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#ThePancakeMenu ~ novelty book for kids. Hands-on math fun! project video thumbnail
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$4,212 pledged of $20,000 goal
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$4,212 pledged of $20,000 goal
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About this project

If at first you don't succeed, try, try again!

We didn't get to reach the goal the first time, but we'll be back with a lower goal in a couple weeks!  Next campaign will run Feb 13-Mar 4.  See you then!

* * * * *

Hi. My name is Lucy Ravitch. I’m a mom of five with a degree in Elementary Education. (I also blog at kidsmathteacher.com too) I love to make math fun for kids, especially with hands-on activities. I’ve written a collection of children's books that help kids practice math as while they play with each book! Now I need your contributions to help publish the first book of the series.

The Pancake Menu: What will your order? is a novelty book with a brief description and pretend price for each item of the menu.  Kidsmenubooks.com also has ‘menu money’ and ordering sheets you can print whenever your kids are ready to play. With The Pancake Menu, kids read, take each other’s orders, and practice using money. All this equals a fun, hands-on math experience that can happen at home or in the classroom. Each time children play, they can order what they want. In addition, there are recipes, with video tutorials, so you or your kids can make the pancakes! 

When I was young I loved to play with math, and I also like to play with my friends, and cook and bake.  In college, I made a Menu Book for a class assignment, and I didn’t think much of it, but years later when I had kids of my own, they played with the book--pretending to eat the food right off the pages. I noticed there are play food sets, and cash registers with play money, but nothing really brings them together! The Pancake Menu helps kids practice math as they play! They can work at their level and challenge themselves as much as they want. The open exploration of math with the prices it what makes this book different.

I’ve shared The Pancake Menu and other Kids Menu Books with parents, teachers, and students and they all love it. The parents love it because of the educational aspect, the teachers love it because it aligns with the Common Core curriculum, and the students love it because they have a ton of fun! Even the kids that don’t normally like math are having fun and playing with it too! 

We want kids to enjoy math and feel confident in school. If we start at a young age, showing kids that math is fun and that we use it everyday, we can help more kids like math and even love it! 

But in order for this book to be successful, I need your help. On Kickstarter, you choose your pledge amount to receive specific rewards. You pay using your Amazon account, and then you are considered a backer to this project. The more money raised for this campaign, the more bonuses backers will receive. 

Please contribute, and spread the word about The Pancake Menu. There may be teachers, parents, grandparents, and kids that you know of that could benefit from this book. 

Thank you for listening! I truly appreciate any and all of your support!

A children's novelty book for 7-10 year-olds that is a pretend menu and has recipes!  It's Hands-on Math fun! Read, print, play, cook!

AND it can't be published into a hardcover book without your funding support! 

Every dollar counts!

Press Release is here: http://goo.gl/pvIJAi

 (more pictures of the interior pages at the bottom) 

What is The Pancake Menu?

The Pancake Menu is the first book in the Kids Menu Books series.  Within The Pancake Menu's hardcover interior, twelve creative pancakes are presented, each with a pretend price and short description.  Under foldouts (that are optional to open) you will find easy, step-by-step cooking instructions to make the pancakes & a QR code to watch the video tutorial!  While 7-10 year-old children are the target audience, children younger and older can certainly enjoy it (along with kidsmenubooks.com)!  So, in short it will have...

  • A hardcover and high quality thick paper bound with a concealed coil.
  • 32 full color pages with a unique layout (7 pages fold open to show recipes)
  • 12 creative illustrated pancakes
  • 14 recipes--each with real pictures and a QR code on the page so you can view the cooking video (1 Basic Pancake Batter, 12 recipes (one for each pancake), and 1 for whipped cream).
  • An associated website: kidsmenubooks.com so you can print ordering sheets and menu money whenever you need them

How can kids use/play with The Pancake Menu?

  • Read it for a tummy-teasing fun time! 
  • Practice addition and subtraction in a hands-on setting while adding up customized order totals and giving change. 
  • Pretend to be on a budget while enjoying a pretend breakfast with friends (or brothers/sisters/parents)--or they can really make it! 
  • Play with friends to see who can have the biggest order total. 
  • Practice using menu money to sharpen their money skills. 
  • It may spark kids interest to learn about baking (hands-on math with volume, measurements, and thermal temperatures). 
  • Kids may explore multiplication and division while totaling orders and splitting the bill between friends. 
  • Even high level math skills can be practiced--fractions, calculating tax, averaging, cost analysis, etc.

