As a busy clinician and a mother, the evening hours that I would get to spend with my two young children over the last few years have been very precious. We developed a delightful habit of spending a half-hour before bedtime to talk about our day. The kids had figured out early on that getting me to expound about something related to medicine was the most effective way to delay lights out. I noticed that their interest would be held despite having to stop and explain complex concepts such as pneumonia and cancer. I realized that this was because we were telling a story. A story with characters, adventure, drama and lessons learned. And so grew their fascination with human biology and the way disease could impact the lives and feelings of patients. This need to simplify basic human physiology to the understanding of a 5 and 7 year old was how Tales of Soma was born.
What goes on inside a human body? What is blood? What does it do? In Tales of Soma, the basics of hematology (the study of blood) are viewed through the eyes of a young red blood cell who is excited to jump into the rushing canals with his friends and begin his new job delivering "Oxy" to the needy inhabitants of Soma.
RB has heard many tales of what awaits him from his uncle, and he can't wait to get started. He leaves the Marrow woods and joins a host of other Erythros who jump into the rushing canals of Soma to start their new life. He rides through the great pumping station of Cardios, passing through a three-doored gate and the cavern of the Right Ventricle. He enters Respiro Forest, where eventually he must squeeze through a tiny canal all alone. He gets covered with Oxy bubbles and emerges from the forest a shiny brilliant red. He passes through a two-doored gate into the cavern of the Left Ventricle. He speeds to Sententia to visit a neural family. All in a days work.
Once he gets accustomed to the routine, he starts to think about life, and reflect on everything he has learned about the world he lives in. He recalls the ancestors they call the Stems. He thinks about the Leukos giants who take away old Erythros in the Caves of Splenia. And he takes comfort in the idea that everyone is doing their part in the intricate team effort that keeps Soma humming with life.
Story by Zeeba Mathews. Art by Raul Gonzalez.
Intended for children 4 - 9 yrs old.
For each pledge, we will also donate a book to a children's hospital or library.
We especially want children who have personal connections to blood work, blood transfusions, or blood diseases to have access to this book. For every book mailed to a Kickstarter backer we will also donate a copy to a children's hospital. Some books will end up in hospital library collections to be checked out by visiting families. Other books will get sent to child life services specialists who will give them to specific child patients such as children unable to access used library books due to infection control guidelines. If we have more books to give away than the hospitals are willing to receive, we can also donate to public libraries. We've already reached out to the following hospitals:
- Mary Bridge Children's Hospital (Tacoma, WA)
- Texas Children's Hospital (Houston)
- Riley Hospital for Children (Indianapolis)
- Phoenix Children's Hospital
- Seattle Children's Hospital
- Yale New Haven Children's Hospital
- Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia
- Nationwide Children's Hospital (Columbus, Ohio)
- Boston Children's Hospital
- Children's Medical Center Dallas
Additional locations we've added to our list:
- Stony Brook Children’s Hospital
- Childrens Hospital at Montefiore in the Bronx
- Arlington, MA Public Library
- Lucille Packard Children's Hospital Stanford
If you have a specific hospital or library in mind, send us a message so we can connect with them as well.
Under the name Nerdcore Medical, Arun, Zeeba, Raul, and Brandon have launched two previous successful Kickstarter campaigns. We've included tiers that include those items too, at a generous discount! If you are interested in infectious disease and/or fantasy art, consider adding those items to your pledge.
Thank you for your support! We're thrilled to finally bring this project to fruition and we hope it sparks some curiosity and wonder about the human body for all the children (and adults) who get to read it!
- Zeeba Mathews, M.D.
Risks and challenges
We (the Nerdcore Medical team) have completed two other Kickstarters: Bacterionomicon, and Defenders of Soma, so we have a good idea now what a Kickstarter involves. As always, there is the possibility of unknown production delays, or shipping hassles, but the book is written and the artwork is already done. This should be one of those rare Kickstarter projects that is delivered ON TIME!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (21 days)