About this project
Castor Tales presents three easy readers set in exciting fantasy worlds, with diverse and engaging characters. The simple sentences, federally recognized sight words for K-2nd grade, and repetition will teach children how to read. But what's more....the exciting plot, magical worlds, and powerful themes will help children want to read.
These easy readers are published by Castor Tales, written by NYT Bestselling author Ellie Ann, and illustrated by Brittany Ngo, MJ Erickson, and Courtney Hicks (artist for Emmy award winning show, ARCHER)
Castor Tales is a fantasy and science fiction publisher that concentrates on stories from perspectives that aren't written very often (like, one of our characters is non-binary, and another has two dads). We need your help to get these books into the hands of children, parents, teachers, librarians, and fantasy enthusiasts everywhere. We can't make these books a reality without your help.
MJ Erickson drew an adorable new piece, "Vampire on a Swing," and the response was so great we decided to add it as a reward. Next 38 people who buy a book or up their pledge will get a copy of the print!
Each book is an 8x8 hardcover, with 13-16 full color illustrations on glossy pages. We want this book to hold up for jelly-fingered enthusiastic children to read again and again.
ROOK is about a cunning young thief who takes whatever she wants. But one day, she steals from the wrong witch and she's caught! The witch takes her in, and teaches her how to create, not take.
"I think it's really important for young readers to see strong, female characters in literature and Ellie really has a passionate and unique way to bring that to the masses. I was also really interested and excited about the idea of working on a fantasy themed reader that I could one day introduce my own child to." - Brittany Ngo
Petra's the best archer in the world. They shoot high, they shoot low, and hit whatever they aim for. One day, soldiers come and offer them gold if they'll do a hard job. Should Petra take it? This book is about using your skills for good, and features a non-gendered protagonist.
As an illustrator, I was drawn to many aspects of Petra's story. The far Eastern setting of the book is one rarely found in children's stories, which added a great deal of interest for me. Working with the colors, patterns, and clothing styles of Morocco was an exciting learning experience, and kept the art new and engaging. Also, the fantasy aspect of Petra touched close to my heart! As a largely fantasy-based artist, I was excited to illustrate a world of magic, even as the story itself is grounded in a relatable journey of learning and understanding right from wrong.
Wolf likes pie, fish, mud, singing to the moon, and most of all her family. On the other hill lives a vampire family, whom she's taught to fear. One day, silver rain attacks Wolf's house, and she runs, injured. Wolf meets Vampire, who has also been injured. She must decide if she should help someone she's afraid of. Can they team up in order to save their families?
MJ is passionate about stories that feature diverse representation, and I think children's literature in particular could use a lot more of it. Kids shouldn't have to wait until they hit a certain age to find themselves, their friends and their families on the pages of their books.
Learning to read is an important journey, and we at Castor Tales want it to be as exciting as possible. These three easy readers will take your child on fast paced fantasy adventures.
Risks and challenges
- the books are already written, and the illustrators have already started working on the books! If one of the illustrators back out for any reason (personal or professional), Castor is prepared to find a new one.
- we've already hired a book designer (Ryan Dampf), to complete the design of the books after they illustrations are complete.
- other than solar flares or a zombie attack, there aren't many challenges we wouldn't be able to overcome. We've started these books and will see them through!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Support this project
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