Animal SnApp has SIX rhyming stories to explore, all with original artwork by Axel: Lucky Lamb, Cuddly Cow, Diggity Dog, Portly Pig, Gobbly Goat and Higgledy Hen. We’ve built the app especially with young children in mind: it’s very easy to use and navigate, focuses on a theme (farmyard animals) familiar to all pre-schoolers, with features designed particularly for pre-literate users, including text highlighting and rhyming text. And it also has stunning animation, fantastic music and sound effects, and lively child narration. You can watch the trailer above, and here’s Axel talking a little bit about how he illustrated the app:
Today’s an extra-special publication day, because it’s also World Book Day! We’d love to hear what costumes you’ve been making, how you’re celebrating, and – most importantly – what you’re reading! If you’re stuck for a good book, you certainly wouldn’t go wrong with one of these…
Perfect spring reading can be found in the form of Lyn Gardner’s latest Olivia novel for 9+ girls. Olivia and the Great Escape sees Olivia’s dad getting ready to perform an amazing feat of endurance – he’s going to be living on a high wire strung across the Thames for thirty days and thirty nights. Olivia is so proud of him, and he’s doing so well, until the accusations of cheating start… Can Olivia clear her father’s name and escape from a tricky situation of her own at the same time? It’s another 5-star adventure from Lyn that will keep you on the edge of your seat.
And March sees a whole new set of Rescue Princesses in their first daring animal rescue! Lizzie, Clarabel, Lulu and Jaminta, our four original plucky princesses, have gone away to school and have handed their magic rings, ninja moves and sense of adventure on to Lizzie’s little sister and tasked her with finding three friends to join her. Lottie is really excited, but she feels the responsibility weighing heavily upon her. How will she find three more girls who have the skills, the commitment and the bravery to be Rescue Princesses? Her new recruits are royally challenged when they stumble across some horse-rustlers in the middle of the night. Can they work as a team and save the animals from danger? Or will they argue and see the horses disappear for ever? The Magic Rings is another great addition to Paula’s excellent series that’s perfect for 7+ girls who like animals, adventures and a dash of princess pizzazz!
Packed with robust pull-tabs and clever touch-and-feel elements, Baby and Me is an ingeniously interactive book for toddlers who enjoy playing mummies and babies.
Designed to stimulate speech and build vocabulary, Littleland is full of familiar scenes and fascinating details. With a ‘Can you see?’ feature on every spread and a simply, chatty narrative, this busy book mimics the daily conversations between parent and child and makes the perfect step on from board books. Here’s a look inside:
And Books Always Everywhere is – very appropriately for today’s date – a joyful celebration of the physical book in all its glory! A simple text is brought to life by Sarah Massini’s delightful and nostalgic illustrations of babies and toddlers discovering the magical world of books. You can read how Sarah illustrated the book on Tuesday’s blog post, and here’s how Jane celebrated publication with the family and friends who’ve accompanied her on her journey to becoming a published children’s author:
“I thought Nosy Crow might like to share my unofficial launch party which was really a birthday party with a launch tagged on to the beginning. I love parties and this was a wonderful excuse to thank my friends who shared the ‘getting to be published experience’ with me over the last 2 years. So someone bought the bubbly; someone else found a good bit of cardboard which already had the word BOOKLAUNCH on it. Another friend bluetacked the catalogues onto it. My husband tied a very neat bow around my books (mostly the foreign copies as I must have given the English ones away). I found 10 percussion instruments in the playroom and when our friends arrived they each chose an instrument and we all shook, banged, blew and scraped in a circle and sang “Happy Book Launch to you, Happy Book Launch to you, Happy Book Launch to Jane, Happy Book Launch to you”. Then I undid the red ribbon and handed the books around (wish I had the Japanese and Korean books) and I did a reading in French and German to a very captive audience and we sipped our bubbly and made a huge amount of noise. Such fun to be back in nursery school.”
It’s World Book Day, and we hope you’re celebrating. Many of us – including me – sent our children to school disguised as fictional characters. Here are some Nosy Crow offspring, one dressed up as Princess Emily from The Rescue Princesses: The Secret Promise by Paula Harrison, and one dressed up as Winnie The Witch.
Children of designers always have an advantage. Here’s a Nosy Crow designer’s child taking a less book-specific approach to dressing up for WBD:
There’s been a nice little twitter hashtag started by @worldbookdayUK#fictionalforaday and it prompted me to ask some of the Nosy Crows who’d they’d like to be, with particular (but not absolutely exclusive – see surprising Thomas Hardy character below) reference to children’s books.
Kate B said: “When I was little I wanted to be any one of the Famous Five or Secret Seven and used to moan all the time about the lack of adventures in my Dorset childhood. But now I would like to be Lola from Charlie & Lola as she has zero responsibilities and such a cool big brother (although I have that too). I’d also quite like to be the little girl in The Tiger Who Came to Tea, because, well, how great would that be? And that retro kitchen is something else.”
