Just For Kids: A Fairy Ring Contest and Creative Activities to Deter Summer Boredom
— Fun, Colorful Web Sites Inspired by Bestselling Fantasy Adventure, A Treasure’s Trove, and Upcoming Sequel, Secrets of the Alchemist Dar, Offer
Challenging Games, Puzzles and Creative Contest —
NEW CANAAN, CT, June 29, 2006 – Filling three months of children’s free time this summer has become less of a dilemma for families, thanks to author/publisher Michael Stadther. Stadther has creatively solved that problem with a wealth of fun, thought-provoking and engaging activities and a contest that challenges their imaginations. These can be found on the Web sites inspired by his upcoming book, Secrets of the Alchemist Dar, the sequel to The New York Times bestselling fantasy adventure, A Treasure’s Trove, which spawned a nationwide treasure hunt.
“In a summer full of contests and treasure hunts for adults, I want to engage children’s imaginations in activities that will help them develop their problem-solving skills and turn them into treasure hunters, too,” said Stadther.
The public will have the chance to join in a worldwide treasure hunt for jewels worth more than US$2 million when Secrets of the Alchemist Dar goes on sale internationally on September 26, 2006 (US EDT) – but until then, “trovers” and newcomers alike can catch the excitement on the Web sites.
Weekly Activities and a Fairy Ring Contest Parents and caregivers can safely and confidently recommend www.atreasurestrove.com and www.alchemistdar.com to help fill their young charges’ unstructured time this summer. There, grade school children can enter a Game Room filled with Sudoku, puzzles, brainteasers and games – or click on the “Summer Activities” link each week for a new challenge.
A highlight of the sites is the Treasure Trove Secrets of the Alchemist Dar Fairy Ring Design Contest, where children – with their parent’s or guardian’s permission and assistance – can submit an original design for a Fairy Ring of Eternal Life and be eligible to win one of three prize packages from A Treasure’s Trove. Adults can and should help budding artists to enter the contest, but the design ideas should come from the child. Children can submit up to ten designs throughout the summer; the contest closes on August 31, 2006 and all entries must be received by September 7, 2006. [Complete rules and regulations can be found on the Web sites.] Prize winners will be announced on or about September 12, 2006.
Fairy Ring Design Contest entries will be judged on their creativity and originality by Stadther himself along with a team of A Treasure’s Trove representatives, who also will consider the quality of each submission relative to the entrant’s age. Each week, valid submissions may be selected and posted on the Web sites.
The First Prize winner’s package includes autographed and illustrated first-edition, hardbound copies of A Treasure’s Trove and Secrets of the Alchemist Dar, plus a personal letter from the author, a cuddly plush Pook (the beloved “doth” – half-dog, half-moth – in the books), and an invitation to meet Michael Stadther when he travels to a location near the winner. Second Prize includes autographed and illustrated copies of A Treasure’s Trove and Secrets of the Alchemist Dar in paperback, and a plush Pook. The Third Prize winner’s package features a plush Pook, a Rusful t-shirt and each of the five A Treasure’s Trove Coloring and Activity Books.
About the Books – and the Fairy Ring of Eternal Life Secrets of the Alchemist Dar is a fantasy story about Dark and Good Fairies, spells and eclipses, and Michael Stadther’s signature characters: Zac, the handsome woodcarver; Ana, his beautiful half-elf half-human wife, and their trusty doth, Pook. The story is also about the evil Alchemist Dar who wants his Dark Fairies to live forever; to do this he must steal the Good Fairies’ Rings of Eternal Life. Using the mysterious Book of Dark Spells, Dar kills the Good Fairies and captures the rings.
Stadther’s first book, A Treasure’s Trove, was a national phenomenon in the U.S. The book contained clues that, when deciphered, led readers to the locations of gold tokens hidden in locations throughout the continental United States. The tokens were redeemed for magnificent jewels inspired by the Forest Creatures in the tale. Now Stadther widens the opportunity for eager treasure hunters by increasing the value and amount of treasure and opening the hunt to the world market.
Secrets of the Alchemist Dar will be simultaneously released all over the world on September 26. The clues concealed in the book’s pages will let anyone, anywhere in the world who can read English, get one of the real Aaron Basha-designed rings. Anyone can look for clues in the book, solve the clues and, if they meet all of the requirements in the Official Rules printed in the back of Secrets of the Alchemist Dar, be awarded a ring.
For Secrets of the Alchemist Dar, Michael Stadther worked with internationally renowned jeweler, Aaron Basha, to assemble a custom-designed collection of 100 jeweled rings valued together at approximately US$2 million.
Like his first book, Secrets of the Alchemist Dar will appeal to children, families and adults. During the hunt launched by A Treasure’s Trove, people of all ages throughout the United States became obsessed with solving the book’s puzzles and dubbed themselves “trovers.” Families spread out across the nation or spanning several generations worked together to try and solve the clues to the real treasure.
The English-language version of the book, written, illustrated and published by Michael Stadther, will be distributed by Simon Scribbles, a division of Simon and Schuster Children’s Publishing. Secrets of the Alchemist Dar is an embargoed book, and no one will see it until September 26, when it goes on sale in bookstores throughout the world. Copies can be pre-ordered now at your favorite bookstore or online bookseller.
About A Treasure’s Trove Written, illustrated and published by Michael Stadther, A Treasure’s Trove, the prequel to Secrets of the Alchemist Dar, is a beautifully illustrated adventure story that unfolds far beyond the typical tale of good versus evil; it is the book that launched a nationwide hunt for real treasure.
The book captured the hearts and imaginations of children – both boys and girls – and families all over the United States, not just with its plot but with its highly original way of getting readers involved. Concealed in its pages are clues that, when deciphered, led readers to the locations of gold tokens hidden in separate sites throughout the continental United States. The tokens were redeemed for magnificent jewels.
First published on November 12, 2004, A Treasure’s Trove rapidly climbed the nation’s bestseller lists, where it remained for months, including reaching #2 on The New York Times Best Seller List (Children’s Paperbacks) and #1 on Publisher’s Weekly Bestsellers List (Children’s Picture Books). Treasure Trove, Inc., Stadther’s publishing company, sold the film rights to Cruise/Wagner in association with Paramount. For more information, visit www.atreasurestrove.com.