App of the Week :: WordPlay by PicPocket Books and Muddyum

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  WordPlay by Muddyum and PicPocket Books is a fun and challenging game that plays on words using everyday objects and household items.  WordPlay is a game, art, and word play challenge. The gallery quality images found in WordPlay are original images created with hand-lettering and found-object typography.  I really enjoyed seeing what the artist, Muddyum, came up with in her creations - they were all so clever! You use the visual clues in the unique art-quality photographs to solve the word puzzles in Muddyum’s WordPlay challenges. Three different game play modes offer a fun challenge for everyone. Compete with your friends for high scores in individual challenges, two-player mode, or in party game mode. WordPlay is also compatible with Apple TV. Additional puzzle packs are available through In-App-Purchase for .99.     The first page opens up and you … [Read more...]

Guest Post :: Naturopathic Physician and Author Heather Manley

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  I  love what I am doing and creating. I am a naturopathic physician and the author of the kids’ book and curriculum series, Human Body Detectives (HBD). HBD educates kids in an enticing and engaging way on how their bodies work and what foods best fuel it. The series was slow in the making but once I made a connection between kids, the health of kids and the void of this human body and nutrition education in the classroom, everything began to fall into place. I was literally flipping pancakes one Sunday morning when I thought about writing a series based on the talks I was giving to elementary aged kids. The talks involved stethoscopes, some labs and engaging information on how the digestive system works and why we need to feed it well. They LOVED it. I did a little research at our local library and on line in hopes to find more information to enhance what I was … [Read more...]

Let’s Celebrate Giraffe’s Giveaway!

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  Did you know that Gerry the Giraffe was one of first stories I wrote after my daughter was born?  I was inspired to write about a giraffe because I do just love them so - from their gorgeous faces and eyes to their gentle demeanor. I had my writer's group help me with the story while I met with a couple illustrators to see about collaborating together on the book.  This was prior to the release of Penelope the Purple Pirate but I was working on both stories at the same time. I met one young woman who had just released her first book and she drew some pictures for me but they just didn't seem like the Gerry I had in my mind.  It wasn't until I saw a giraffe in the Land of Nod children's catalogue that I found what I thought Gerry should look like!  I remember just sitting at my kitchen table and said out loud "that is Gerry!".  I ended up contacting the artist, Jennifer … [Read more...]

In the Spotlight with Lynette Mattke of PicPocket Books

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    Back in the Fall of 2010, I was researching different app developers  to send my first children's story to and I came across PicPocket Books and Lynette Mattke.  One of the things that caught my eye about the company was the vast variety of children's picture books apps they offered.   I decided to give it a shot and sent in the Penelope the Purple Pirate text along with five illustrations to see if they were interested in making it into a storybook app.  I can still remember sitting at the computer when the email came in and Lynette said they would love to publish the story on the PicPocket Books platform and asked when could she get the rest of the illustrations!  I was SO excited that we would finally see Penelope as a storybook app.  Lynette had faith in Penelope and as an author you couldn't ask for a better developer to work with!  Lynette was named one of the Top … [Read more...]

App of the Week: Henrietta is hungry

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  PicPocket Books has recently released storybook app Henrietta is Hungry written by Nina Lim and illustrated by Terence Gomez.  My daughter and I really enjoyed this fun story about Henrietta who loves to eat and takes us on a journey of foods around the world.  She loves to try new foods such as tiny fried spring rolls in Thailand (yum) and squidgy soft snails in France (hmmm) and even huge bags of haggis in Scotland!  Nina Lim uses exciting language such as scrumptious and stupendous when describing what types of food little Henrietta wants to try.  She is looking for the most scrumptious and stupendous dish she can find! So she began her journey to find the best and most stupendous foods around.  I love the illustrations by Terence Gomez - especially the page of Henrietta sialing in her little bonnet hat in her red boat.  The animations are simple but add dimension to the … [Read more...]

In the Spotlight: Illustrator Paul Johnson of Penelope the Purple Pirate

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    It seems like yesterday when Paul and I spoke for the first time about the possibility of working together on a story I had written about an adventurous little redhead. My father-in-law knew Paul's wife, Maria, from work and had put me in touch with him as he knew I was looking for an illustrator for a story I wrote called Penelope the Purple Pirate.  Paul was a recent transplant from England and told me he had always wanted to illustrate a children's book.  It took us a few tries to get Penelope "just right" but it sure was a fun journey watching Paul bring Penelope and her friends to life.  Every time he would send me a new illustration I would just smile from ear to ear as it was my dream to create a children's book as well! This month we are celebrating Penelope's 2nd birthday as she was released as a storybook app through PicPocket Books January 2011. I remember … [Read more...]

Halloween Giveaway

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BOO!  Another year of goblins, pumpkins and zombies are upon us!  This is probably one of my favorite time of year as I love just about everything there is about this time, including the weather, style of clothes and of course Halloween!  I have so many great memories from Halloween as a kid and this was always a fun holiday in our household.  I am one of those neighbors who can barely make it through September before I start decorating for Halloween.  So, together with me mate Charly James, and our participating sponsors - we have come up with some fun and spooky Halloween goodies for Penelope's mates including: $25 Target card from Hamaguchi Apps (http://www.hamaguchiapps.com/) 2 $10 iTunes gift cards from Ellie's Games (www.elliesgames.com) $10 iTunes gift card from Penelope the Purple Pirate (www.melissanorthway.com 5 promo codes from PicPocket Books for Boo! … [Read more...]

Book of the Week: Sassy Cassie

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If you have a sassy little one you will find a kindred spirit in Sassy Cassie written and illustrated by PLA Schneider.  This is a cute story about Cassie who likes to enjoy doing her own thing which usually includes checking out her mom's "toy box" which happens to be filled with loads of fun things to get into such as makeup and paints. PLA does a nice job of portraying Cassie in all her silliness and headstrong ways.  The story takes us along with Cassie as she slips into her favorite princess dress and crown and heads outside to play with her brother.   She then enjoys having her picture taken by her dad and having a make-up tea party with her best pals. My daughter and I enjoyed reading how Cassie got herself in a bit of trouble as she wanted to add to her mom's paintings with her own additions... you can just image her mom's surprise when she comes into her art room to see … [Read more...]

App of the Week: A Royal Little Pest

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  I really enjoyed A Royal Little Pest written by Anita Reynolds MacArthur and illustrated by Karen Roy.  This is a great example of how a fun storybook app can teach little ones about the benefits of positive behavior.  The story starts out with us being introduced to Prince Hayden MacCheeky who is a real little prince who lives with his royal brother and sister, parents and royal dog, Goober, in their royal castle. Prince Hayden MacCheeky loves to play around with his brother and sister but not necessarily the way they would like to him to play with them.  You see – he is a bit of a pest and can’t understand why his siblings don’t like to play with him.  One day, he gets down and his mother asks him why he isn’t playing with his brother and sister and he tells her that he can’t understand why they don’t want to play with him.  Eventually, he has an idea and decides to be less of a … [Read more...]

Current Giveaway from Nina Lim

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  Nina Lim of Super Harry's Rotten Luck storybook app from PicPocket Books has provided us with some cool gifts to hand out from Down Under.  She put together a package of Australian stuffed animals, Super Harry's Rotten Luck pad and pens, and cookie cutters that any child (big or small) will enjoy!  So make sure to enter to win one of these Australian goodies! And read about our interview with fellow writer and mom Nina Lim who realized her dream of creating a children's storybook app: http://melissanorthway.com/2012/07/in-the-spotlight-with-nina-lim/   a Rafflecopter giveaway … [Read more...]