Wednesday, November 17, 2021

"Mighty Wings" Kickstarter Crowdfunding my New Picture Book


A NEW Picture Book is Being Launched! OURS! 

Creating a new book has more than once been compared to giving birth. In my case this book pregnancy is more nearly similar to the pregnancy of a donkey -- because all said and done it will have taken 14 months from inception-to-books-in- hands. (Yes. I googled that factoid.) 

My daughter is the co-author. Her name is on the cover and truth be told, the whole thing was her idea and will exist because of her insistence. Yes. She was a donkey with unrelenting urgency to create this resource: an engaging and scientifically accurate book intent on contributing to the conservation of the endangered Monarch butterfly. 

There she is: daughter Sarah Joy, surrounded by her Monarchs! 

The making of our book, "Mighty Wings" is a unique daughter/mother combination of effort, energy, talent, commitment and study. What began as a hobby in the uncertain days of the beginning of the pandemic, has evolved into a determination to make a difference -- in our own backyards and beyond! 

It took approximately 9 months for me to create the 'mixed-media' illustrations for our 32 page, traditional format, hard-back, glossy paged book. Those illustrations are a 'whimsical' combination of hundreds of Sarah and my photographs of our Monarch caterpillars, chrysalis, and mature Monarch butterflies -- as well as plenty of Milkweed in bloom photos. 

This is what a kitchen island of illustrations looks like!

PROGRESS!!! That's our little summer haven-home and the art taking over as summer progressed. 

The pandemic has had a unique impact on every small business and every family. In my situation, all of my speaking engagements at educational conferences and author visits to schools were cancelled. 

No speaking = no income. 

We are creating a 32 page book and we need YOUR help! 

We are using Kickstarter as a crowdfunding site. By PREordering and PREpurchasing your copy(s) of "Mighty Wings" you are underwriting the cost of printing the first edition of the book! $6000 = 1000 books. 

We are in that stage of transformation where we need patience, but the struggle is primarily behind us. 

As I type, we have had 105 people step up to support us. 

Our early backers at Kickstarter have pledged by leaving their credit card number -- with the understanding that I'm on an ALL-or-NOTHING campaign. We need to raise all $6000 to print the first edition. As I type that 80% amount pledged is $4841. WHOOHOOO the finish line is at hand.

The first responses to our work have been amazing! 

We wanted a scientifically ACCURATE resource. That has been our goal from the beginning. Dr. Karen reviewed our lyrics before I ever went to the recording studio. She tweaked one verse to fine-tune the science. So we are approved with her two thumbs up!

Ready to jump right in at Kickstarter?

I went to college with Dr. Jeff and it was fun to have him see the project as it was unfolding and to receive his insight and blessing above. Our third scientist review is from THE Ohio State University! See what Dr. Joe has to add below. 

And no book of mine would be complete without the thoughts of my mentor, Mimi-the-Queen-of-Fun Chenfeld. It means so much to me that at 86 years of age, she gets to be involved in this project as well. 

Add our four quotes to the back cover and combine it to the front cover and all ya need is a spine with our names. 

It is so exciting to see it all coming together. But we still need your help at Kickstarter to cross the finish line. 

Let me jump ahead in the saga of bringing this Monarch coservation resource to life. We now, ALREADY have a professionally, genius crafted video version of the first third of the book created, uploaded and being viewed on YouTube. 

I give you 'Caterpillar Rap' with all the bells and whistles! 

Sunday, August 29, 2021

20th Anniversary of Sept 11th: What is Appropriate for YOUNG Children?

Twenty years. Two decades. Time.Marches.On. for those of us who survived September 11th. Somehow, one day has stacked on top of the previous and blink your eyes it has been twenty years. We are the fortunate. There are dinner tables and conference room tables that have an empty chair. Sobering. Reality. 

What have you done with your twenty years? 

How do we acknowledge this monumental day with young children? What is appropriate? What is helpful? How do we begin a new school year, in the midst of a morphing pandemic, with new variants of reality -- when we are already exhausted beyond our human limits? 

There was an occasion where I once muttered needing a magic wand to overcome a gigantic challenge in front of hundreds and hundreds of participants and a magic wand appeared. Literally. Handed to me. There was much laugher. It gave me the courage to do the seemingly impossible in that moment. It was the resource I needed. I dug deep, took a deep breath and plowed forward. So we must find the right resource for the right situation. A magic wand of sorts. 

I have a resource for you to use with children for these days leading up to the eleventh of September, that can then be recycled for Veteran's Day with even more gusto. No kidding. You can download it today and be ready for the 10th, if your school is observing the day on Friday. Even if you download it that morning. It is that simple. It is a song. A simple 'zipper song' that rhymes and each of the four verses is only changed by one word. Simple. Resource. Patriotic. Downloadable.

It is patriotic. It is all about our flag. Our country. Being grateful. It is a communal experience that draws your classroom together. Singing. Simple. Songs. 

It is my heartfelt, simple song that I wrote on the national day of prayer and mourning and reflection, that Friday, following THAT Tuesday -- to sing with preschool children, in real time, back two decades ago. We recorded it professionally years later. 

I have gone on to turn the song into a picture book. A traditional hardback, picture book. With pages that turn and illustrations that I created from fabric. The book won a national award. BUT for the sake of expediency, let's focus on a digital downloadable song in Mp3 format, that you can teach in the morning and perform in the afternoon. That simple. 

The file includes the American Sign Language signs, so that your performance becomes 'visual' and inclusive. Again. Simple. But-oh-so-powerful. 

The song doesn't reference September 11th. It taps into Americana. The flag. Our colors. Gratitude. Simplicity. Child friendly. Early childhood CIVICS 101!!!

My book is now 10 years old and I have been fortunate to make school visits across the country from coast-to-coast and tour some of our European Army bases sharing this simple song. You can search in this cache of previous blog articles for additional visual responses to my picture book, from the wee littles to the sophisticated upper primary grades. 

I realize that time is of the essence. Here's the link to the digital download available at TpT. It includes 2 Mp3's: one of the song, as I'm performing it in a professional recording studio with back up singers and children's vocals +PLUS+ the second Mp3 is the instrumental version, if you want to perform it without my vocals.... or write your own verses! 

***If you are interested in ordering a copy of the physical book, I will send you the Mp3 file and resource material via Dropbox email, while you await the delivery/arrival of the book. That way, you can sing the song immediately. 

To order a copy of my book you would go to my website. It is so much easier though, and I can personalize the book, if you send me a private message on FB and we can handle all of the details there. 

One other instantaneous resource that I have to offer is my Pinterest board dedicated to all things patriotic. I have over 500 ideas already pinned there for you. Just click through for those additional resources. 

Whew! I haven't blogged in so long and appreciate my peers Kristen Poindexter at Kristen's Kindergarten and Jennifer Kadar at Simply Kinder for the kick. 

Thanks for your support! I am so appreciative of your pins!

Thanks for your support! I am so appreciative of your pins!
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