Do kids really love it?

Yes!  They enjoy looking at the pictures and reading the descriptions.

There are often audible exclamations (i.e. "whoa", "cool", "awesome") each time they turn the pages!  Children enjoy pretending to play with food and they are excited they get to choose their own order.  

Using the money is fun for many kids too!  They enjoy counting it and figuring out how much they need to pay for what they want.

I can't wait to hear your stories of your kids playing with it if you get a copy!

Want bonuses? Help me unlock these amazing stretch goals!

To help us reach these goals, you can help to spread the word about this campaign with parents, teachers, and anyone you know that might be interested in it!  As the total amount raised grows, so do bonuses!

Why have a website associated with the book?  

The main purpose was a place for kids, parents, and teachers to print the play menu money and ordering sheet that can be used with the book.  

While some people may like the perforated things that come with some activity books, I never did.  If the pieces get lost or damaged then the book becomes useless or harder to play with.  By having the resources available to print anytime it helps cut the production cost of the book and helps extend the book's usefulness.  Plus, if this book is ever in a library, kids can pick it out, print the money and ordering sheets they need, and start playing.

 What's planned for KidsMenuBooks.com?

Kidsmenubooks.com has free printable menu money and ordering sheets you can download and print anytime!  No more worries about losing the menu money or running out of ordering pages! 

Also planned for the web site:

  • Cooking videos (tutorials for each item of the menu).
  • Teacher lesson/activity ideas by grade level.
  • Open-ended math questions/scenarios to solve.
  • Kids (or adults) can upload their own drawings or pictures of their cooking/baking concoctions onto Kidsmenubooks.com's Food Gallery!
  • Order more copies of the book with bulk discounts!

Why should I support this Kickstarter?

We want kids to enjoy math!  What better way than giving them an opportunity to play with math in a fun, hands-on way!

The Pancake Menu (and all the the Kids Menu Books) are for kids to play with math at their level.  It's extremely open ended so children of different ages can have an enjoyable playing experience each time they use the book.  It's all about exploring with numbers and having fun while they learn and play.

Taking orders with friends and playing restaurant is much better than any worksheet to practice math!  Yes, there is no answer sheet, but it gives children an opportunity to check the numbers they choose!  If we meet the stretch goal to have an app made for the book there will be a button to check the answers.

How Can I help?

  • You can back/donate to this Kickstarter campaign!
  • Share the campaign on your social networks every week or so: FB, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, or email people that may love to have a book: parents, teachers (especially 2nd, 3rd, and 4th grades), homeschooling folks, lovers of kids books...
  • Like and follow my Facebook author Fan Page: Author.LucyRavitch
  • Follow or subscribe to my blog: KidsMathTeacher.com
  • Follow on Twitter: @Lucy_Ravitch
  • For teachers out there I also have a Teachers pay Teachers & Teacher's Notebook store!
  • I'm on Pinterest and Google+ too!

What do I get for contributing?

I'm so happy to share these awesome rewards with you!

Comments from parents and teachers:

"It's math that's hands-on and practical!" (Father of a 7 year old girl)

"All my home-schooling friends will love it!" (Susanne, a mother of 4 children who did homeschool for a number of years)

 "My kids had a lot of fun!" Erin: Mother and educator.

"Even my students that don't enjoy math were participating!" Ms. Dailey: 4th grade teacher.

"I can see this helping my kids learn how to budget for things." Rahda: Mom of 5.

Where will the funds go?

  • Purchasing ISBNs and barcodes
  • Minimum large print order of hardcover copies
  • Cost to convert into the three popular E-book formats 
  • Video production (Kickstarter video & cooking tutorials for kidsmenubooks.com)
  • Maintaining and set-up of a more functional and nicer looking website (Kidsmenubooks.com currently is a work in progress)
  • Packing materials and shipping costs
  • Kickstarter and Amazon percentage

If I achieve more than my initial target here is where the money will go...

  • Fulfilling stretch goals
  • Expand the Kids Menu Books brand (maybe you'll see more aprons, cash registers, dishes, or fake food soon!)
  • Use some carry-over to begin the next book
  • Pay for entry fees for book awards

I appreciate your support and I hope your kids and students find hours of math enriching entertainment with The Pancake Menu!  After this, I hope to create many more Kids Menu Books for a variety of math and food fun!

