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Chalky and the new sports car is a real story about a real cat, brought to life with beautiful illustration and handcrafted typography.

It is our goal to to create the perfect bedtime classic that will ignite the imagination of both children and parents.

We’re designers, so we’re passionate about great design and storytelling and we’d like your backing to help us bring our first story to life as both a digital and printed Children’s picturebook.

The Story

The book follows Chalky on one of his many daily adventures. If a car was parked in the neighbourhood where Chalky lives, before long he would be over to investigate it. The bonnets would often be warm from the engine heat and neighbours or strangers would often return to their car to find him sitting or fast asleep on it. 

One thing that Chalky particularly enjoyed was looking up the tail pipe of cars and being a white cat he would often return home with a black ring of soot on his face and so the story was born.

Illustration

The book is being illustrated by Jordan Henderson. We first came across Jordan’s work in his debut book Upon a Star, a children’s book about a boy on a surreal journey to wish upon a star. 

Excerpt from Jordan's book - Upon a Star
Excerpt from Jordan's book - Upon a Star

We instantly fell in love with Jordan’s unique style and lovingly handcrafted visuals. We knew then, that we had to work together on this book to create a heartwarming and visually stunning children's classic.

1st stage prototype of Chalky and the New Sports Car

Early prototype development
Early prototype development
Sample from our book: "Chalky blinked as the morning sun filled the darkness of the garage"
Sample from our book: "Chalky blinked as the morning sun filled the darkness of the garage"
Sample from our book: "Up! said Granda quietly, as Chalky moved towards the side door"
Sample from our book: "Up! said Granda quietly, as Chalky moved towards the side door"
Sample from our book: "Taking a moment, he sniffed the air then set off slowly down the driveway into the garden"
Sample from our book: "Taking a moment, he sniffed the air then set off slowly down the driveway into the garden"
Sample from our book: "Granda asked why have you got a dirty black ring around your nose?"
Sample from our book: "Granda asked why have you got a dirty black ring around your nose?"
Sample from our book: "I look like a very fast sportscat today and very handsome - as he stared at the mirror"
Sample from our book: "I look like a very fast sportscat today and very handsome - as he stared at the mirror"

Typography

As designers we understand that typography is an important part of the experience and something we’ve felt is often overlooked in many children’s picturebooks. We want to create an organic experience, by combining a great story with beautiful illustrations and bespoke hand crafted typography to create an unrivalled children's story book that both kids and adults will enjoy. Part of the funding will be used to commission the creation of the typography by Kyle Steed. We’re huge fans of Kyle’s work and he was the perfect fit to compliment Jordan's illustrations.

Experimenting with type, by Kyle Steed
Experimenting with type, by Kyle Steed
Cover title trials by Kyle Steed
Cover title trials by Kyle Steed

Rewards!

Pledge £9 and receive a copy of the digital book and exclusive set of hi-res wallpapers for your desktop and mobile.
Pledge £9 and receive a copy of the digital book and exclusive set of hi-res wallpapers for your desktop and mobile.
Fine art postcards
Fine art postcards
Pledge £25 or more and you'll receive one hardback copy of the book, printed with pride in Belfast and personally signed by the illustrator. We highly recommend the book as a gift, particularly to children.
Pledge £25 or more and you'll receive one hardback copy of the book, printed with pride in Belfast and personally signed by the illustrator. We highly recommend the book as a gift, particularly to children.
Pledge £45 or more and receive a stunning giclée print.
Pledge £45 or more and receive a stunning giclée print.
Choose one of the many giclée prints shown above. Lots more will be added!
Choose one of the many giclée prints shown above. Lots more will be added!
Pledge £300 and receive one original ink sketch art piece of a scene from the book created and signed by Jordan, the illustrator of the book.
Pledge £300 and receive one original ink sketch art piece of a scene from the book created and signed by Jordan, the illustrator of the book.

‘Journey of an Illustration’ Masterclass with Jordan Henderson Tuesday 25th February 2014, Belfast

Pledge £249 for a one day masterclass you'll learn many of Jordan's secrets and techniques from sketching on paper to working in Photoshop and at the end you will be equipped with all the skills you need to create your own illustrated picture book.

The workshop will cover the following techniques:

Sketching - Learn the art of sketching on paper, a place where great ideas can be conceptualised without the constraints of the computer.

Illustrating in Photoshop - Learn traditional painting techniques within digital illustration in Photoshop including setting up your canvas, the best tools to use for drawing and an introduction to digital colouring.

Thumbnails/Storyboarding - A rapid way to prototype on screen to produce a series of low fidelity visuals.

Make an illustration together - Finally you’ll take forward one of the concepts and develop this into a refined illustration under the guidance of Jordan.

Printing

The book will be produced on beautiful 170GSM white offset paper and printed in four colour process throughout.  Pages will be sewn together and finished in two options - a 350GSM paperback and a 2.25mm hardback both with soft touch lamination and UV varnish on the front cover.

