We’re 23% funded, and featured as a Kickstarter “Project We Love”!



Thank you so much for supporting this book, and for spreading the word. Three days in, and we’re already 23% funded!

On top of that, Beside the Pond has been selected as a Kickstarter “Project We Love,” which Kickstarter says:”…Is our way of highlighting brilliant examples of creativity.”

And look, they gave us a special GIF!

They also say, “We’ll feature your campaign across Kickstarter,” so now this book has an even better chance of reaching families who will love it!

If you’ve been planning to back the project by pre-ordering a book or two, the first week is a great time to do it – projects that show healthy momentum early on, tend to gather the most readers in the end.

I’m really excited to share this story with you. Thank you for all you’ve done to make that possible, and please do continue to spread the word. As a little bonus fun, here’s another interior illustration by the inimitable Sydni Lee:

Chapter 5: The Chorus
Chapter 5: The Chorus

Have a great weekend, everyone.

— James

Beside the Pond Kickstarter is Now Live!


Hello friends,

I’m excited to tell you that my newest book, Beside the Pond: A Big Old Garden Story is now available on Kickstarter!

In my first book, A Year in the Big Old Garden, I introduced you to a garden that resembles the one at my house, and we shared adventures with the birds and other backyard wildlife who visit here. Beside the Pond takes us back for another year of seasons in the Big Old Garden, and spends most of its time, well… beside the pond! 

On the Kickstarter page you can watch an introductory video – including clips from chapter 1 of the audiobook and some sample illustrations – and meet the brilliant team we assembled to bring this book into the world. Then place a pre-order to get your copy of the book, and some exclusive rewards besides.

We need your help!

We have set our Kickstarter goal just high enough to cover the cost of producing this book in paperback, e-book, and audio-book. Because of the way Kickstarter works, we have to hit that goal, or we don’t get any of your contributions.

So if you want to hold a copy of Beside the Pond, or to share it with your favorite kids, please:

Big Old Garden sequel coming to Kickstarter next week!


Announcing Beside the Pond: A Year in the Big Old Garden

Hello friends, I wanted you to know that on April 14, we will launch Kickstarter pre-orders for the sequel to A Year in the Big Old Garden!

Here’s the official blurb:

Beside the Pond: A Big Old Garden Story is a nature-inspired children’s book in the spirit of Thornton Burgess and Beatrix Potter. Like its predecessor A Year in the Big Old GardenBeside the Pond introduces young readers to a cast of backyard birds and animals, and follows their adventures through the seasons.

Fans of the Big Old Garden will meet new friends as well as some old ones, and experience the world through the perspective of a bullfrog who has a little problem.

Beside the Pond’s thirteen chapters stand alone as individual stories, perfect for bedtime or stolen moments throughout the day. They’re crafted purposely to be read aloud, for the enjoyment of parents and small children alike. Taken together, the stories tell a unified tale about the animals and birds who live around the little moon-shaped pond in the Big Old Garden, so Beside the Pond: A Big Old Garden Story can also be enjoyed as a chapter book for readers ages 7-10.

The Kickstarter launches on April 14,

and I’ll send out some more info, including a brief introductory video, when that happens.

(Here’s the link for the preview page: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/jamesdwitmer/beside-the-pond-a-big-old-garden-story-by-james-d-witmer.)

I hope you’ll join us!
All the Best.