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An illustrated picture book for kids based on the ancient Iranian classic tale of Zal & Simorgh from Ferdowsi's Shahnameh.
An illustrated picture book for kids based on the ancient Iranian classic tale of Zal & Simorgh from Ferdowsi's Shahnameh.
68 backers pledged $6,193 to help bring this project to life.

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Shahnameh For Kids - The Story of Zal and Simorgh

$6,193

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SHAHNAMEH FOR KIDS - The Story of Zal and Simorgh is a full color children's book developed by Arsia Rozegar and illustrated by Mike Amante.  

Inspired by Ferdowsi's Epic Poem, The Shahnameh, this children's book tells the classic tale of Zal, who was born with skin and hair white as snow. Because of his unusual appearance, Zal is abandoned as a newborn by his father at the foot of a mountain, but only to be discovered by the mystical and mythical giant bird known as Simorgh.

The Rewards

In addition to the book, you can choose from a variety of awesome rewards you won't find anywhere else! Some of the world's top talent like Genzoman and André Araújo contributed art to the campaign in the form of limited edition prints depicting well-known characters from the Shahnameh.

You also have the option to have your book signed or personalized by Arsia Rozegar at no additional cost.

Educational Teaching Guide & Kids Activities Kit

Specifically for those looking to implement Shahnameh For Kids as a teaching tool for youngsters; you may also choose to include an Educational Teaching Guide PDF & Kids Activities Kit PDF as part of any of rewards packages at no additional cost. The Educational Packet PDF is a straight-forward teaching guide that includes information about Iranian culture, history and The Shahnameh, while the Kids Activities Packet PDF includes fun activity sheets for kids that engages their imagination and creativity.

What is the Shahnameh?

The Shahnameh is an Epic Poem completed over 1000 years ago by a man called Ferdowsi. It features fascinating and larger than life characters engaged in amazing drama that unfold the mythology and history of Greater Iran. It's full of action, adventure, romance, and intrigue while containing fantastic metaphors and wisdom that can apply to all aspects of life even today.

Ferdowsi
Ferdowsi

What's also important about the Shahnameh is that it was composed during a critical period in Iranian history when it's very culture and language was being erased and replaced. Ferdowsi's Shahnameh helped play an integral role in preserving the Persian language and true Iranian Identity.

Who is Arsia Rozegar?

Born in Tehran, Iran and raised in the Washington DC Metro area, I've always had a passion for art and creativity. As a kid, I loved Super Heroes and would draw my own adventure comics every spare minute I had. Years later I "grew up" and worked professionally in the comic book industry primarily as a Color Artist on many different popular titles including Marvel's Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk. In addition to creating comics, I also helm Creative Arts Programs with KIDS CREATE.

Why Am I Doing This?

As a long-time fan of Super Heroes and Mythology, it was only natural that I would love Ferdowsi's Shahnameh, the definitive book on Iranian heroes and adventures. Blown away by its incredible stories and characters, I felt it was necessary to bring a mainstream pop version of its tales specifically geared towards a young audience.  It was also important for me that this children's book captures the intrinsic spirit of The Shahnameh while also presenting a proper visual depiction of Iranian culture and identity.

This project has been the culmination of several years of meticulous research of The Shahnameh and Ancient Iranian studies while utilizing all of my knowledge and professional experience in pop art, sequential story-telling and kid's programs. 

The Illustrations

The wonderfully detailed finished illustrations in the book are handled by the super-talented, Mike Amante. Using authentic historical reference and nods from classical Persian Miniature paintings, his whimsical art takes readers back to a far away ancient land and time.

How Can You Help?

A pledge would be awesome! Maybe you know a classroom or library that this book would make a great addition to. It would also make a thoughtful gift for someone who is a fan of The Shahnameh or World Mythology. 

But if right now's not the time for a pledge, please help spread the word! If you know a family, a teacher, or organization that would have interest or appreciate Shahnameh For Kids, please let them know! Tweets, Facebook posts, and other social media posts are a great way to help promote the book's Kickstarter campaign. #ShahnamehForKids

You can connect with Shahnameh For Kids online:
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Stretch Goals

I certainly do not want to end Shahnameh For Kids with just the Story of Zal & Simorgh. What about Greater Iran's strongest hero, Rostam?  Or the legendary female champion, Gordafarid? There are more classic tales from the Shahnameh that simply need to be told also. If we are able to reach stretch goals, we can do cool stuff like stickers and also potentially start production on follow-up Shahnameh For Kids titles!  And who knows how far we could take this? Can you imagine a fun interactive and educational app or even an animated cartoon?

Rewards Package Breakdowns

Risks and challenges

Most of art for the book, Shahnameh For Kids - The Story of Zal & Simorgh is finished. With only some minor completions along with a few final tweaks, it will be ready for production and prep for printing.

