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A board book that takes quotable, memorable, fun Shakespeare and turns it into a story for babies and toddlers.
A board book that takes quotable, memorable, fun Shakespeare and turns it into a story for babies and toddlers.
304 backers pledged $13,051 to help bring this project to life.

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Shakespeare for babies: real literature to read on a lap

$13,051

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The Wild Waves Whist is a board book that takes beautiful, centuries-treasured language direct from William Shakespeare's The Tempest and turns it into a story by means of gorgeous original illustrations. 

It's meant to give babies, toddlers, preschoolers, and their caregivers a book that speaks to all of them--that lights up the imagination of parent and child alike. 

Grown-ups get to quote Shakespeare and take a turn reading words performed to rapt audiences on hundreds of stages for hundreds of years. 

Children get some of the finest writing in the English language delivered to them on their level--with animal sounds, rhymes, rhythm, and play. 

When you're reading to a child over and over again, it's wonderful to have a book that you know is great for them--and that speaks to you, too.  

What is The Wild Waves Whist? A beautifully illustrated board book that creates a story from verbatim text from Shakespeare’s The Tempest.  

Who is it for? We designed it for children ages 0-3 and their caregivers, so it’s sturdy, nontoxic, and fun. But anyone who loves Shakespeare—or beautiful language and beautiful art—will love this book. 

Mehrdokht Amini's artwork for The Wild Waves Whist
Mehrdokht Amini's artwork for The Wild Waves Whist

What’s special about it? This is literature for everyone, wrapped up in gorgeous original art, and spun into a joyful, exhilarating story. The setting and themes call back to the original play but don't require any knowledge of The Tempest to enjoy. Because the text is rhyming, rhythmic, and associated with a visual story, small children have lots of reasons to enjoy it. Adults might well end up able to recite the whole book within a couple of readings. Because it's made of some of the best-beloved words of the most celebrated poet of the English language, that's part of the fun!   

Shakespeare has rhyme, rhythm, onomatopoeia, and plenty of humor--a perfect blend to enjoy with a child.
Shakespeare has rhyme, rhythm, onomatopoeia, and plenty of humor--a perfect blend to enjoy with a child.

Why is this good for kids? 

 - Hearing verse and wordplay helps kids learn to speak and communicate, especially when it’s repeatable.  Fun sounds are fun sounds no matter how old you are. But rhymes and rhythm are common in books for the very young because they help kids learn what to expect, and how to understand new words in context. (Literal pictures help with this too.) 

Repetition solidifies that knowledge, so reading the same books over and over can be truly useful to a child, even though it’s hard on adults. 

 - Stories teach cause and effect, empathy, and problem-solving skills. The narrative might be overlooked in many books meant for the very young, but it serves an important purpose. Stories follow a character or group of characters as they face adversity, consider their options, decide to act, and discover the consequences of what they’ve done. This pattern repeats over time and geography to become the backbone of the way we understand our world. There’s a reason for that. Stories have immense power, to put us in someone else’s shoes, to try out different philosophies, to expand our comprehension and imagination, and teach us from the experience of others. And if all that isn’t enough, they simply entertain us—the heart of the story is “What happens next?” 

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- Time with an adult with a book reinforces the value of reading.  Children benefit hugely from being read to by a person they love. Secure relationships are extremely important when children are very young, and tying those relationships to the activity of reading increases the chances of fostering a love for reading in the children themselves. The importance of reading for independence, school readiness, and academic achievement is well documented—but it's also a joy that lasts a lifetime.  

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 - Fun for adults means more benefit for kids. The more excitement and enthusiasm the reader brings to the text, the more fun a small child is likely to have, and the more positive they will feel about reading and books in general. If both of you enjoy storytime more, maybe you will see more opportunities to add stories into your day—with The Wild Waves Whist or any other book that sings to you.   

Who is making this book? 

This is the second Shakespeare-for-babies project from Drivel and Drool. The first one, Behowl the Moon, beat its Kickstarter funding goals, stayed on budget, went to press on time, shipped to backers on time, and won great reviews from critics of all ages. Check out our Press page to read about Behowl the Moon--or get your own copy!

Now we want to make another book, and we are bringing back the same team to do it. 

Mehrdohkt Amini brings vibrant color, an exploratory spirit and a sense of mischievious fun to the Wild Waves Whist just as she did for Behowl the Moon.
Mehrdohkt Amini brings vibrant color, an exploratory spirit and a sense of mischievious fun to the Wild Waves Whist just as she did for Behowl the Moon.

