About this project
We're inviting you to back our efforts to REVISE the content, fully RE-ILLUSTRATE ALL the art, and REPUBLISH a collectible edition of our 3 most delightful, award-winning storybooks in all digital, print, and audio formats for kids and children of all ages. We will then send you in advance of the Christmas holiday, 2014, these incredible allegories re-released in an exclusive 30th-anniversary limited edition for you to read and enjoy with your kids, containing all-new art illustrations that reflect the globalization of our world and the growing cultural diversity within the United States and abroad.
** PROJECT UPDATE **
What a incredible honor to have 144 generous Backers help us exceed our Kickstarter Goal of $22,500 - Thank you kindly! The 30th Anniversary Kickstarter version of these NEW Limited Edition, Hardback Story Books (to be published before Christmas 2014), will be VERY EXCLUSIVE and COLLECTIBLE at 150 sets or less in the world, so KEEP PLEDGING to secure your copies of this Tales of the Kingdom Trilogy before our campaign ends August 4th!
>> Plus, to HELP US REACH $33,750 in funding, we're announcing 6 BONUS STRETCH GOALS TO BENEFIT CURRENT BACKERS & NEW PLEDGERS*. These extra resources will be used for producing high-quality 8x10 PRINTS of three inspirational chapter quotes with stunning new art illustrations (all suitable for framing and displaying in your home, or given as gifts), AND writing, editing and producing 3 Personal eWorkbook Discussion Guides to each book in the Trilogy.
We really want to develop the eWorkbook Discussion Guides, and hope you can help us get to that level, because they will spark meaningful discussions within your family about the various stories and help you in connecting their lessons and values into your lives.
Stretch Goal #1 ACHIEVED> $24,250
Backers $47+ get TWO 8x10 PRINTS of The Apprentice Juggler
Stretch Goal #2 ACHIEVED> $26,000 Backers $47+ get TWO 8x10 PRINTS of The Oriental Dragon
Stretch Goal #3 ACHIEVED> At $27,750 Backers $47+ get TWO 8x10 PRINTS of The Dragon Eye
Stretch Goal #4 ACHIEVED> At $29,750 ALL Backers get a Personal eWorkbook to Tales of the Kingdom
Stretch Goal #5 ACHIEVED> At $31,750 ALL Backers get a Personal eWorkbook to Tales of the Resistance
Stretch Goal #6 ACHIEVED> At $33,750 ALL Backers get a Personal eWorkbook to Tales of the Restoration
>> “My husband and I read this book while I was pregnant with our first child. It moved us deeply. Now, we want to read it to our little one and give it as a gift to others. PLEASE, PLEASE. PRINT IT AGAIN!” Customer on Amazon
>> “It is a tragedy not to have this book available.”
What makes the three books of the trilogy, Tales of the Kingdom, Tales of the Resistance, and Tales of the Restoration, so appreciated by readers? We have written these 36 short stories with children of all ages in mind. They are engaging allegories that challenge and instruct, delight and terrify, but always turn the reader’s attention toward enduring life lessons. They will stimulate your mind but also engage your spirit. These are books you can read to your kids that are about making the right choices, about choosing good over evil, about defeating the dark things that seek to destroy us, about facing down our greatest enemies (often ourselves) and about working together as a team and community to help each other be the best we can be.
What do we need your backing for? There are 36 chapters within the three books, so we are needing $22,500 to 1) pay for the creation of 36 brand new multi-ethnic illustrations, plus build front and back covers; 2) redesign the interiors of all three books (nearly 350 pages total); 3) convert the final print ready PDFs into eBooks for Kindle and iPad; 4) print the limited edition Kickstarter hardback books for our Backers.
Here are some SAMPLE CHAPTERS:
Hear audio samples: Chapter 3 Excerpt | Chapter 5 Excerpt | Chapter 10 Excerpt | Chapter 10 Excerpt #2 |
Read Chapter Excerpts: The Enchanted City | Two Noisy Knights | Princess Amanda & the Dragon | The Apprentice Juggler
>> “Love, love, love these books! I read them out loud to my five kids, ages eight down to two, and we all couldn't get enough. I cried about 87% of the time. Just a warning!” Aprice on Amazon, 11-13-2013
>> "Off the hook!" Sam on Goodreads - 7-18-2009
As a Backer, you can choose to:
1) Receive the fully revised, award-winning first book, Tales of the Kingdom, newly illustrated in an exclusive Hardback, Limited Collector's Edition AND/OR digital eBook version. OR
2) Receive the fully revised, award-winning TRILOGY (Tales of the Kingdom, Tales of the Resistance and Tales of the Restoration) newly illustrated as 3 printed exclusive Hardback, Limited Collector's Editions AND/OR digital eBook versions.
