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$2,138
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57
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Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Wed, August 31 2016 9:27 PM UTC +00:00
Last updated August 31, 2016

Amica's World: How a Giant Bird Came Into Our Heart and Home

Amica is a 6-foot-tall flightless bird who lives with a suburban family in their living room. Color photos! Foreword by Jane Goodall!

Amica's World: How a Giant Bird Came Into Our Heart and Home

Amica is a 6-foot-tall flightless bird who lives with a suburban family in their living room. Color photos! Foreword by Jane Goodall!

$2,138
pledged of $10,000pledged of $10,000 goal
57
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Wed, August 31 2016 9:27 PM UTC +00:00
Last updated August 31, 2016

About

Amica's World is the story of Amica, who is a rhea—the bird species that inspired the Road Runner* character in the Wile E. Coyote cartoons. Amica stands nearly six feet tall, and has a six-foot wingspan.

Amica is unusual because his flock is a human family in the suburbs of Portland, Oregon. 

By day he roams the backyard, exploring, running, and building nests, along with his friends the chickens and the dog.  

At night, he sleeps in the living room with his friend the cat. He loves to watch television with the family—British shows are his favorites.

Rheas are native to South America, where they are hunted as game; in the US and Europe they are primarily raised as livestock. In Amica's World, you'll see that they are highly intelligent and expressive animals, with a range of emotions similar to humans.

Amica's Story

Amica was adopted as a young chick from a livestock rhea farm in Oregon. The original plan was that he would live outdoors with the family's chickens as his flock. However, Amica had other ideas, quickly adopting the Shadowhawk family as his flock and making himself at home in their living room.

This book was written and photographed by Amica's people: mother-son team Washo and Meadow Shadowhawk. They decided to create a book about their experience raising Amica at the urging of family friend, Dr. Jane Goodall, who wrote the book's foreword.

What's it like living with a rhea? As you'll discover in the book, it is never boring, and also never easy! 

As a young bird, Amica's legs and digestion were very delicate, requiring almost 24-hour care. And as you can imagine, like the young of any species, he was highly energetic and into everything.

Then he became a teenager—which meant hormonal and territorial. "Velociraptor" is the word used to describe this stage (and in fact some people think that rheas are descended from dinosaurs). At around 100 pounds and capable of high speeds, he could pose a real danger to his friends.

Now as an adult, Amica is loving and affectionate—and requires a very large amount of attention and care every day.

Here's what the authors say in the conclusion: "Our family would never suggest raising a rhea in your home. Animals thrive best in their own natural habitat. Amica’s upbringing was unique, and living with him continues to require major sacrifices on our part." 

About the Book

Amica's World: How a Giant Bird Came Into Our Heart and Home is a 128-page, 6x6" hardcover book, featuring photos of Amica from a chick to adult, and stories from the Shadowhawks. The book features over 100 color photos of Amica, an introduction by Washo Shadowhawk about the natural history of rheas, and a foreword by Dr. Jane Goodall. 

Like all of Microcosm Publishing's books, Amica's World is printed in the USA—because it's the right thing to do. That means that our cost to print the book is more than $11,000. We expect all revenues from this project to go straight into printing! If the project exceeds its goal, any extra funds will go to other book-related expenses, including freight, shipping rewards, author royalties, promotion, and editorial expenses (and possibly to printing more books!).

About the Authors

Washo Shadowhawk, an award-winning naturalist who has taken in many animals of all kinds over the years, witnessing their incredible range of emotions and interactions. When he was 14, Dr. Jane Goodall recognized his work doing outreach to improve the living conditions of primates in labs and zoos and nominated him for the IDA Youth Guardian Award, which he won. (Here's an article about that!) He was featured on the Animal Planet movie Jane Goodall’s Heroes as one of her heroes and was the recipient of the Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes. He lives in Beaverton, Oregon where he is a photographer and runs a rescue operation for exotic reptiles and birds. 

Meadow Shadowhawk is Washo’s mother. She has a background as a veterinarian technician and also enjoys working with animals. She shares Washo’s love of nature and has always supported his love of animals.

Dr. Jane Goodall is the world’s preeminent primatologist. She is the founder of the Jane Goodall Institute and the nonprofit Roots & Shoots global youth-led community action program, and is the author of numerous books, including Reason for Hope.

Washo Shadowhawk and Jane Goodall leading a parade of giant dove puppets (2006, LA Times)
Washo Shadowhawk and Jane Goodall leading a parade of giant dove puppets (2006, LA Times)

 

About the Publisher

Microcosm Publishing is a small, innovative publishing house in Portland, Oregon. Since 1996, we have been publishing and distributing books that empower readers to make their lives and communities better. Over half of our authors are women, and all of our books are printed in the USA. We have funded 10 projects on Kickstarter and counting, including most recently the illustrated cookbooks Defensive Eating with Morrissey and Comfort Eating with Nick Cave. We try to always have the most fun. 

We were instantly smitten by Amica and charmed by the unbelievable dedication and expertise of his humans. Amica's World combines two elements that are vitally important to us: Humans who are completely dedicated to making a better world and adorable animal photos. 

About the Rewards

Daily Amica Photo: While we were working with the Shadowhawks on this book, we would be delighted to show up to work to find candid photos of Amica in our inbox many days. We have a large number of photos that didn't make it into the book, so we'd like to share that joy with you, too. If you back this project at any level, you'll get a project update with an Amica photo delivered to your inbox every single morning while the project runs. If we get carried away, we'll keep going after the project too! 

