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Children's picture books about disabilities are all SO direct! This book takes a far more subtle approach so everyone can enjoy it!
Children's picture books about disabilities are all SO direct! This book takes a far more subtle approach so everyone can enjoy it!
166 backers pledged $13,923 to help bring this project to life.

About

Finally, a Book About Disabilities That Everyone Can Enjoy

$13,923

166

STRETCH GOAL: $15,000

Thanks to so many generous people, the goal was reached! So I've added a new stretch goal: if we can reach $15,000, I'll send an additional hard cover book to everyone who has contributed to this effort.

THE SHORT VERSION:

Okay, you don't have a lot of time, so here's the least you need to know about this project: children's books for and about kids with disabilities usually suck. I mean, they're really pretty bad, mostly because they make the disability the star of the story, further alienating these kids and their families. 

I'm going to change that, starting with my first children's book, "Ricky, the Rock that Couldn't Roll" featuring characters and a story that can actually be enjoyed by a broader market, while still being meaningful to kids with developmental challenges and their families (in a much more subtle way). 

THE LONG VERSION:

If you have a few extra minutes, let me explain this in a little more detail: I am the proud father of an amazing five-year-old girl named Bria. Bria has cerebral palsy, and although she can't walk or talk yet (she's working hard on both), she's just about the happiest, sweetest little girl you'd ever want to meet. But that doesn't mean her situation doesn't come with a lot of emotional ups and downs - no parent wants to see their child struggle.

Bria Paige - my daughter and my inspiration
Bria Paige - my daughter and my inspiration

One of the most important things I've done with Bria to help her cognitive development, almost since the day she was born, has been to read to her daily. And as a parent of a daughter with special needs, I understand the importance of finding books with positive, hopeful messages.

But sadly, books that are published for or about kids with disabilities are surprisingly cringe-worthy projects that I would never want to read to my child. Books like "Princess Pressley of Palsy," or "Hansel and Gretel: A Fairy Tale with a Down Syndrome Twist" might be well-meaning, but they focus so heavily on the disability that they end up doing the opposite of what they intend to do: they completely alienate readers who are developmentally typical and further segregate kids with disabilities. 

This not only limits the market for the books considerably, but it doesn't remotely help its intended audience. And, quite frankly, they're depressing as hell. 

I believe that books can be written to appeal to all children. By dealing with issues metaphorically, we can create books that developmentally typical kids and their families can enjoy and take something positive from, while at the same time giving kids with developmental challenges, and their families, a strong yet subtle message of hope without highlighting or even mentioning a disability. 

MY FIRST BOOK: "RICKY, THE ROCK THAT COULDN'T ROLL"

Cover design for "Ricky, the Rock That Couldn't Roll"
Cover design for "Ricky, the Rock That Couldn't Roll"

"Ricky, the Rock that Couldn't Roll" introduces the full cast of characters, who are all round and play by rolling up and over their favorite hill. All of them, that is, except for Ricky, who can't roll because he's flat on one side. 

An excerpt from the book:

But the one trait that seemed to be shared by them all,

was that every rock there was shaped like a ball.

And because they were round, they could easily roll,

through the grass, past the lake, up and over the knoll.

Except for poor Ricky, who quietly sat…

you see, Rick couldn’t roll because one side was flat.

His friends didn't get it. "Come roll!" they would nudge,

and although he would try, Ricky just couldn't budge.

The story follows Ricky's friends as they help him find a new way to play with them, eventually coming up with an innovative way for him to roll. 

There is no mention of any disability, and there are no pictures of wheel chairs, crutches or walkers. So for developmentally typical children and their families, "Ricky" is a fun, cute and heart-warming story about the power of friendship and perseverance. But for kids with developmental challenges and their families, it's a very relatable story that provides a sense of hope and positivity, and the encouragement to keep on pushing to achieve more. 

Pages 1 and 2
Pages 1 and 2

 

Pages 3 and 4
Pages 3 and 4

 

Pages 5 and 6
Pages 5 and 6

 

Pages 7 and 8
Pages 7 and 8

 

Pages 9 and 10
Pages 9 and 10

Written in verse, this first book will be 32 pages, fully illustrated and hardbound, targeted for children 4-10.

The illustrations for this book are being done by Erin Wozniak, a uniquely talented artist who has ingeniously developed a method of combining line art with crumpled paper to give each rock personality and emotion.  