Illustrations

The book will be professionally illustrated with original art by Mehrdokht Amini. Her past work has earned awards including : 

  • Inclusion on Kirkus Reviews' Best Indie Books List 2017 (Behowl the Moon)
  • White Ravens honors 
  • Nomination for a Kate Greenaway medal
  • American Library Association Notable Book 2013
  • PubWest 2013 Book Design Awards Gold Winner
  • Best Children’s Africana Book Award 2016 from Africa Access Review and the African Studies Association
  • Parents' Choice Approved Book 
  • Parents' Choice Recommended Book (Behowl the Moon
  • Bank Street College of Education Best Children’s Books of the Year, 2013 – starred for Outstanding Merit
  • CCBC Choices 2013 from the Cooperative Children’s Book Center at the School of Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison
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Design

The aesthetics and layout of the art and text and the supervision of printing and press specifics will be handled by amazingly talented, award-winning designer Sheila Parr, who has specialized in book design for over 12 years. 

Editorial 

The text is fully complete, written by William Shakespeare. Erin Nelsen Parekh, editor, writer, and general book person with 14 years' experience in publishing, is responsible for story and editorial decisions. She's also the person at the end of the message link--feel free to get in touch if you want to talk about The Wild Waves Whist!

Printing

Printing and materials certification will be completed by an experienced and established book printing press with a track record of on-time delivery, highest-quality products, and a relationship with top U.S. publishers. The specific printer will be selected based on schedule and pricing quotes delivered August 2018. 

Timeline

If this campaign succeeds, Mehrdokht will finish creating the illustrations in June and July 2018. Sheila will design and compose the page layout and interior, and create the plan that tells the printer how to put the book together. We plan to send the book to the printer at the beginning of August 2018. Printing and shipping is expected to take until mid-November. Books will be on their way to readers in early December 2018. 

What will the funds do? $10,800 will pay for the rest of the illustrations, page design, printing, and shipping—everything it takes to get the book and its art out of the realm of imagination and into your hands. If funding goes over that point, then things get really fun--additional artwork, to let us spend more time in this beautiful world. Enhancements to the e-book to make it a surprising, interactive experience all on its own as well as an electronic copy of the book. Increases in the print run, to get more Shakespeare into more little hands at a lower cost per book. And a host of little niceties designed to delight readers, young, old, and everywhere in between. 

Risks and challenges

Risks
A project to publish a book has a great many possible pitfalls. The most prominent risks are to the schedule--if the work is not completed in time, or the printers can't meet their deadlines, the books might not be available to ship at the planned time. We're preparing for this by adding a couple weeks to the typical shipping time to account for the busy season. We are also planning to have books out well before the Christmas rush is in full swing so there will be a bit of time left to work out solutions if something goes wrong in shipping.

Another risk is to the creators themselves--a project like this can't go on without its creators, and the work is not yet all complete, so if a crisis occurred with one of us schedules might slip. But we are all professionals with a number of years of experience in our chosen fields, and used to working around the kind of minor emergencies that often come up. And we're all really excited about the book and willing to do what we need to do to make it real.

This project is ready to go, ready to enchant little minds and entertain the people who love them. All we need is your support. Please get us started! Help us put this amazing, beautiful story out in the world.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 10 or more About US$ 10

    E-books!

    The e-book of The Wild Waves Whist, featuring the full set of original illustrations. If we make the stretch goal for enhancing the e-book, this will include narration, sound effects, and interactivity!

    You also get the enhanced e-book of Behowl the Moon, which includes narration of the text and a special page of interactive sound effects on iDevices!

    Includes:
    • The Wild Waves Whist e-book
    • Behowl the Moon e-book (includes narration and sound effects)
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    Pledge US$ 20 or more About US$ 20

    The Wild Waves Whist - Early Bird!

    Be one of the very first to support The Wild Waves Whist and help us bring real Shakespeare to a lap near you!

    If the project funds, you will receive a gorgeous, fully illustrated board book using text from The Tempest to tell a story about two kids out discovering all kinds of things in the natural world. It's a story about wonder, exhilaration, risk, and joy--and you're in a great position to get it started.

    Please share the project now, and we'll have such a better chance of success!

    Includes:
    • The Wild Waves Whist board book
    • The Wild Waves Whist e-book
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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Reward no longer available 44 backers
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    Pledge US$ 25 or more About US$ 25

    The Wild Waves Whist board book

    The Wild Waves Whist as a sturdy, high-quality board book. A verbatim selection from Shakespeare's The Tempest, illustrated to create an exhilarating story about two children exploring the natural world.

    *If you would like more copies* of The Wild Waves Whist, just increase your pledge by $13 per extra book and send Erin a note with how many copies you want!

    This pledge also includes the Wild Waves Whist e-book and the enhanced e-book for Behowl the Moon.

