BY PATRICIA DUFF
May 22, 2013
“Two Tall Tales” will be a storybook (with art, pop-ups and audio) about how giraffes got their long necks — by being caring and brave. But the project needs Kickstarter funds to make it happen.
It’s the brainchild of Ann Medlock who turns 80 this month and who started the Giraffe Heroes Project 30 years ago. The Kickstarter campaign is important to making the book, a longtime dream of Medlock.
“There are lots of elders on Whidbey and lots of Boomers approaching elderliness,” Medlock said.
“I’m being told that I’m inspiring lots of them to do new stuff,” she said.
Creating this pop-up book for children about giraffes who “stick their necks out for the common good,” (a Giraffe Heroes Project tagline) is the only gift Medlock wants for this banner birthday year.
“Making this a popup book is an outrageous leap,” she said. “There are over 500 “glue points” in the model to make the popup finale. But it’s got to be. If you’re doing a book about giraffes getting long necks, what could be better than to have them get long necks — literally? Popups are magic and a delight to young and old,” Medlock added.
The idea came about as a way to present the Giraffe idea of compassionate service to the very young, in the Project’s K-2 curriculum. Medlock created the characters of Stan Tall & Bea Tall, young twin giraffes who model good sibling interactions, and who are also graced with a healthy dose of curiosity and humor.
The recorded stories of Stan and Bea have been enjoyed by children in classrooms for the past 10 years, so Medlock is confident that there is already an audience for the book.
“We’re combining the technologies of the 21st century and the 14th to create something wondrous for your kids and ours,” Medlock said of the book, which is being engineered by international award-winning master engineer of pop-up books Andrew Baron. Baron will design movable parts so readers will be able to watch the giraffes’ necks actually get longer right on the pages.
Also on the team are children’s book author Neal Starkman and local artist Dorit Zingarelli, who is ready to turn her finished sketches for “Two Tall Tales” into full-color paintings. The ultimate plan for “Two Tall Tales” is 32 colorful, illustrated pages — 13 inches high and 5 inches wide — made with thick, stiff paper — great for small hands. Some of those pages will have pull-tabs and popups — when the giraffes in the words get long necks, the giraffes in the art will get long necks too, right there on the pages.
“Combining QR scanners with the ancient art of handmade popup paper, “Two Tall Tales” will be a story book for our times, and for all times,” Medlock noted.
But combining the modern with the ancient takes funding, and with only 14 days left of the Kickstarter campaign, time is of the essence to make the project’s goal of $68,080.
“Let’s break the mold. Pledge for this awesome tech mash-up now,” Medlock said.
Also, it’s the best birthday present she can ever hope for.