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Posted by on Dec 17, 2014 | 0 comments

A “Not Perfect” Moment for Kids


Jena Not Perfect Video1A

Click to Watch Ms. Jenaia Read Chapter 1 of The Not Perfect Hat Club on TouchCast

 Join Ms. Jenaia and her buddy Newton as they read the first chapter of CritterKin’s new book, The Not Perfect Hat Club aloud for kids.

The Not Perfect Hat Club is CritterKin’s latest project designed to help kids understand that no one is perfect and celebrate the ways that being Not Perfect makes them uniquely and perfectly themselves.  The story centers around and elderly dog named Newton and  two kids – one a skateboarding slam poet, the other a gifted violinist – who are having a hard time accepting their imperfections. Together they discover that being “Not Perfect” means they are free to be themselves and set out to share their discovery with other kids.

Please watch, share and become a fan of the project by visiting our Pubslush page:

There you can become a fan (NO money involved) and help us make the Not Perfect Hat Club a reality in schools all around the world.







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Posted by on Dec 11, 2014 | 0 comments

Ho, Ho, Ho from Iowa!

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 Click to hear an interview with CritterKin author Jena Ball about the project

Every year from the middle of November to the end of December we’re bombarded with the images and sounds of the holidays. It’s enough to give even the jolliest among us an “Ebenezer-Moment.”

This is not to say that the sentiment behind our holiday traditions is not a good one. After all, CritterKin is all about helping kids experience and practice kindness, compassion and empathy. So it is with great pride and a sincere “Ho, Ho, Ho” that I introduce you to Tammy Massman and her 17 third graders at Northeast Hamilton School in Blairsburg, Iowa.

Tammy’s class has been reading, discussing and creating a “Kindness Quilt” based on CritterKin’s third book Lead With Your Heart. The story of a misunderstood, pit bull named Lance, whose breed and color are alarming to some folks in town, Lead With Your Heart is a lesson kindness and self-empowerment. Through a combination of empathy, respect and determined community outreach, the kids in the story teach the town that pit bulls are good dogs and help a fearful city councilwoman overcome her emotional flu.

Quilting for Kindness Invitation - Tammy

You’re Cordially Invited!

The pièce de résistance of the project will be a one-act play based on the final chapter of the book, and you’re invited! The kids have been hard at work practicing their lines with the help of Jonathan Keltz, an accomplished actor best known for his work on Entourage and Reign.

The play will be performed live on Wednesday, December 17 at 2:00 pm CST (3:00 EST) in the school’s gym.  The Kindness Quilt, which features the collaborative artwork, poetry and individual stories of each of the students will also be on display.  For those who cannot attend in-person, the program will be broadcast via a Google Hangout On Air:

 Meet the Cast!

Our young actors and actresses are pictured below.  Their first names (on the left) are followed by the name of the character they portray  (on the right).


Questions? Contact Jena Ball
Phone: (919) 454-9917



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Posted by on Dec 10, 2014 | 0 comments

Perfectly Not Perfect Stories – Part 1


The first in a series of stories from students in “The Not Perfect Hat Club.” We will be featuring a story a day. If you’d like to learn more about The Not Perfect Hat Club, and how you can be part of bringing the book and accompanying PBL activities to life, visit:


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“Ruff! Hi I am Won Ton. I am a dog. I am a very special dog. I am in a wheelchair. I will remind you that I am a dog. The reason I am in a wheelchair is because my muscles  don’t work properly. The wheelchair is comfortable. I get frustrated by not being able to keep up with other dogs, but I don’t mind it that much. I was taken in to a shelter when I was really young. It was warm and cozy. They let you out to play and wrap you in nice warm blankets. You can sleep as much as you want. They also give you very yummy food.  One day while I was sleeping a very nice lady came in. Her name was Willma. She came over to me and said, “I’ll take this little cutie home.” I didn’t know it then, but I was going to a great home. Even though I had a wheelchair I loved fetch. Any time I could play I would. Chasing that ball was endless fun.I caught it before it hit the ground 5 times. Now I know it doesn’t sound like much, but for a dog in a wheelchair it is a lot.

Even though I cannot walk very well, I now know that I am a special dog. It was all because I was loved.”

– Bryce (4th grader)


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Posted by on Dec 9, 2014 | 0 comments

What’s a Pubslush?


Pubslush Logo with Not Perfect

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CritterKin followers are seeing and hearing a lot about out latest project The Not Perfect Hat Club, including requests for you to “Become a Fan.”

The Not Perfect Hat Club is our way of helping students and teachers reimagine their approach to learning. Instead of holding up a daunting list of performance standards, we’re suggesting we focus on the process of learning – on discovering and empowering each child to find his/her unique capabilities. This can only be accomplished when we acknowledge that perfection is not an option, everyone is perfectly not perfect,  and that failure has a much to teach us as success.

What’s a Pubslush?

Pubslush is a pre-publication platform that offers crowdfunding and pre-order options for authors and publishers.  We have launched a campaign on this platform to do four things:

  • Build a robust community of educators committed to the belief that we are all perfectly not perfect;
  • Acquire the funding required to finish writing and illustrating the book and produce creative materials for use by teachers and kids;
  • Market and promote The Not Perfect Hat Club book and project; and
  • Make The Not Perfect Hat Club support materials readily available for digital download.

Becoming a Fan

Becoming a fan does NOT require you to give money. In fact, as several of our supporters have already discovered, you can’t give us money yet!  By hitting the “Become a Fan” button you are simply saying you believe in what we are trying to accomplish. The more fans we have the easier it will be for us to ask for financial support when the crowdfunding part of the campaign begins in January.

So…please consider letting us know that The Not Perfect Hat Club concept resonates for you by becoming a fan:

On that page you will be able to read the first chapter of the book and take a look at some of the terrific rewards we’ll be offering folks when the campaign launches. There are more coming (such as signed prints of the original art being produced for the book), but we’d love to hear what  kind of rewards you’d like to see.

Thank you for helping us make The Not Perfect Hat Club a reality!

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