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See Jane fly. See Dick time travel! Castor introduces three exciting, diverse easy readers set in beautiful fantasy worlds.
See Jane fly. See Dick time travel! Castor introduces three exciting, diverse easy readers set in beautiful fantasy worlds.
119 backers pledged $4,778 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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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.

New Reward:

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.

 

Illustrated by Brittany Ngo, written by Ellie Ann
Illustrated by Brittany Ngo, written by Ellie Ann

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

 

Illustrated by Courtney Hicks, written by Ellie Ann
Illustrated by Courtney Hicks, written by Ellie Ann

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.

 

Illustrated by MJ Erickson, written by Ellie Ann
Illustrated by MJ Erickson, written by Ellie Ann

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!

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    Taurus - strongest thank you we have!

    A huge thanks from the team.

    "Even the smallest can change the course of the future." - Lady Galadriel

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    Cygnus - earnest as a swan

    A note signed from the team, to show our gratitude and show off our handwriting.

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    Sirius - brightest in the sky!

    One book of your choice.

    "When I have a little money, I buy books; and if I have any left, I buy food and clothes." - Erasmus

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    Vampire on a Swing print

    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!

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    Castor & Pollux, twin powers!

    Two books of your choice.

    "Once you learn to read, you will be forever free." - Frederick Douglass

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    Orion's Belt! Conspicuous & Recognizable

    Three books of your choice.

    "But I always say, one's company, two's a crowd, and three's a party." - Andy Warhol

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    Camelopardalis -giraffe of the sky!

    Three books and one 8x12 print of your choice.

    "Children are made readers on the laps of their parents." - Emilie Buchwald

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    Pledge $60 or more About $60

    Ursa Major - you are major awesome.

    Three books and three 8x12 prints of your choice.

    "Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain a child once they grow up." - Picasso

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    Draco has nine stars!

    Nine books of your choice.

    "A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies." - GRR Martin

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    Cassiopeia, bow to the queen!

    Twelve books of your choice.

    "The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go." - Dr Suess

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    Pledge $160 or more About $160

    Volantis - You're the fish, who can fly!

    One copy of each book signed by the author and illustrators.

    One of each 8x12 poster, signed by each illustrator.

    Your name will be placed in the back of each book's first print run as a Kickstarter contributor.

    "To learn to read is to light a fire." - Victor Hugo, Les Miserables

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Funding period

- (30 days)