At the very latest the book will be finished and in your hands before the Winter Holidays.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 24 or more About US$ 24

    THE BOOK

    • 1st Edition of the book

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    Pledge US$ 45 or more About US$ 45

    TWO BOOKS

    • Two (2) copies of the the book.

    One book for your collection and one book for a loved one!

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    Pledge US$ 45 or more About US$ 45

    GENZOMAN ART PRINT

    • 1st Edition of the book

    Plus a Limited Edition 11x14 Art Print by Gonzalo "Genzoman" Ordoñez depicting The Shahnameh's legendary hero, Rostam.

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    Pledge US$ 45 or more About US$ 45

    ANDRÉ ARAÚJO ART PRINT

    • 1st Edition of the book

    Plus a Limited Edition 11x14 Art Print by Marvel Comics artist, André Araújo depicting The Shahnameh's Kaveh Ahangar & the Derafshe Kaviani.

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    Pledge US$ 45 or more About US$ 45

    YASMINE TAHERBEIGI ART PRINT

    • 1st Edition of the book

    Plus a Limited Edition 11x14 Art Print by the creator/artist of "Mr. Majid's Tea with Shirin", Yasmine Taherbeigi depicting The Shahnameh's Prince Siavash.

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    Pledge US$ 60 or more About US$ 60

    16x20 POSTER

    • 1st Edition of the book

    Plus a 16x20 Poster of Zal & Simorgh. Looks great displayed in a classroom, library or kid's bedroom.

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    Pledge US$ 80 or more About US$ 80

    FULL SET OF ART PRINTS

    • 1st Edition of the book

    Plus the full set of all 3 Limited Edition 11x14 Art Prints by Gonzalo "Genzoman" Ordoñez, André Araújo, and Yasmine Taherbeigi.

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    Pledge US$ 100 or more About US$ 100

    COMPLETE PACKAGE

    • 1st Edition of the book
    • 16x20 Poster
    • Full Set of All 3 Limited Edition Art Prints by Gonzalo "Genzoman" Ordoñez, André Araújo, and Yasmine Taherbeigi.

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    Pledge US$ 100 or more About US$ 100

    SMALL SHOP / LIBRARY / CLASSROOM SET

    • Includes a set of Five (5) copies of the 1st Edition of SHAHNAMEH FOR KIDS: The Story of Zal & Simorgh.

    (Don't forget you can also include the free Educational Teaching Guide PDF and Kids Activites Kit PDF)

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    Pledge US$ 140 or more About US$ 140

    ORIGINAL HAND-DRAWN SIMORGH ART

    • 1st Edition of the book
    • 16x20 Poster
    • Full Set of all 3 Limited Edition Art Prints

    Plus you also get an original hand-drawn Simorgh Art by creator, Arsia Rozegar.

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    Pledge US$ 200 or more About US$ 200

    A LITTLE BIT OF DAMAVAND

    • 1st Edition of the book
    • 16x20 Poster
    • Full Set of all 3 Limited Edition Art Prints
    • Original hand-drawn Simorgh Art

    Plus now you can carry a little bit of Damavand with you at all times. This package comes with a small vial of earth taken personally by Arsia Rozegar directly from the foot of the legendary mountain itself. Damavand and the Alborz Mountains play an important role in Iranian mythology including the Story of Zal & Simorgh.

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    Pledge US$ 250 or more About US$ 250

    GET DRAWN IN THE BOOK

    • 1st Edition of the book
    • 16x20 Poster
    • Full Set of all 3 Limited Edition Art Prints
    • Original hand-drawn Simorgh Art

    Plus you or a loved one of your choice will be drawn as a background character extra in the story.

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    Pledge US$ 1,000 or more About US$ 1,000

    FRIENDS OF SIMORGH

    • 1st Edition of the book
    • 16x20 Poster
    • Full Set of all 3 Limited Edition Art Prints
    • Original hand-drawn Simorgh Art

    Plus in appreciation of this generous pledge, you or your (non-political/non-religious) organization's name and website will be directly linked on ShahnamehForKids.com.

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    Pledge US$ 2,000 or more About US$ 2,000

    PERSONAL APPEARANCE

    • 1st Edition of the book
    • 16x20 Poster
    • Full Set of all 3 Limited Edition Art Prints
    • Original hand-drawn Simorgh Art

    Plus creator, Arsia Rozegar will come speak, do a reading, book-signing and/or Q&A at the school, library or organization of your choice. The event can also include interactive Shahnameh-related creative activities for kids to take part in. (Travel expenses and lodging are covered by this donation within the continental United States)
    .

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Funding period

- (45 days)