How did Kids Menu Books evolve?

It's been in the works since 1999!  During my Elementary Education classes in college I made a book that later sat on my kids' bookshelf: The A to Z Pie Menu, a simple book with an illustrated picture of a pie, a price, and a little snapshot of what was inside the pie.  It ended with 'What do you want to order?'.  It truly was a book that I would have loved as a kid.  I was a confident girl that raced all the boys, loved to arm wrestle, and play with with numbers wherever I went.  Adding and subtracting was fun for me, but when I learned about fractions and multiplying in 1st and 2nd grade I was hooked on math.  Anyway, this little book of mine eventually sat among Dr. Suess and Corduroy on my kids' book shelf.  My three-year-old and one-year-old would pick my book to "read"/play.  They would pretend to order and eat right off the pages saying, "Yummy!".

That got me thinking--If my kids love this book, other kids would enjoy it too!  I quickly planned out a whole series of them: 17 in all!  Ranging from pizzas to donuts, and pastas to ice cream!

I envisioned every school in America having a set of Menu Books in the school library.  A class could use them and there would be enough for a class to have small groups and each have a different menu book.  Kids would find how fun it is to play with numbers and get them thinking of different ways to solve problems and to have fun challenging their math skills.

Then, I got busy--being a mom is a full-time job!  After a long time being on hold, in 2009 I picked it up again and diligently worked to get my Menu Book series into agents and editors hands.  I had some new ideas of how to have the 'menu money' and ordering sheets as free downloads for anyone to print.  I knew I had to get a .com and thought of the name Kids Menu Books instead of just Menu Books.  

Over the last five years it has gone through some other big changes, but only for the better.  It no longer goes from A to Z (although I think a younger version of Kids Menu Books may be fun) and it now comes with recipes!

In 2012 I started my author business, Enjoy Learning Something, LLC and started blogging at KidsMathTeacher.com in 2013 to gain a teacher following.  

During that time I learned how to tinker with digital illustrating and I became more confident that if I wanted to go independent with my book I could.

I've showed the text and mock versions to hundreds of people and they've given me good feedback.  Some editors and agents have found it interesting too.  While one mock versions had tabs, and another had too many pages, I eventually had a dream in the fall of 2013 where I saw a book at a bookstore and it looked amazing.  It had an interesting layout and I was fascinated by it.  It had pages that opened up to show the hidden sections.  It took me a few seconds and then I realized this was my book!  I woke up suddenly and the memory of the dream was very poignant.  Within the next few days I created a new 'dummy' book and the pages and page count worked perfectly!  Here's a sample with the newest illustrations and how it opens up (the recipe pages are not the ones for the book yet)...

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In early 2014 I still wondered what to do with my series.  It was not being picked up by any agents or editors despite them telling me 'it's a great idea'.  When LaVar Burton of Reading Rainbow raised over 1 million dollars in a few days at the beginning of his Kickstarter in June 2014 I decided to run this Kickstarter in January.  That gave me six months to plan out everything--including finishing all the drawings, get quotes for printers, and get my cooking tutorials ready.

So far I am done with the illustrated pages that have the pancakes drawn on them.  I am still putting together the final recipe pages (laying out the elements on the pages).  Here are two pictures of pancakes from the book and one recipe page (although the QR code still needs to be linked up to the video tutorials-which are in the works).

How do I know it's going to be a quality book?

Since early 2010 I've been an active member of SCBWI (Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators).  I've gone to as many conferences and workshops as I could--paying pretty pennies for critiques and input from children's book agents and editors.  In the summer of 2010 a friend of mine founded a Meet-up writing group.  She asked me to help her and since then it has grown into an official non-profit group (Children's Book Writers of Los Angeles) with a mission of: Educating and Inspiring Writers on the Road to Publication.  As Secretary of this great organization I attend almost every workshop, listening to inspiring authors as speakers, hands-on writing days, and get critiques with educational writing tips--all on a monthly basis. 

