Book of the Week: I Was Here First by Chen Cohen-Merary


CastleBuilders BooClips recently released a really cute iBook called I Was Here First by Chen Cohen-Merary.  The illustrations are quite fun and most families have had this experience of a family pet who had to adjust when a new baby arrived.  Especially with dogs, who tend to be our surrogate children pre-babies!  I know our dog, Bear, was the center of our world until our daughter was born but luckily he was just protective of her and didn’t have an issue with having to share his “pack”.  I had a chance to correspond with Chen who resides in Israel to tell us more about how this story idea came about.

Tell us how this idea for a children’s book came about?
 The idea of the story came to me from real life. My husband and I had a puppy long before we were married and became parents to our son. As long as we had only a dog – he was our baby and we treated him like one. After Amit (our son) was born, Berry had a real crisis –  he reacted to Amit’s presence just like an older child becomes a big brother and had difficulties with the notion that he was no longer the center of the house and needed to share his parents attention with his brother/sister.

Of course, after some time – everything fell into place and the siblings became best friends and developed a close relationship – and that is exactly what happened when Amit was about 8 months – around that time – He and Berry started to develop a close relationship. I decided to write down my story – because I thought it was a different angle on the subject  about the way children deal with the arrival of new baby to the family. Also I wanted kids to understand that our pets have feelings just as do we and that they are affected from life changing events too.

Why did you decide to have it developed into an iBook?
 I wanted to develop the print book into an online version with a voice-over, because of the vivid illustrations and because of Berry’s funny and amusing character – I had a vision regarding the voice and I thought that kids, along with their parents would get a real experience if they read it as an iBook.
What has been the response to the book so far?I always get a great feedback from readers – they all mention the illustrations and the amusing storyline. The parents use the story to explain to their children the issue of sibling rivalry etc.
Any new books coming out?
I have a few ideas for a sequel, especially since I am a mother of two these days and  I had a baby girl who just turned three.

Thank you Chen for your time and telling us about your fun story!

Go to CastleBuilders BooClips to read more about their company and great apps and iBooks they offer:

Here is the link to the iBook in  iTunes: “I Was Here First..”


CastleBuilders BooClips has provided us with 20 promo codes for their new iBooks including this one for our August 13th Facebook Party and Giveaway going on right now!  So make sure to enter for a chance to win!

Have you had a similar experience with a pet and a new baby?

Check out this cute picture Chen sent in of her son Amit and Berry.

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