The Little Thunder Co. Team

Gabriel Muldoon, Tim Potter and Michael McKeever
Gabriel Muldoon, Tim Potter and Michael McKeever

We’re a digital design studio from Belfast, Northern Ireland. We’re the art directors, editors, and publishers of the book. 

The Author

The story was written by Tim's father Stanley Potter, a retired financial advisor, who in his retirement has turned his hand to writing children’s stories. He emailed us over the story one day and I was so impressed by it we felt it should see the light of day.

We’re parents who read stories to our kids every night before bedtime and we’d thought about creating a book ourselves, so when we got the story from Stanley, we thought this is it!

Target Market

We see the target audience as kids under 5 and parents who enjoy a great story and beautifully crafted visuals.

What we’ll use the money for

Every penny will be poured back into the production of the book to make it as amazing as we possibly can. The funding will go towards getting the book printed to the highest quality in both paperback and hardback, We’ll also use it to finish off the illustrations and to create the typography.

Thanks!

We’re firm believers in creating a timeless, beautifully crafted picture book that can be equally enjoyed by both parents and children alike and we need your support to help us bring Chalky and the new sports car to life.

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Amongst the team, we have plenty of experience in the realms of digital and print to be able to deliver a product on time and within our stated timeframe. However, this is our first endeavour into the world of book publishing and therefore we appreciate that certain challenges, risks and unforeseen circumstances may arise, as they always do. That being said, this is not just a project, this is a passion project that we take great pride in and we are fully committed on delivering on every aspect outlined in our pitch.

FAQ

  • UK: If your reward is to be posted to an address within the UK, delivery is FREE.

    Worldwide: A delivery charge of £5 is only applied to the Paperback (£19) & Hardback (£25) pledges. All other items are delivered for FREE worldwide.

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  • Pledge £9 or more
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    26 backers

    DIGITAL BOOK + EXTRAS: A copy of the digital book and exclusive set of hi-res wallpapers for your desktop and mobile.

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge £17 or more
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    2 backers

    DIGITAL BOOK + EVEN MORE EXTRAS: A copy of the digital book with a custom personal message to a friend or loved one, and 6 postcards. Wallpapers included.

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge £19 or more
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    60 backers

    PAPERBACK + EXTRAS: One paperback copy of the book, printed with pride in Belfast and personally signed by the illustrator. Digital book, postcards and wallpapers included.

    Estimated delivery:
    Add £5 to ship outside the UK
  • Pledge £25 or more
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    114 backers

    SIGNED HARDBACK + EXTRAS: One hardback copy of the book, printed with pride in Belfast and personally signed by the illustrator. We highly recommend the book as a gift, particularly to children. Digital book, postcards and wallpapers included.

    Estimated delivery:
    Add £5 to ship outside the UK
  • Pledge £45 or more
    You selected

    8 backers

    GICLÉE PRINT + EXTRAS: One giclée print, produced on stunning Matte Litho 270gsm, which is a natural white, acid free, smooth art paper. The depth of colour is truly stunning. Digital book, postcards and wallpapers included.

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  • Pledge £65 or more
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    24 backers

    GICLÉE PRINT + SIGNED HARDBACK WITH PERSONAL MESSAGE + EXTRAS: One giclée print, one hardback copy of the book both signed by the illustrator with a formal acknowledgement of gratitude printed within the book itself. Hardback book, digital book, postcards and wallpapers included.

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  • Pledge £95 or more
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    11 backers

    2 GICLÉE PRINTS + SIGNED HARDBACK WITH PERSONAL MESSAGE + EXTRAS: Two giclée prints, one hardback copy of the book all signed by the illustrator with a formal acknowledgement of gratitude printed within the book itself. Hardback book, digital book, postcards and wallpapers included.

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge £249 or more
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    0 backers Limited (16 left of 16)

    MASTERCLASS: A one day masterclass with the illustrator Jordan Henderson in Belfast, March 2014. You'll learn many of his secrets and techniques from sketching on paper to working in Photoshop and at the end you will be equipped with all the skills you need to create your own illustrated picture book. (This will be a shared workshop with a maximum of 16 people). For more information visit http://chalkythecat.com/masterclass

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge £300 or more
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    3 backers Limited (7 left of 10)

    ORIGINAL INK CHALKY ART PIECE + ALL THE BELLS & WHISTLES: One original ink sketch art piece of a scene from the book created and signed by Jordan, the illustrator of the book. Two giclée prints, hardback book, digital book, postcards and wallpapers included.

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge £3,950 or more
    You selected

    1 backer Limited (1 left of 2)

    GROUP MASTERCLASS: A one day masterclass with the illustrator Jordan Henderson for your company of organisation (within Ireland). You'll learn many of his secrets and techniques from sketching on paper to working in Photoshop and at the end you will be equipped with all the skills you need to create your own illustrated picture book. (This will be a shared workshop with a maximum 32 people split into 2 groups of 16). For more information visit http://chalkythecat.com/masterclass

    Estimated delivery:
Funding period

- (30 days)