3) Get Computer Wallpaper(s) and eCards(s) of your choice.
4) ADD-ON large posters, wall calendars, etc.
>> "I first read these stories when I was young and they impacted me deeply. It is now a privilege to be reading them to my children." Miguel on Amazon, 4-2-2014
>> "Hands down, the best children's stories in the English language. I've worked with kids my whole adult life, but only discovered these books a few years ago. I've read them to small children, and the tales capture them. I've read them with teenagers, and the action and excitement keeps them interested- And the story makes them think.
Parents, you'll love these books to. You'll WANT to read them to your kids, again and again." Chuck on Amazon 8-13-11
Can you describe the three books further? Twelve stories in each book (36 in total) stand alone, but are also intertwined to connect each chapter so that the personalities and growth of the main characters are slowly revealed.
The child in all of us is terrified by the evil of the Enchanter who now rules Enchanted City and by his minions, the Naysayers, the Burners and Breakers, who seek out orphans to provide child labor for the city and to take to the Orphan Keeper. Din ... din ... din ... beats the sound of the Enchanter’s drums, ever hunting to trap the vulnerable.
>> “Wow, wow, wow! So far we’ve only read Tales of the Kingdom, and it’s our family favorite!”
> "Classic, solid, beautiful, digestable, encouraging, truth-filled children's storybook." Emily on Goodreads, 8-29-12
Can you describe some of the characters? Scarboy, an orphan scarred at branding, hails a cab from the Taxi Resistance to get where the trees grow. His dying mother has told him stories about a real King who dwells in exile. His first challenge is to cross the imposing garbage dump, when he hears the taxi driver cry, “To the King! To the Restoration!” Racing with his brother, Little Child, in his arms, he is scarcely ahead of the dark figures that are beginning to surround him to prevent his escape.
Suddenly ancient gates open ahead of him as they do for all who hunt, and there before him spreads Great Park, and there stands the whimsical Protector, Caretaker, who welcomes all the harassed children to safety. And so begins Chapter 1 of this delightful and breathtaking imaginative journey into the adventures of Scarboy (whose real name is Hero), and all the people who seek to serve the real King.
Here are some of the other fascinating characters and life lessons from the first book of the Trilogy, Tales of the Kingdom:
“The Apprentice Juggler” (chapter 3 - finished art below) is a young man who is shocked to realize his inner juggling count is different from that of the main juggling troupe. Terrified that he will fail his troupe and be cast out, he hears the King (disguised as a Beggar) whisper to him to “keep the rhythm of your own timing.” He takes this poignant advice to heart and makes an extraordinary personal discovery that frees him from his fears.
“The Girl Named Dirty” (chapter 5 - art sketch below) is about a young girl who hates people but loves pigs. Despite her lifestyle, she falls in love with the King and through his loving kindness, leaves behind her pig pens and the slop, and joyfully becomes Cleone, the clean one.
Ever know anybody who bragged about exploits he or she really could not perform? “Two Noisy Knights” (chapter 9 - finish art below) tells the story of a pair of silly men who mistook words for power. They had to learn the hard way the vast difference between the two.
“Princess Amanda and the Dragon” (chapter 10 - finished art below) tells the story of a young girl who nurtures a forbidden thing that eventually grows so large and strong it threatens to destroy her entire life. For one moment, Amanda’s whole royal future is dependent upon her gift of perfect aim, to kill the beast she has loosed.
By the way, in the new 30th anniversary editions, Princess Amanda is a self-confident Hispanic girl, whose special powers can be used for good. But if she's not careful, they can also get her into a lot of trouble!
>> "6 years ago my teacher read the book to me. It was one of the few things that sticks with you through the years. Princess Amanda is the best in the book. If you don't know what I'm talking about check it out!!!!!!!" A Customer on Amazon, 3-11-1999
Caretaker, the overall protector of Great Park, is drawn as an Asian gardener, who also takes command in dangerous situations as Ranger Commander.
Caretaker's wife Mercie, (who can appear to be both young and old) is a beautiful Scandinavian woman with love and mercy evident in her eyes.
And the King - yes, there is a real King, exiled but alive and working miracles - is Middle Eastern in appearance!
>> “These are books for all ages!” “I heard these stories when I was very, very young, and now as a grown man, they still bring tears to my eyes.”
Why read the Tales of the Kingdom Trilogy? These three incredible children's storybooks, fully illustrated, give you a fun, enjoyable way to teach positive values, enduring principles, and character lessons for life, to your children of all ages! For the past 30 years, parents and grandparents have been reading the award-winning Tales of the Kingdom Trilogy to their kids and grandkids because they are a great way to spend time together while teaching virtues and values.
