Looking for a new children’s book for your church’s or child’s library that tells of God’s undying love for us? Always, right?! We’re thrilled to introduce you to Katie Savage and her brand new children’s book called Not Especially Special. And a little bird told me that if you head on over yonder, you can watch a video of Katie, see the book’s illustrations and even invest in bringing it to children’s shelves everywhere.
You see, Katie launched a Kickstarter project for her book, and just last week, they met their goal of $12,000 so they could do a first print run of 1000 copies of the book! We are very excited for Katie, but they now have a stretch goal of $18,000. At that funding level, they would be able to increase the number of copies printed, set a small budget for future marketing, and donate 100 copies of the book to an after school tutoring ministry in Los Angeles.
So that’s where you all come in. After you’ve checked out this post and downloaded a fantastic freebie that Katie provided (look below for the pink box), go to Kickstarter and help her reach her stretch goal! Heck – why not just go to Kickstarter NOW, watch their video, invest in the book and then come back here. We’ll wait.
Did you do it? Great. Okay, now on to the interview.
About Katie and Her New Children’s Book
Alissa: Thanks so much for chatting with us, Katie! We’d love to hear a little bit about you, your loves and your work.
Katie: Great to be with you here on the blog! I’m a writer, a mom, a wife, a lover of the ocean and swings and the smell of freshly-cut limes. My first book is a kind of spiritual memoir called Grace in the Maybe: Instructions on Not Knowing Everything About God. And my second, which is currently on Kickstarter, is a children’s book called Not Especially Special.
Alissa: Give us a brief description of your book, Not Especially Special.
Katie: The story is about a dove who doesn’t feel very special. She’s not as beautiful as the parrot, as fast as the hummingbird, or as talented as the songbird. She wants to find something that sets her apart from the other birds. Not Especially Special is the story of how she learns that she has been created with a purpose and loved with a crazy-big, no-bird-too-ordinary love.
Alissa: Why did you write Not Especially Special?
Katie: I first had the idea for this character in college, during a time in my life when I felt a little bit lost in the crowd. And since then, that idea hasn’t let go of me. The lesson that God loves and values us, even though that seems so straightforward, is a truth we have to remind ourselves of constantly. It’s not something you just learn and then check off your list.
Alissa: The writing style of Not Especially Special is very expressive. Can you tell us about your methods?
Katie: This is my first foray into the world of children’s literature, and I’ve so enjoyed allowing myself to be playful with language. I had fun with rhyming, double meanings, alliteration, and onomatopoeia. It appeals to kids’ sense of discovery to use language that way. I hope little aha moments happen even after children have read it 16 times in a row.
Alissa: The idea of finding one’s identity is strong in your book. What about that idea moved you?
Katie: As a Christian, I believe that the absolute best thing we can know about God is that God loves, loves, loves us. Exactly. The. Way. We. Are. And that’s where I find identity. I strive to communicate this in my work writing, ministering and mothering.
Alissa: What was the most challenging part of writing this book?
Katie: This story took years to perfect. But, writing this book wasn’t difficult. Pursuing publication has been the challenging portion of the process. Since the children’s book market is very saturated, it’s difficult for a new author to get a publishing deal. I knew people would find value in the book, and I knew kids needed to hear the story. So, Kickstarter was the natural solution.
Alissa: What drew you to this particular story?
Katie: There’s a twist when we learn the dove is headed to Noah’s Ark. I’ve always been fascinated by the end of that story. Why the dove? In paintings of Bible stories, the dove is pure white and radiant. However, most of the doves I’ve seen are a little more…ordinary. God never makes the obvious choice in bringing about God’s beautiful work in the world.
Inspiration and Takeaways
Alissa: What other books have inspired you?
Katie: The very first children’s book I remember connecting to was E.B. White’s Charlotte’s Web. I know just where I was in my room when I got to the final page and felt the tears on my face. I remember the feeling of wishing the book had never ended. Writers like White are the reason I became an author. I felt the kindness behind their words.
I’ve also adored many of the classics, like The Giving Tree, Roxaboxen, and Oh! The Places You’ll Go. Newer favorites include Matthew Paul Turner’s When God Made You and Michelle Cuevas’s The Uncorker of Ocean Bottles.
Alissa: What is your favorite passage in the book and why?
Katie: I love when the dove finally, despite fears and doubts and insecurities, decides she’s ready to follow God’s leading. The illustration on that page, down to the very placement of the text, is so exciting and hopeful.
Alissa: What can readers hope to learn from this children’s book?
Katie: We can’t be compassionate toward each other unless we realize the deep value we hold as individuals. So, this is a story to help kids begin to engrave that message on their hearts.
Many thanks to Katie for taking the time to share with us about her book. We hope you’ll take a few minutes to back her Kickstarter project, and grab the coloring sheets below.