Camilla said: “I’d quite like to be a Wild Thing right now – I could do with having a bit of a wild rumpus to relieve the pre-Bologna tension!”
Adrian said: “I’d like to be Badger in the Wind in the Willows, because he’s strong and kind and fearless – though I’ve also always had a sneaking wish to be Mr Toad. Alternatively Jude the Obscure.” On being questioned as to why he’d want to be someone whose child – spoiler alert – hanged himself and all his siblings, he said, “Well, he did lead an unhappy life, but he was a stonemason, and he did want to better himself.” Hmm.
Tom said, sadly, “I always wanted to be Ratty but knew that, in truth, I was far more like Mole.” But he also said, “I would like to be Wilbur from Charlotte’s Web, because it would be nice to have someone as brilliant as Charlotte looking out for me.” And who could argue with that?
Kirsty said, “I’d choose Winnie the Witch, because she has a cool house and an enviably relaxed approach to leg-shaving.”
Victoria said, “Anne of Green Gables for me because she was beautiful and kind and seemed to have the most incredible adventures. It is a dream of mine to visit her house and pretend to be Anne for a day!”
Kristina said, “I think Pippi Longstocking, mainly because she lived in a house with a monkey and a horse, but also because nothing seemed to worry her: it was always just another adventure.”
Giselle said: “I was absolutely obsessed with Alan Aldridge’s ‘The Butterfly Ball and the Grasshopper’s Feast’. I took every opportunity I could to copy pictures of all his wonderful characters. I would have loved to have been invited to the ball myself! Although, sadly my invitation got lost in the post!”
Dom said, “Well, it’s for a night, rather than a day, but when I was young I wanted to be Mr Bear from Jill Murphy’s Peace At Last – because walking about, looking for a place to sleep, he clearly wasn’t bothered about the dark… whereas I was very scared of it.” He sighed. “I was a delicate little flower…”
Will said, “I think I’d be Timbertwig from Marshall Cavendish’s Story Teller series. He has a pet spider, Abigail, who lives in his hat and she can perform magic very badly – the basis of all their adventures?”
Milena, who works on our apps PR in the USA, said, “Growing up, I was obsessed with A Wrinkle in Time so it would have to be Meg Murry. I loved reading about an awkward, insecure girl who takes on evil forces through time and space to rescue her family. She kicks some serious butt and finds her voice in the process. I admit it, I’m a dork!”
Leen said, “When I was a child I was obsessed with the Gnomes books by Dutch illustrator Rien Poortvliet (Leen is from Belgium). They contained incredibly intricate drawings of how the gnomes lived in the forest, how they built their houses, what was on the breakfast table in a typical gnome household, and details of the edible plants and berries that they harvested for food and to make into things to sustain their lifestyle. I was fascinated by the idea of a whole world beneath our world, and was delighted that somebody had taken the trouble to set this all down in a book with pretty, colourful illustrations and enough pseudo-scientific ethnographical detail to satisfy all of a pesky 8-year old’s incessant questions. Consequently, I felt I got a great insight in what it would be like to live as a gnome and, on balance, decided that I wouldn’t mind joining their community. Subsequent hunts through wood pile, garden shed and garage revealed no hidden entrances to gnome residences of any kind, however (and the book specified the different types of hiding them, so I did have a good look!).” I asked her who she’d choose to be specifically and she said, “Then I’ll be Lisa, the wife of David the Gnome. Gnomes weren’t very feminist and the ladies didn’t go out much, but there was a lot of good cooking around.”. I said that I felt that she shouldn’t feel she had to be a girl (though I was interested that almost everyone chose characters who were the same sex as them), particularly as it was only for a day, and she said that, in that case, she’d be David the Gnome himself, as “he gets all the good hare-riding and goose-back-flying.”
Joanne Owen, who’s doing some tip-top freelance marketing work for us, said, “I variously wished I was Little Red Riding Hood/Rose Red/Briar Rose/Rapunzel – can’t beat the scary settings, danger and drama of fairy tales. Or, as Leen fancied joining the Gnomes community, I wished I could have stepped into the Moomins’ magical world. Or Pippi Longstocking – brave, bright, eccentric and strong, and a teller of strange and funny stories. Or Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz because she had such an amazing adventure, what with all that fighting of witches and flying monkeys, making and helping new friends and, of course, the sparkly red shoes! Or, finally, one of the girls from The Faraway Tree so I could visit The Roundabout Land and make friends with Moonface!”
As for me… well, it’s getting late, and it’s been a long and busy day (which is why I am only posting now), so I think I shall choose The Sleeping Beauty, at least for now.
So… who would you want to be for a day?
PS I think I might want to be Alice from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Alice Through the Looking Glass. She takes risks. She’s not afraid to talk back. She’s never afraid or fazed even when very strange things happen to her.
We blogged about it yesterday, but here’s a little reminder – to celebrate World Book Day (which has the Twitter hashtag #WBD2012) we’ve dropped the price of ALL of our apps to just £0.69/ $0.99/ €0.79 for one day!