WHAT THE MONEY IS BEING RAISED FOR

The money we raise here will be combined with my own, personal funding, as well as money raised by outside investors. It will go to pay for the following needs:

  • Commissioning the illustrator for the first three books in the "You Rock" Group series 
  • Printing and shipping for an initial run of 2,000 hardcover books 
  • Marketing and promotion 

I sincerely appreciate everybody who helps make this project a reality. I've received a very enthusiastic response by a number of communities that believe in my vision for these books, and I'm excited to make this publishing entity a reality. Thank you in advance for your help and support!

- Jay

Risks and challenges

Of course, should you choose to back us on this project, your credit card won't get charged unless we reach our goal.

Should we reach our goal, however, the only possible problems that could arise would be a delay in the deliverables by at most a month. Our illustrator is hard at work as we speak, and we have a reputable printer already lined up to handle production. There is no risk - all of our backers will receive their rewards at the giving level that you choose.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    A BIG “THANK YOU!”

    We’ll show our sincere appreciation for your support by including your name in the Acknowledgements page of our first book.

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    COLOR THE ROCKS

    We’ll send you a 12 page, PDF coloring book, exclusive to Kickstarter. Each page will feature the characters from the “You Rock” Group in fun, creative settings for you to add color to.

    We’ll also include your name in the Acknowledgements page of our first book.

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    Pledge $16 or more About $16

    HARDCOVER BOOK

    You’ll get one hardcover copy of “Ricky, the Rock That Couldn’t Roll” + the Kickstarter exclusive coloring book.

    And of course, your name will appear in the Acknowledgements page.

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    Pledge $28 or more About $28

    AUTOGRAPHED HARDCOVER

    We’ll send you a hardcover copy of “Ricky, the Rock That Couldn’t Roll,” signed by both the author and illustrator, + the Kickstarter exclusive coloring book.

    And yep, your name will appear in the Acknowledgements page.

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    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    NAME A PEBBLE

    On one page of the book, the copy reads:

    And a group called "The Pebbles" never, ever sat still,
    zig-zagging their way up and over the hill.

    With this reward, you'll get to name a Pebble in the book! Name one after you, your significant other, or any child that would love a character named after them. The names of all Pebbles will appear on a separate page at the end of the book.

    You'll also get an autographed, hardcover book and your name in the Acknowledgements section.

    Please add $35 for each additional Pebble you would like to name (each additional Pebble will include an autographed copy of the book).

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $49 or more About $49

    ATTRACTIVE WALL POSTER

    We’ll be sending you one autographed hardcover copy of “Ricky, the Rock That Couldn’t Roll,” along with a standard-sized, beautiful wall poster featuring the full cast of characters from the “You Rock” Group, + the Kickstarter exclusive coloring book.

    And we’ll add your name to the Acknowledgements page.

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $77 or more About $77

    TWO IS BETTER THAN ONE

    Share the rocks with a friend. You’ll get two autographed hardcover copies of “Ricky, the Rock That Couldn’t Roll”, and two wall posters, + the Kickstarter exclusive coloring book.

    And we’ll add your name to the Acknowledgements page.

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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $159 or more About $159

    BE TRUE TO YOUR SCHOOL

    We’ll send your favorite school (or library) five copies of “Ricky, the Rock That Couldn’t Roll”, along with one signed copy for you, one wall poster, + the Kickstarter exclusive coloring book.

    Plus, we’ll add your name to the Acknowledgements page.

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    Pledge $308 or more About $308

    LIMITED EDITION FRAMED PRINT

    You’ll get a limited edition, signed and numbered, framed print of one of the main characters in “Ricky, the Rock That Couldn’t Roll.” In addition, we’ll send you one signed copy of the book, one wall poster, + the Kickstarter exclusive coloring book.

    Plus, we’ll add your name to the Acknowledgements page.

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    Pledge $996 or more About $996

    NAME THAT ROCK

    This reward will make you an instant hero to any child or grandchild you get this for: You’ll get to name one of the characters in the book! Along with that, we’ll send your favorite school or library five free copies, and we’ll send you one signed copy of the book, one wall poster, + the Kickstarter exclusive coloring book.

    And for the last time...we’ll add your name to the Acknowledgements page.

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    Reward no longer available 1 backer
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    Pledge $6,000 or more About $6,000

    FUNDRAISER GIFTS

    Do you have a large fundraiser coming up, and you'd like to give a book to each of the 500 guests that will be there? We'll provide all the books you need so that nobody leaves empty-handed.

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Funding period

- (30 days)