The Make-A-Book Project and author-in-residence program school photographs. Pictured here are all four of the aerial-view school photos. Kids standing in the shape of a bicycle, worm, butterfly and cupcake.

How to turn dreams into reality: Dream It! Map It! Play It! Update: The Make-A-Book Project has a new home on, our website for kids and their parents, teachers and healthcare providers. 

Book signing celebration
Scott signs books at the Ruby the Red Worm ice cream social and book signing. This event drew over 1000 people. Thanks to the Waukesha STEM Academy for going beyond the call of duty to organize this event. They also included free ice cream for all the kids.


Here are a few ideas for funding a Make-A-Book Project or any goal your school may have, like a new garden or playground equipment. In the past, we have raised anywhere from $300 to over $2500 plus expenses.

signed by the author fundraiser

Simple fundraiser: If your school or organization doesn’t want to create a book, perhaps you would like to organize a simple fundraiser with Scott’s five children’s books. The books make great gifts for friends and family. We’ll even donate a set to the school library. And, Scott could visit as a guest author to sign the books. Meeting Scott in person inspires students to dream, and helps instill the faith that big dreams, like cycling around the world, are really possible.

The logistics: We can donate 40-55% of the cover price of all book sales, compared to Scholastic’s book drive, which pays as low as 25% for the first $2500 in sales. Of course, this event would take some organization with the parent-teacher committee, but I have personally seen the success. Assuming the event is well-organized and sells about 300 books (less than 1 book per family), we would earn enough money to fund a SMART Board for the classroom. The fundraiser could also include cupcakes (baked and donated by parents), raffle prizes and more. The best way to coordinate a fundraiser is with an existing event, like a Spring Fling or Holiday Craft Sale.

Supporting a book project at your school. If you DO want to organize and fund a book project, in addition to a book and bake sale, perhaps we could try social media fundraising. It’s fun and a great way to reach friends and friends of friends. is one example. Social fundraising also supports a reward system; for example, donors could:

  • Support naming a character; for example, at a $100 donation level
  • Contributing a theme
  • Purchase a book signed by all the student illustrators
  • Or whatever fun reward we can create.

This isn’t just fundraising—your community can help co-create the book; in other words: it’s interactive!

Purple and orange cupcakes matching the Cupcake Boy Cover
Purple and orange cupcakes matching the Cupcake Boy Cover. What a pleasant surprise this was.

Example Fundraiser

To celebrate the completion of our book, The Cupcake Boy, the PTO launched a bake sale. It was a big success! We earned enough to pay for the whole Make-A-Book Project with some money left over to fund more activities and supplies for the students.

Hundreds of cupcakes are being prepared.
Volunteers get ready for our cupcake bake sale. We had dozens of parent volunteers bake cupcakes for the fundraiser. Pictured here is only half the cupcakes.
Grover Monster cupcake with blue fur and googly eyes.
Grover Monster cupcake.
Sunflower cupcakes made out of candy corn.
I love candy corn. And I loved these sunflower cupcakes with petals made out of candy corn. Eye-catching yet simple. How do people think of this stuff?
Monster cupcakes of all different colors and designs.
Monster cupcakes. A very creative plate. How can you even choose one?
Cinderella cupcake. The top half is a doll with a dress of yellow frosting.
Cinderella cupcake. The top half is a doll with a dress of yellow frosting.
Yellow Minion cupcakes made out of Twinkies on top of a cupcake base with lots of yellow frosting.
Minion cupcakes. A clever design that uses half Twinkies as the Minion and the cupcake as the base.

Make a book at your school

If this looks like fun, contact us to get a book project started at your school.

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Project updates

Finally, the best part of the whole project — the book celebration. We were honored to have hundreds of community members attend and support both the book and the monarch butterfly.
Like many species on our planet, monarch butterflies face many challenges. The population has shrunk dramatically, and their great migration has nearly collapsed more than once. Here is how you can help.
This is another one of my favorite all-time photographs. Unlike the past three photographs where I was standing on the roof of the school, this is photographed using a drone. It took hours of preparation and was called off several times. Read more about how I made this photos.