Fair warning: A few of the Daily Amica photos may involve silly photoshops.
Fair warning: A few of the Daily Amica photos may involve silly photoshops.

Amica's Feathers: Every summer, Amica molts, shedding feathers everywhere he goes, indoor or out. In the morning, when he goes outside, his family gathers the feathers that he's left behind. Rhea feathers range in size from 1/2 inch to a couple of feet long. The most beautiful feathers are on the smaller end of that scale, and for folks who choose this reward, we'll choose a feather and place it between the pages of your book before we mail it to you.

It is hard to believe such diversity came from just one bird.
It is hard to believe such diversity came from just one bird.

Birthday Greetings from Amica

If you select this reward, we will email you (or someone you choose!) a birthday greeting from Amica on your/their birthday. And a book too (either right now or in time for the birthday, your choice.)

Feather Bookmarks

Meadow made these beautiful bookmarks incorporating watercolors and Amica's discarded feathers. The bookmarks are laminated to prevent allergen problems or feather decomposition. Every bookmark (and feather!) is different. Here's a photo showing a few examples:

Feather Pendants: Meadow made these beautiful, one-inch silver and glass pendants with some of Amica's smallest feathers. We have only three of these! This photo shows the one that was made for Dr. Goodall; the others will look a bit different because each feather is unique.

Books for Educators

Books for Activists

 

*Thank you!** Footnote: Even though they were the inspiration for the Road Runner character, speedy, long-legged rheas are a distinct species from actual roadrunners, which are a much smaller bird (and spelled as one word). The Wile E. Coyote creators took some artistic license.

Risks and challenges

Publishing has many challenges and exciting moments, but it all pales in comparison to the work of raising a giant bird lovingly and humanely in your home. We are in awe of the Shadowhawk family and inspired to do justice to their story and Amica's.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1

    Daily Amica Photo

    Thank you for supporting Amica's World! You'll be subscribed to project updates, which include a daily photo of Amica for the length of the project. This level is for people who love getting cute photos in their email, but don't need a copy of the book.

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    Amica's World

    One copy of Amica's World, mailed to you.

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    Amica's Feather

    A copy of Amica's World with one of Amica's feathers (molted by Amica and no longer needed by him), pressed in the book. Feathers are of varying sizes. This reward is not for the allergic! The feathers are not sterile, so if you live with people or animals who like to put random objects in their mouths, this may not be for you either.

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    Two or more books

    Two copies of Amica's World, mailed to you. (Want more than 2 but less than 10 books? Add $17 for each additional copy.)

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    Happy Birthday from Amica!

    A copy of Amica's World, plus a birthday greeting emailed from Amica to you (or to someone you love) on your/their birthday!

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    Educator Power Pack

    These books are full of motivation, ideas, and stories for teachers of all levels. You'll get Amica's World, of course. Katrina's Sandcastles captures the urgency and politics of the classroom. New Girl Law shows a student-led experiment in rewriting social norms. On Subbing is the funny and heartbreaking diary of a sub in Portland. And Yo, Miss is the story in comics of a second-chance high school class in NYC.

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    Amica's Feather Bookmark

    A copy of Amica's World, and a laminated bookmark featuring a watercolor by Meadow and a feather by Amica.

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    Activate for Animals and People

    Books to turn you onto activism: Includes Amica's World, of course. The vegan cookbook Think! Eat! Act! is by a Sea Shepherd chef who works to stop illegal whaling. Teenage Rebels will introduce you to dozens of high school students who changed US history. Firebrands is full of heroes from the Americas who don't usually appear in textbooks. Edible Secrets illustrates declassified CIA documents about food. And How & Why is a manual for conscious, handmade, and creative living.

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    Amica's Feather Pendant

    A copy of Amica's World and a one inch silver and glass pendant with Amica's smallest feathers, on a black cord. See project description for an example photo (though note that all of these will look different).

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    Ten books!

    10 copies of Amica's World, mailed to you. Perfect for gift-givers, shop owners, nonprofits, educators, and people who are really into rheas.

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    Educate and Activate!

    So many books! A copy of Amica's world, plus all of the other books in the Educator Power Pack and the Activate For Animals and People levels.

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    Best Friends 4eva

    A copy of Amica's world, all the other books in the Educate and Activate reward levels, and a six-month BFF subscription to every book Microcosm publishes!

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    Pseudo-Amica Classroom Visit

    You'll get a copy of Amica's World -- and Meadow Shadowhawk will visit a school classroom with a life-sized cardboard Amica cut-out for the kids to meet and be photographed with! Plus the classroom will get copies of Amica's World! Back this for your own or your kids' classroom, or as a gift for a class that requests it! (Fine print: Class must be in the Portland area and will need to coordinate a mutually feasible time with Meadow.)

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    Read Books, Change the World

    A copy of Amica's World, every other book in the Activate and Educate pack, a six-month BFF subscription to everything Microcosm publishes, and 30 more nonfiction books from our backlist geared especially to your tastes, be it vegan cooking, punk rock, DIY projects, bicycling, comics, politics, history, healthy relationships, and more. You'll be reading for a while.

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Funding period

- (29 days)