>> “I have been reading Tales of the Kingdom to my three kids, ranging in age from five to nine. The middle one is especially fidgety in nature and cannot sit still. I laugh when I tell my husband that for each and every story I read, you can hear a pin drop. If I look up from reading, they all have their chins cupped in their hands with eyes staring wide at me. And, of course, when the story is over, the kids cry, ‘Please! Please! Keep on reading!’” Kat on Amazon, 9-29-2011
Why teach your kids values and virtues, and inspire them to better living? Your children will grow up getting their values in life from somewhere. Will they be positives ones taught by you - or will they come from other negative influences in our society? In a time when our kids often assimilate their moral values from Hollywood films, superficial television, violent video games, or hanging out with the wrong crowd, these books are practical tools for you to use as parents to spend time with your children, while instilling healthy values into your kids - values that will last them a lifetime and inspire you all to become better people in this world in which we live.
>> "Great for inspiring courage in kids and the young at heart of all ages. Excellent values taught in a highly creative way. To the King! To the Restoration!" Newmon on Amazon, 1-20-2014
Using the Tales of the Kingdom Trilogy, you can impart life lessons into your children while spending time together. Read and talk together with your kids about honesty, loyalty, hard work, kindness, friendship, positive self-esteem, compassion, courage and many more virtues and values. These life lessons are skillfully woven through 36 incredible stories including: The Apprentice Juggler, The Girl Named Dirty, Hero's Quest, Princess Amanda and the Dragon, Fire in the Forest, Doubletalk, Triple Tongue and Theysay, The Taxi Resistance, The Sewer Rat and the Boiler Brat, A Carnival Daughter, The Enchanter's Revenge, Grandma Vigilantes, Crossing Alone, Mudslinging, The Girl with the Very Loud Outside Voice, Sighters Are Not Afraid, The Great Celebration, and many more!
>> "My son and I read this book together. The lessons in it are incredible. The stories are interesting and they open the doors for great discussion about life issues." J. Jo on Amazon, 11-2-200
Who are David and Karen Mains? Having authored nearly 50 titles between them, including dozens of best-selling books, David and Karen Mains feel the books of the Tales of the Kingdom Trilogy are three of their most well-loved titles, having won two Gold-Medallion Awards in the Children's Books category. Their bios share more of their backgrounds.
Why celebrate our 30th anniversary with new editions? While the stories and lessons taught in the Tales of the Kingdom Trilogy are timeless, we wanted to modernize the art and illustrations for a new generation of children, and revise the stories in various ways to make them even more compelling. In this way, your Pledge will help us to fulfill a personal dream of our 41-year old son, Jeremy Mains, who died in November 2014 from aggressive Lymphoma.
To do this we launched an Art Contest on 99Designs.com and received nearly 300 incredible drawings and illustrations by 87 talented artists from all over the world, finally settling in on six incredible Finalists from exotic foreign places like Moldova, Indonesia, Bulgaria, Romania and the Philippines. These six talented art Finalists competed for various opportunities to illustrate aspects of this project, from all three Exclusive, Limited Edition illustrated hardback storybooks, to incredible wall posters, to computer wallpaper, audio books, eCards and more!
So, in celebration of 30 years in print, we are asking for your backing to help us re-publish all 3 books with brand-new art by our innovative Winning Artist to capture the attention of a new generation – your kids and grand kids!
>> "I first read these stories when I was young and they impacted me deeply. It is now a privilege to be reading them to my children."
Who's redrawing the illustrations? Some 87 artists from around the world entered a 99Designs contest to win the prize that would award a contract to re-illustrate the 36 scenes in the three books with a multiethnic emphasis. We reviewed 334 excellent illustrations, and with great difficulty because of the outstanding quality of so many pieces, got the contest down to 6 Finalists, of whom we chose the outstanding artist, Zhivko Zhelev from Plovdiv, Bulgaria, as our final design contest winner.
Many of the other incredible artists in this contest have contributed designs that will be included in various project ADD-ONS and STRETCH GOALS.
Why should you become a Backer for this book project? If you are looking for top-quality literature that moves you emotionally and persuades you intellectually to choose good over evil, virtue over mediocrity, moral courage over cowardice—and if you want to share these values with the children in your life—we highly recommend the page-turning adventures in these three beautifully illustrated storybooks!
If you want to read and share stories that will stir your soul, warm your heart and engage your mind, find a Backer level that fits your budget and help us redesign, re-illustrate and republish all three books in the Tales of the Kingdom Trilogy.
“To the King!” “To the Resistance!” “To the Restoration!”
>> "Unique and enjoyable for young and old. I learn from it myself, then I teach from it. Please bring it back into print."