The apps can be found on iTunes with the following links:
Find Cinderella on iTunes here
Find The Three Little Pigs on iTunes here
Find Bizzy Bear on the Farm on iTunes here
Pip and Posy, by World Book Day illustrator Axel Scheffler
Tomorrow is World Book Day, and in over 100 countries the importance of reading and literacy will be celebrated in schools, libraries, bookshops and public spaces. We’ve decided to celebrate, too – with a very special sale on our apps. For one day only, every Nosy Crow app will be available on iTunes for just $0.99/ £0.69/ €0.79 on March 1st in honour of World Book Day.
We’ve got very cheering videos of a pair of two year-olds reading each of the books in the “extras” tab for each book.
These books have simple rhyming texts and really sturdy mechanisms and are really great for children from 18 months to 3.
We’ve got some to send to reviewers and bloggers. So, if toddler books float your boat, let us know: contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line, Reviewing Bizzy Bear.
And if you are in East London today (4 March), you could come to our Bizzy Bear event at 11.30am for 45 minutes of songs, stories and colouring at the Discover Centre’sBig Write festival, where we’re doing other events, too:
For those who don’t know, World Book Day is run as a charity by the UK book industry to celebrate reading and to increase children’s access to books. It’s celebrated throughout the UK and Ireland, particularly by children (though, this year, there’s World Book Night for grown-ups).
At Nosy Crow we’re big supporters of World Book Day – I’m on the World Book Day Executive Committee. This year we are celebrating digital storytelling too. For 24 hours, beginning at midnight tonight and ending at midnight 3 March, our Three Little Pigs app for iPad will be available for £1.19 ($1.99 in the US and 1.59 Euros). The app’s normal price is £4.99 ($7.99 in the US and 5.99 Euros).
The app has received the most extraordinary reviews. Just this afternoon, The Times’ School Gate blog (@schoolgate on Twitter) called The Three Little Pigs “fresh and new. . . our favourite app of all” in their round up of Top Children’s iPad apps. You can read the full review here.
Every year on World Book Day children dress up as their favourite character. Here in the office we are proud parents to children going to school tomorrow as Ruby the Red Fairy, the witch from Axel Scheffler’sRoom on the Broom, Pippi Longstocking, Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz... and, in a tribute to the BBC adaptation: Miss Flyte from Bleak House, (complete with clip-on birds.) Children are given £1 vouchers to take to bookshops to exchange for books, and there’s a range of special World Book Day £1 books to ensure that no-one’s left out. The brilliant Philip Reeve is even coming into my children’s school to talk about books, writing and reading.
Yesterday, Kate met up with Neal Hoskins (pictured) of Winged Chariot in the Crow’s Nest to talk about the opportunities for collaboration amongst apps publishers, and, specifically, children’s apps publishers. For all of us involved in apps publishing, the challenge is how people – parents in our case – find good apps among the ever-growing sea of apps on the store.
They also talked about the Bologna Tools of Change Conference 2011, which Neal is heavily involved in, and at which Kate will be a keynote speaker.
Then Kate and Imogen left for the Bounce Marketing sales conference for April to August titles in Islington, wrapping fizzy wine in the back of the car to give to the Bounce reps so they could drink to Nosy Crow’s first book (Small Blue Thing) being published on 13 January 2011. Kate presented to an enthusiastic audience of 18, and it was great to see how many of the reps had already read many of the titles: Bizzy Bear and Pip and Posy were being enthusiastically read by one sales manager’s two year-old. The six year-old “reluctant artist” son of one of the reps had loved completing his first Mega Mash-up book. And one of the reps told everyone how much she’d LOVEDOlivia’s First Term.
After a meeting at the Publisher’s Association about World Book Day 2012 (which’ll be the subject of another post), Kate met up with Imogen and Kirsty at Bounce’s Christmas Party, and Kirsty and Kate had to be asked to leave as the pub was closing. A fine time was had by all.
World Book Day has – somehow, quickly – rolled round again. Having been very closely involved with World Book Day for years, Kate feels a bit sad that this time she’s managed to miss all the build up to it, after a year spent in adult publishing and then setting up Nosy Crow. Nosy Crow looks forward to being properly involved as a publisher next year, though, by which time we’ll have some books out.
As a parent, though, Kate has been involved, and this morning had all the tears, chaos and ultimate cheeriness of every previous World Book Day morning, as last-minute costume requirements emerged before Zaphod Beeblebrox (pictured, believe it or not) and Pippi Longstocking could be sent to school. There was particular hysteria when the full incompatibility of a swimming class and wash-out red hair-dye became apparent; and the Beeblebrox balloon head was a late addition, after the papier-mache head proved less robust than its maker predicted.
Meanwhile Camilla’s involved in an Angelina Ballerina-fest, after a tense discussion yesterday evening involving mouse-ears.