Jack Feels Big

    December 14

    Teaching kids the names for things they can see and touch is easy – but how do you help a child name something much more elusive, like feelings or virtues? This week for What’s Up Wednesday we had a chat to Adam Millen, the mastermind author who is answering this question with his new book, Jack Feels Big.

    Unlike most children’s books, Jack Feels Big will tackle the emotions kids face every day, using a collection of short stories as a tool to understanding. By pledging, backers have the opportunity to suggest and vote for which feelings or virtues should end up in the final book.

    We had a chat with Adam to hear more about this interesting approach to reward-giving, and what his hopes are for Jack’s big feelings:

    1. How are you finding the campaign so far?

    The campaign so far has been a pretty crazy mix of ups and downs.  I had friends and family pledging from the start, and that really meant a lot, but the first time I saw a name come through and had no idea who they were, that was really exciting. When I had the idea of including NZSL and Te Reo titles for each of the feelings, I wasn’t sure if were going hit our “funded” status soon enough to commit to making our own sign language illustrations. I worked really hard to film and edit an announcement to get people behind the idea. We reached “funded” on Friday evening! Then I had to rush in and film and edit the next announcement! I was so happy, but so busy! We got fully funded, but now I’m stressing if we’ll be able to get enough backing to make it even awesomer (see answer to two).
    It has also been really cool getting my backers to tell me which feelings they are most interested in seeing in the book (only five will make it into this volume). Currently Overwhelmed, Frustrated, Brave, Lonely and Reliable are polling well. I’d love to see Out of my Depth and Cooperating make it into the book though. I’ll be taking a final vote once the campaign has closed. I’ve also got some good feedback from backers on the Facebook page, where I’ve been posting the thought process behind including each of the feelings in the book.

    2. What do you have planned for the rest of your campaign – anything for us to look forward to?

    Introducing Sophie!
    Introducing Sophie!

    I went with “Jack” as my first goal, because I think that girl’s literature tends to already cover emotions a bit better. But I’ve always hoped to be able to publish this book with options for the main character. I’ve reached minimum funding status and have announced my stretch goal: I want to raise enough additional pledges that I can offer “Sophie Feels Big” as an alternative print of the book. That’s a big goal, so even if we only get part way, for every thousand dollars of pledges past $5000, I’ll get one of the stories re-illustrated for Sophie. These would be released as a sort of “digital draft”. But I really think that we can get all the way.

    3. Anything you want to shout out to your crowd?

    Thanks to all the people who’ve given me advice, encouragement and motivation. Thanks to the people who’ve raved about it to all their friends, and the people who’ve liked and shared and helped me to get the word out there. Thanks to the people who backed it at the start and to the people who’ve backed it now that its hit minimum funding. All my efforts would have been for nothing without you all, and I can’t wait to get the book into your hands, and I hope it helps with teaching your kids important stuff as much as I think it will.

    If you want to find out more about Jack and Sophie feeling big, take a look at Adam’s campaign here.




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