it takes to bring the town to life and get a glimpse into the world that is coming your way.
From a pledge of £10 you can own a softcover Kickstarter edition of the book; we have various other rewards available such as a bundle of books perfect for the classroom and unique models from the set that you can get your hands on!
With your help we can open the doors to Whistle-Stop Thistle and let all of you visit the town!
Risks and challenges
Although this is our first Kickstarter campaign, we are extremely dedicated to this project and we are passionate about seeing it through. The majority of the work is complete, we just need the funding to take it to production. However should any Thistle-Folk troubles occur, we will be absolutely transparent with our backers.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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