From these years of participation and getting feedback on my work I've learned a lot.  At one SCBWI conference an editor shared his story about meeting an author and loving his manuscript, but it took several months (about five) for this editor to convince the acquisitions department that the book would sell.  The publishing house was happy when it did sell, and really well--Diary of a Wimpy Kid has turned into a multiple book series since then!  The editor said to the audience of writers I was part of, "If it's a book that has no similar book with a good sales record, the acquisitions department will view it as a risk.  It doesn't mean you shouldn't write these books, it will just be harder to get published."  I feel like this book is one of those.  It has extra elements, an associated website and cooking videos, that perhaps publishers think is too much to oversee.  Once a great editor at Scholastic had this book too, asked for revisions, then had it reviewed by other imprints within Scholastic but eventually passed.  It's okay, because it's lead me to this adventure to independent publish (I have a lot of control with this project compared to a typical published author would have).  I'm happy to have you join me on my journey--my quest, to help kids love math by making it fun!  Being a perfectionist, I will strive to give you the best book possible.

I'm working with an overseas printer with a good reputation: MCRL.  The plan is for the book to be a hardcover bound with a hidden coil, approximately 9 x 12", and it's 32-page to be on thicker paper (because I want the folded pages to withstand plenty of wear).  It will be printed in full color with non-toxic inks.  I am happy to share some of the text and illustrations I am working on with you.

 What happens after the Kickstarter is over?

I need to finish some last finishing touches on the recipe pages, make sure the video tutorials are ready so the proper QR code will be in the book, and then I will send my images to the printer to start the production.  It takes a while though.  I will get a proof copy and hopefully there won't be too much back and forth. Then the bulk order will be produced and shipped out.  I am hoping to release the book in August, but if there are hiccups then it may not be until September.  After the book is published, I plan to sell on Amazon, on kidsmenubooks.com, and get into as many other distribution avenues as possible so numerous kids can enjoy and benefit from playing with the book.  I will then be fulfilling all the in-person rewards for the following six months.

Thanks for any and all support with this project!  I hope you love it as much as I do : )

FAQ

1.    Can I back multiple pledge rewards?

Yes!  You can choose more than one reward by adding up the total of the rewards you want and enter that as the pledge amount. Then select one of the rewards you want. International orders only need to add one shipping charge.  We will send you a form when the funding is completed so we can reconfirm the exact reward combinations you will be getting or you can send an email to kidsmathteacher@gmail.com right after supporting so you don't forget which rewards you wanted.

2.    When are we going to receive the book?

My goal is to begin shipping in August-September 2015.

3.     I’m an international backer.  Can you deliver to my country?

Yes!  But only on certain rewards packages.  The shipping costs are an additional cost and your reward will most likely be delayed a bit.  If you would like, you can support the campaign by spreading the word and email me at kidsmathteacher@gmail.com indicating you want to be alerted when The Pancake Menu is on Amazon so you can buy it then (I believe the shipping costs will be less).

4. How do I add International shipping to my pledge?

Click on the big blue “Manage Your Pledge” button at the top of this page on the right side. This will take you to a page where you can adjust the dollar amount of your pledge to include shipping. Then scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on the big blue “Continue” button. 

Risks and challenges

I am ready to complete this project and will do all I can to fulfill the orders in a timely manner and with complete satisfaction.

I've completed lots of things before and taught myself how to remodel kitchens and bathrooms, even tiling, replacing light fixtures, and hanging cabinets! I have even transformed my yard into a lush landscape--as the project unfolded it became bigger and I was able to coordinate with helpers to accomplish the job. When I was 17 I completed a 800+ mile bike trip, practicing for six months beforehand with several smaller rides.

Overall, I'm one of those people that if I set my mind to it, I can do anything : ) I assess how much help I need and frequently reassess to make sure the job gets done with the highest quality.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    Every dollar counts and makes this publishing possible : )

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    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    >>>>>>> JUST WATCHING <<<<<<<
    Get updates about The Pancake Menu Kickstarter campaign! Follow my journey in finishing this book and receive exclusive backer updates full of information on the progress of Kids Menu Books.

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    >>>>>>>>> E-BOOK! <<<<<<<<<
    Nice project, send me the E-book.

    Formats available: ePUB 3 (for Apple, Google Play, and Kobo), KF8 (Amazon), or PagePerfect (B&N)

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    >>>> HARDCOVER BOOK! <<<<

    Love it, and I like to hold books--send me a hardcover!