>> "This book is hard to describe. I've heard it read out loud so many times I almost know the story by heart, and it never fails to fascinate me. The message is so beautiful it touched me as a child (I can even remember crying I was so overcome), and to this day it continues to speak to me." Lydia on Goodreads, 2-18-2010
Computer Desktop Wallpaper & eCards: Zhivko Zhelev’s breathtaking illustrations will be available to all of our valued backers, as beautiful, high-quality computer wallpaper, and high-impact eCards. When Zhivko (aka Suxzero) has completed all 36 illustrations, you will have the opportunity to choose your favorite(s). Every time you turn on your computer, you’ll be delighted by the beauty of the artwork, with an inspirational quote from the book. The wallpaper will be fully compatible with PC and Mac in all standard sizes. The eCards you send to your friends and family will be an encouragement and an inspiration.
Illustrated eBook Trilogy: The eBook Trilogy will feature Tales of the Kingdom, Tales of the Resistance, and Tales of the Restoration. Each ebook will be fully illustrated with 12 incredible pieces of full-color art by Bulgarian artist, Zhivko Zhelev. It will be an exclusive Kickstarter edition and each of our backers will be recognized by name on a special page within each eBook. We will make each book available in digital formats compatible with Kindle (.mobi), iPad (.epub) and other e-readers, as well as a digital PDFs. You will be able to select any or all of the eBook formats that you need.
Limited Edition Hardback Storybooks: The exclusive, limited edition Tales of the Kingdom, Tales of the Resistance and Tales of the Restoration hardback storybooks will be a once-in-a-lifetime, collectible treasure. Fully illustrated in stunning color by Bulgarian artist, Zhivko Zhelev, these books will also be hand numbered, feature autographs by David and Karen Mains (and in some cases personalized dedications), bear a limited edition collector's seal, and have the names of all our Kickstarter Backers printed within the book. Future retail editions will not contain these additional features, so your copy will be one of just a few in the world - a rare treasure and family heirloom for you to pass down to your children and grandchildren.
You can also add one or more items from the cool new merchandise listed below to any backer level! (To do this, simply Back this Project (top green button), then Select Your Reward Level, then Continue to the next step (green button), then EDIT your Pledge Amount and increase it by the amount of your desired ADD-ON(s), then Continue onto Amazon to complete your checkout process. Easy!)
ADD the contest-winning Wall Poster, The Apprentice Juggler, (below) by Bulgarian artist Zhivko Zhelev (aka Suxzero), with copy from the book that reads: "Keep your own count. Listen to the rhythm of your own timing." This is a large 2 foot by 3 foot poster, perfect for display in a bedroom or office. Safe tube shipping included. $14 US addresses, $24 International addresses.
ADD the contest-winning Wall Poster, The Dragon Eye, (below) by Indonesian artist Edi Jatmiko (aka Rubahsiang), with copy from the book that reads: "Suddenly, she knew. Great harm can come from one small dragon." This is a large 2 foot by 3 foot poster, perfect for display in a bedroom or office. Safe tube shipping included. $14 US addresses, $24 International addresses.
ADD the stunning Wall Poster, Princess Amanda and the Dragon, (below) by Indonesian artist Widhi Saputro (aka Kadut), with copy from the book that reads: "Only you can slay this dragon." This is a large 2 foot by 3 foot poster, perfect for display in a bedroom or office. Safe tube shipping included. $14 US addresses, $24 International addresses.
ADD the 2015 Wall Calendar featuring a dozen depictions of the dramatic confrontation between Princess Amanda and the Dragon drawn by 12 talented artists from around the world. Each month contains a quote from the book and the image -- all designed to inspire you and your children to overcome any challenges in life. Includes shipping. $14 US addresses, $24 International addresses.
January 2015: Widhi Saputro // Jakarta, Indonesia
February 2015: Zoltan Tobias // Szeged, Hungary
March 2015: David Lojaya // Lampung, Indonesia
April 2015: Lorraine Barreras // Nampa, Idaho
May 2015: Kovacs Katalin // Băile Tușnad, Romania
June 2015: Roni Yulianus Nurak // Bandung, Indonesia
July 2015:Leo Leonardo // Manila, Philippines
August 2015: Milan Glozic // Kucevo, Serbia
September 2015: Irina Voloshina // Chisinau, Moldova
October 2015: Zhivko Zhelev // Plovdiv, Bulgaria
November 2015: Edi Jatmiko // Yogyakarta, Indonesia
December 2015: Gil Geolingo // Tagum, Davao del Norte, Philippines
Risks and challenges
We may experience delays with the art. Because we want each illustration to be exactly right, the process may take longer than we anticipate. It is also possible that we will experience setbacks in the printing process.
It is our desire to have eBooks and printed books to our backers before Christmas, so we have attempted to build plenty of time into the process to allow for potential delays.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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