Blogger Spotlight: Melissa Northway


Welcome to the next edition of the Oceanhouse Media Blogger Spotlight- our new blog series featuring bloggers who use our apps! Today the spotlight is on Melissa Northway of Dandelion Moms, who got a chance to check out “A Whale of a Tale!: All About Porpoises, Dolphins, and Whales” from the Cat in the Hat’s Learning Library series.

Oceanhouse Media (OM): When did you launch your website? How has it evolved since the beginning?

Melissa Northway (MN): I launched my author website about four years ago and it looked much different than it does now.  Back then, I wasn’t doing much blogging, but after I changed over my site to WordPress, I started updating my author site weekly with interviews from people in the tech and book industry, App and Book Reviews, and Giveaways. I created a lifestyle website dandelion moms August 2012 and post daily on that site as well.

OM: What is the mission or goal of your site?

MN: My author site provides insight into the wonderful apps that are available as well in interviews with those in the industry. I like to interview authors, developers and companies on the cutting edge of technology and publishing. It is such a wonderful time to be a writer with so many options now to be published, I hope to inspire and educate aspiring authors to look into other avenues to getting their story published. For dandelion moms, I hope by featuring Inspiration Moms we inspire women to go after their own dreams – whatever they might be. As well as provide delicious recipes, fashion and parenting tips and other good content for them to enjoy while they take a break!

OM: Do you remember the first app you ever downloaded?

MN: Yes! It was my app, Penelope the Purple Pirate, back in January 2011. I can remember sitting there watching it on my iPhone for the very first time and really understanding how storytelling is changing. It was a magical moment for me to see my story I wrote the previous year come to life on the iPhone.

OM: How to you determine if a kids app is “smart”?

MN: If it engages children and provides a good story and the characters are positive role models for our kids. Do the illustrations help move the story along and engage the kids! These are things I look for when reviewing storybook apps.

OM: What was your favorite storybook growing up?

MN: I have loved reading all my life and read a lot when I was younger. I still read at night but I don’t have as much time to like I use to. As a child, I really enjoyed Anne and the Green Gables, Old Yeller, the Nancy Drew series, and my all-time favorite was Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell!

OM: Which kids book do you wish had a different ending?

MN: I remember being very sad about the ending in Old Yeller as a kid! I wanted it to end differently so badly.

OM: Who is the most tech-savvy person in your house?

MN: Gosh, it just might be my seven year old daughter truthfully! I find that she is not afraid to try things out on the iPad and can move around it better than my husband and I. But I try to keep up with the latest devices, apps and tech products on the market and like to provide reviews when I can.

OM: Which apps is your daughter obsessed with right now?

MN: Most definitely Mine Craft! She loves to build cities, towns, hospitals and the “coolest house ever with a waterslide.” per my daughter.

OM: Name a beach location on your travel bucket-list.

MN: A beach in Nha Trang, Vietnam. I visited Vietnam years ago while cycling across the country to raise money for UNICEF supported programs that educated women and children with skills they could use to make a living and absolutely fell in love with the beaches along the coast! My favorite beach was the one in Nha Trang – the water was so green/blue and clean! (see photo below!)


OM: If you could swim with any sea animal, which would you choose?

MN: Most definitely a dolphin! When I was younger I was a bit obsessed with dolphins and even had some photographs of them hanging on my walls in my room. I guess I am not surprised I have a dolphin (Daphne) in my first storybook app.

Big thanks to Melissa for participating! Stay tuned for more installments of the Oceanhouse Media Blogger Spotlight.

Check out the first spotlight with Anne and Jayne of Teachers with Apps here.

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