Welcome to my Kickstarter page. My name is Leo Aquino and I am an illustrator and author. I love to tell stories through art and I enjoy creating characters that put smiles on peoples faces. I have been working as a concept artist in the mobile game industry for about 11 years and had the pleasure to work for companies like Disney Interactive and Jam City. Most recently, I ventured into the world of children's book illustration because I felt like it was time to use my art to give back.
What am I making?
I’m here today to introduce Peet, the Creature with Big Feet, my very first children’s book.
It all started a few years ago when I was watching one of those Discovery Channel specials about Bigfoot. And I thought to myself, "You know it’s kind of obvious why we never see big foot. It’s because he’s self conscious about how big his feet are! He’s scared of what others will think so he’s always hiding." From that moment, I knew I had to create a story revolving around this idea.
Peet, the Creature with Big Feet is about a big footed creature that hides all day and night because he’s self conscious about what the other animals will think of him. Without giving away too many spoilers, Peet embarks on a journey of self discovery, meets a band of animals, faces his fears, and even confronts a forest fire. But most of all, he learns that it’s OK to be different.
How did I come up with this Idea?
Growing up, I had some self image issues myself.
I was overweight and made fun of at school. Sometimes even the other kid's parents made jokes. This made me self-conscious about my weight. But it doesn't need to be that way for children of today. So I thought this was a great opportunity to create Peet, the Creature with Big Feet. To share a message with kids and people of all ages that it’s OK to be different. We are all unique and special in this huge forest we live in. Whether you’re a tiny mouse too small to even be seen, a rabbit with long floppy ears, or a Bigfoot that leaves tracks everywhere with your humongous feet, we all have a purpose and we are all special.
The story is suitable for elementary grades 1-3 reading level. However, all ages can enjoy the story and the art. I think it's a great bedtime story to read with your kids. There are a few challenging words that are used such as "atmosphere" & "perspire" but I felt like it would be a great opportunity to teach new vocabulary to the young ones. My hope is that people will find the art style to be whimsical and the story to be emotionally engaging.
But don’t take my word for it. Here are what other people are saying about the book:
“This delightful, richly illustrated version of Big Foot brings a message of diversity. The urgency of the situation compels Big Foot beyond his painful self-consciousness and lifelong avoidance of others, and his leap of courage is met with ready acceptance. After all, we each have our quirks!”
- Joyce Ochsner, child psychologist
“If you are different you shouldn’t hide, as that is silly, because even if you are different they will like you and you can be friends. The big feet could help you too.”
-Miles (7 years old)
“It’s about a band and Peet saves them from the big fire. They are all friends in the end. He helped with the rock with his big feet. He was hiding so they wouldn’t see his big feet.”
-Anika (almost 6 years old)
“Sometimes being different can be helpful…and everyone is different in their own way.”
-Adelaide (10 years old)
“...Acceptance of yourself, acceptance of others, confidence. I also like how he has to overcome his personal fear in order to do what’s right, to save the animals. And I like how his feet saved the day, our weaknesses aren’t really weaknesses at all.”
-Kathryn Tran, amazing pastry chef & amazing friend.
Is the book ready to be printed?
Yup! The cool part is that I’m done writing the story. It has been edited by my good friend Glen Parker and I have gotten story input and writing feedback from some really close friends and loved ones. I’ve illustrated every page myself and have painted the cover too. The book exists as a digital file and all that's left is the actual physical printing and shipping. And that's where you come in, please help me publish my book!
I’m so excited about the possibility of this story making it out into the world. If funding is successful, the book should be at your doorstep by February 2019.
Where does the pledge money go?
I need your help to back the project and help fund it so it can get published. Your donations will go towards:
- Bulk printing of hardcover versions (500 copies): $4,170
- Hard cover proof: $250
- Shipping bulk order from printer to US: $1,167
- Mailing boxes: $545
- Kickstarter fee: 5% of total sale
- Kickstarter processing fee: 3% + 20 cents per pledge
- Copyright: $55
- ISBN bar code: $125
- Marketing: $25
-Other (Swag Items, video editing software, time and labor): $2,663
Goal = $9,000
I want to be completely transparent with this project so please don't hesitate to send me any questions on topics I may have missed. This book can only succeed with your kind help.
I have some fun reward items that include: buttons, bookmarks, and tote bags. Scroll down and check out the images of these fun swag items you can get by participating!
What happens if the book doesn't reach it's goal?
If we don’t reach the goal, unfortunately Peet won’t get printed and he’ll stay in hiding for a while. So please help if you can, even if you decide not to pre-order a book, just sharing the link to this Kickstarter page to everyone you know would be greatly appreciated. Posting on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and just spreading this by word of mouth will help out a ton.
So thank you for your valuable time and reading all the way through what I have to offer. Thanks for giving Peet a chance!
**disclaimer: In the middle of the story, Peet is faced with the dangers of a forest fire. I won't spoil what happens, but rest assured- everything works out! I want to express my deepest sympathies to anyone who has been affected by the recent bout of forest fires throughout the United States. I assure you, the plot point regarding a forest fire in the book is in no means meant to capitalize on the tragic current events. **
Risks and challenges
Biggest risk is the shipping itself, as nature is unpredictable and sometimes shipping from overseas can be delayed. I am printing with Printninja, a great company based out of Asia. Everything should be fine, but if shipping is delayed, I will keep you updated and do my best to expedite the process. Rest assured, the book will get to you as long as the funding has met its goal.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (35 days)