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    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    >>>>>>> COMBO Pack: <<<<<<<
    >>>> HARDCOVER & E-BOOK! <<<<
    Enjoy the book in your hands and on your electronic device!

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    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    >>>>>>> WOW Pack <<<<<<< HARDCOVER, E-BOOK, & MONEY PACKET!
    * * * * * *
    For serious hands-on math fun!

    You get a copy of The Pancake Menu + the E-book+ a Money pack (so you don't need to print money or ordering sheets for a while)!

    A money pack includes the following:
    * Menu money: 6 of each $1, $5, $10, $20 and 24 of each 0.05, 0.10, 0.25
    * A pretend $20 menu money gift card for Kids Menu Books.
    * A kidsmenubooks.com pencil
    * A 20-page ordering pad

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    Pledge $55 or more About $55

    >> Signed DOUBLE BOOK Pack <<
    > 2 Signed/personalized HARDCOVERS & 1 E-BOOK! <
    Have Lucy's pretty signature along with a personal note on one page of each of your new books! Plus, you get the E-book : )

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    Pledge $60 or more About $60

    >>>> ULTIMATE FUN Pack <<<< Signed HARDCOVER, E-BOOK, MONEY PACKET, APRON & SPATULA!
    * * * * * *
    For serious math and cooking fun!

    You get a signed copy of The Pancake Menu: What will you order + the E-book!

    PLUS...
    A money pack which includes the following:
    * Menu money: 6 of each $1, $5, $10, $20 and 24 of each 0.05, 0.10, 0.25
    * A pretend $20 menu money gift card for Kids Menu Books.
    * A kidsmenubooks.com pencil
    * A 20-page ordering pad

    Plus, this ultimate pack comes with a maroon "Kids Menu Books" full size apron and a sturdy blue kidsmenubooks.com pancake flipping spatula!!!

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    >> PARTY Pack: 5 HARDCOVERS<<
    For your classroom or presents for birthday parties!

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    Pledge $165 or more About $165

    3x ULTIMATE FUN Pack!

    Get a bundle of fun for less! 3 Signed HARDCOVERS, 3 E-BOOKS, 3 MONEY PACKETS, 3 APRONS & 3 SPATULAS!

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    CLASS Pack: 10 HARDCOVERS + 1 ULTIMATE FUN Pack
    * * * * * *
    For your classroom--or to have giveaways! Plus, you can dress up with the apron and spatula to pretend (or really) make the recipes!

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    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    Sponsor a 30-minute video chat with a classroom + 1 PARTY pack
    * * * * * * * *
    Get a PARTY pack (5 books) and Lucy does a 30 minute video chat for a class of kids (2nd-5th grade target audience). OR you can use the chat to talk to me about publishing and other things related to the book.

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    Pledge $400 or more About $400

    Sponsor an LA area Classroom* for a 45 MINUTE LIVE visit w/ hands-on math activity + 1 PARTY pack
    * * * * * * * * *
    Includes a PARTY pack (5 books) and Lucy comes to a 2nd to 5th grade classroom* of your choice for a 45 minute visit w/ hands-on math activity for your 2nd to 5th grade class (*school must be within 30 miles of 90245)

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    PANCAKE PARTY!!! Includes 6 ULTIMATE FUN Packs! Lucy comes and makes (and shows you how to make) some of the fun pancakes from the book during your party* (up to two hours)! You or your kids get to order the pancakes and I'll be ready to make them (up to 4 different recipes--Feeding approximately 15 people)

    *party location must be within 40 miles of 90245.

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    Pledge $1,500 or more About $1,500

    Sponsor an LA area Elementary school 5 HOUR VISIT with hands-on math activities for multiple classrooms and/or assemblies + 2 PARTY packs!
    * * * * * * * * *
    Includes 2 PARTY packs (10 books) and Lucy presents at an elementary school* of your choice for a 5 hour visit that can include hands-on math activities and/or assemblies and book signings geared for 2nd to 5th grades (*school must be within 40 miles of 90245)

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    Pledge $6,000 or more About $6,000

    >>>>> Mega Math Supporter <<<<<< Your company name/full color logo (2"x1.5") will be printed on the last page as a sponsor. You will also receive 25 autographed hardcovers and 25 E-books.

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Funding period

- (31 days)