    Includes:
    • The Wild Waves Whist board book
    • The Wild Waves Whist e-book
    • Behowl the Moon e-book (includes narration and sound effects)
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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    160 backers
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    Pledge US$ 45 or more About US$ 45

    Scholarship + Notecards

    This pledge sends two copies of The Wild Waves Whist out into the world, each to a school, library, or kid that needs a break.

    You receive a set of 12 beautiful notecards featuring art from The Wild Waves Whist and Behowl the Moon, with envelopes, and (upon placement) a handwritten note telling you where each book ends up.

    Want to give a book and receive one for yourself, or add to the number of books you're sending? No problem, just write Erin a note with your a) desired scholarship books and b)books-to-keep and add $13 to your pledge for each additional copy over 2.

    Want to nominate someone to receive a scholarship book or books? Please message Erin!

    Includes:
    • Notecards with envelopes
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    Pledge US$ 65 or more About US$ 65

    The Rooster from The Wild Waves Whist

    A high-quality art print of the rooster from The Wild Waves Whist, suitable for framing, plus the board book and e-books.

    Includes:
    • The Wild Waves Whist board book
    • Rooster art print (8" x 8")
    • The Wild Waves Whist e-book
    • Behowl the Moon e-book (includes narration and sound effects)
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    8 backers
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    Pledge US$ 75 or more About US$ 75

    Shakespeare, baby! 2 outfits + 2 books

    The perfect gift for a tiny drama fan! Two onesies or t-shirts in the size of your choice, one featuring the Shakespeare rooster from The Wild Waves Whist and another featuring the lion from Behowl the Moon.

    Plus one copy each of The Wild Waves Whist and Behowl the Moon, 12 art notecards with envelopes, and both e-books.

    Includes:
    • Rooster onesie or tee: "Cock-a-diddle-dow," --Shakespeare
    • Lion onesie or tee: "Now the hungry lion roars,"--Shakespeare
    • Notecards with envelopes
    • The Wild Waves Whist board book
    • Behowl the Moon board book
    • The Wild Waves Whist e-book
    • Behowl the Moon e-book (includes narration and sound effects)
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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    32 backers
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    Pledge US$ 100 or more About US$ 100

    Advance copy of The Wild Waves Whist

    When the printer has set up the press and run the very first copies, the very first few advance copies go out via airmail, putting a girdle round the earth in about 24-48 hours. When they get to me, I will send one to you.

    You will receive The Wild Waves Whist approximately two full months before the rest of the print run is even delivered.

    Includes:
    • Notecards with envelopes
    • The Wild Waves Whist board book
    • The Wild Waves Whist e-book
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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 4 backers
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    Pledge US$ 125 or more About US$ 125

    Art prints + The Wild Waves Whist

    An archival-quality giclée print of the original art "Sweet Scent" featuring Ariel's song from Act V.i of The Tempest, an art print of "The Rooster," and a first-edition copy of the book.

    Includes:
    • Rooster art print (8" x 8")
    • "Sweet Scent" art print (approximately 20" x 10")
    • Notecards with envelopes
    • The Wild Waves Whist board book
    • The Wild Waves Whist e-book
    • Behowl the Moon e-book (includes narration and sound effects)
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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    7 backers
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    Pledge US$ 200 or more About US$ 200

    Choose an animal

    Choose an animal to hide in the island setting of The Wild Waves Whist. You'll be able to point to it in every copy of the book. (Subject to creative veto, though--if you're set on an animal that seems like a reach feel free to message us!)

    Includes:
    • The Wild Waves Whist board book
    • Notecards with envelopes
    • The Wild Waves Whist e-book
    • Behowl the Moon e-book (includes narration and sound effects)
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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Reward no longer available 5 backers
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    Pledge US$ 2,100 or more About US$ 2,100

    Shakespeare's Words, Your Story

    You choose a selection from Shakespeare (or another poetic source). Erin will consult with you to choose characters and craft a narrative around the poem, and Mehrdokht will illuminate a gorgeous, individual mixed-media artwork of the text with the story.

    You will receive a custom-framed 20" by 10" archival print of your own poem-story, a one-of-a-kind creation signed by the artist.

    Includes:
    • An illuminated manuscript of your favorite poem
    • The Wild Waves Whist board book
    • Rooster art print (8" x 8")
    • "Sweet Scent" art print (approximately 20" x 10")
    • Notecards with envelopes
    • Rooster onesie or tee: "Cock-a-diddle-dow," --Shakespeare
    • Lion onesie or tee: "Now the hungry lion roars,"--Shakespeare
    • Behowl the Moon board book
    • The Wild Waves Whist e-book
    • Behowl the Moon e-book (includes narration and sound effects)
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 0 backers
    $
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Funding period

- (30 days)