Archive for the ‘Share Your Story’ Category

All By Herself….A Little Critter Fan Shares Her Story

Wednesday, June 13th, 2012

With the release of our latest Little Critter omBook this week (Just a Mess), we’d like to introduce you to one of our biggest Little Critter fans — four-year-old Asena from San Diego, California.

Asena adores the Little Critter character — and is learning to do things all by herself just like Little Critter.

Amy, Asena’s mom, describes her daughter as a very unique “little critter.” She likes to pick out her own clothes and dress herself in all different colors (sometimes getting a little mad when she can’t wear what she wants). She loves to play outside, climbing trees and rocks with her two-year-old sister, Sylvia. She also likes to cook, play with her dog, Anu, and has a vivid imagination, often playing a variety of make-believe roles with her little sister.

What she isn’t fond of is making her own bed, but with a little encouragement from her mom (and the Little Critter stories), she’s learning to do this all by herself.

Asena also enjoys reading on her iPad. She has several omBooks, but Little Critter are her all-time favorites. She is a fan of the entire collection and especially likes All By Myself.

Four-year-old Asena reading along with her Little Critter omBook, When I Get Bigger.

“She reads along with the omBooks and enjoys the interactive features, such as tapping on the words and pictures,” says Amy. “She also likes to spell out the words verbally.”

The Little Critter omBooks are often the first thing Asena asks for in the morning.

“I think the stories relate to her life right now,” Amy adds. “The apps are easy enough to use and are helping her learn to read too.”

As Asena gets ready for kindergarten in the fall, we hope the life lessons found in these stories will help her on her new journey ahead. Go Asena!

Mercer Mayer’s Little Critter stories, which address all the major issues of growing up, are perennial favorites of parents and children alike. Visit our Little Critter page for a complete list of omBooks in this series — http://www.oceanhousemedia.com/products/littlecritter/. For more information on author and illustrator Mercer Mayer, visit http://www.littlecritter.com/.  

Have a story you’d like to share with us? Send us an email at info@oceanhousemedia.com and we’ll tell you how! 


Look, Listen and Repeat – Echo Reading with Dr. Seuss omBooks

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012

Oceanhouse Media was happy to recently hear from educator Richard Colosi, a first-grade teacher from Canandaigua, New York, who is using Dr. Seuss omBooks in his classroom to practice reading fluency.

Colosi’s students are echo reading with iPads. What is echo reading? As first-graders Emily and Molly will tell you in the video below, “it’s where a student listens to a narrator reading the text and then tracks the print with their eyes, then they echo, or imitate the reader.” Check out the students echo reading with the Green Eggs and Ham and The Cat in the Hat omBooks (and their wonderful reporting skills!):

According to Colosi, echo reading is a beneficial activity for his students because they develop a metacognitive ability with reading as they begin to hear how a fluent reader reads. This has been helpful getting students to move from reading word-by-word and into fluent phrases. He adds that fluency is important because the more fluent a student reads, the better they will be able to comprehend information in the text.

Since getting iPad devices in the classroom, Colosi says he’s enjoyed enhancing his reading curriculum with the different Dr. Seuss omBooks.

“One of the first apps that I used in the classroom was The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss,” says Colosi. “The students in my classroom loved this story and when I saw that app, I knew that it would be engaging for them. Students in my class commented that they liked the ability to touch words on the page and to watch the animation on the page which zooms in and out.”

Colosi feels that the omBooks are extremely user-friendly and has seen his students easily navigating through the stories.

“What I really like are the different options available in the book apps that allow for differentiation of instruction,” says Colosi. “In my class, students who are just learning to read can explore the books using the “Read to Me” option to repeat the narration. This helps them build their word recognition and fluency skills. Students who have started to read independently can use the “Read it Myself” option. What’s nice about this option is that if a student doesn’t know a word or phrase, they can just touch to hear it. They can also attempt to read the page and then listen to the narration to make sure they read it correctly. This allows for even more independence and helps to eliminate the situations of students getting “stuck” on a word or missing key information.”

Even though his students had previously read these Dr. Seuss stories, Colosi adds that they enjoyed reading them again on the iPad and trying to sound like the narrator in the story. Plus, they particularly liked the enhancements such as the movements on the page and the sound effects.

Thanks Mr. Colosi and your first-grade class for sharing your video and story with us. It’s wonderful to see first-hand your students practicing reading fluency and having fun as they’re learning! For information on Richard Colosi, visit his website at http://www.richardcolosi.com.

For more ideas on how omBooks can be used in the classroom, visit the Educators section on the Oceanhouse Media website for teacher’s guides that you can download for free.

Have a story you’d like to share with us? Feel free to leave a comment below or send us an email at info@oceanhousemedia.com. We’d love to hear from you!



Sam-I-am

Monday, April 2nd, 2012

April is National Autism Awareness Month. We at Oceanhouse Media often hear from parents who have children with autism.  Below is a heartwarming story and photos from one of our young readers that we wanted to share with you this month.

It’s Sunday morning and for seven-year-old Sam, that means it’s his time to enjoy reading on his iPad. Three of his favorite book apps are The Cat in the Hat, The Cat in the Hat Comes Back and Green Eggs and Ham. He sits on the couch snuggled next to his parents wearing his headphones as he ritualistically reads his omBooks (Oceanhouse Media digital books). It can take him well over an hour to finish all three because he reads them in such detail. For Sam, the Dr. Seuss omBooks and their narrators are synonymous with the iPad.

Sam has high functioning autism. His mom, Erika, says the iPad combined with the Dr. Seuss omBooks help him cope with long trips in the car, and with stressful environments such as airplanes that used to be much scarier for him.

“Sam has been reading since he was three,” says Erika.  “Because he’s autistic and thus perceives the world as such a loud, bright, and overwhelming place, he finds order and repetition soothing, so he has focused on letters since before he was 18 months old.  He can trust letters. The omBooks have enchanted Sam and taught him to be more imaginative as he reads his other books.”

Sam reading on a hotel room bed. “It was raining and there was nothing to do,” says his mom, Erika. “Thank goodness for Dr. Seuss on the iPad.”

Erika says Sam was so enchanted by the narration in The Cat in the Hat omBook that he asked, “Is the man reading The Cat in the Hat real?” When he found out it was voice actor Joseph Narducci, Sam wrote a fan letter to Joseph (“Dear Josif your voice is awsome love Sam”). Subsequently, Sam wrote fan letters to the narrators of The Cat in the Hat Comes Back and Green Eggs and Ham omBooks.

In addition to the narration, Sam enjoys the background music and tapping features in each omBook. He knows the nuances of his omBooks so well that he is especially tickled whenever he discovers a tiny detail that he hadn’t noticed before, for instance, a new item to tap, such as “Porthole!” when the train crashes onto the boat in Green Eggs and Ham.

“Sam ‘plays iPad’ by tapping and naming things in his environment,” said Erika. “He also has a rhythmic routine for making the omBooks pause and resume as he is reading them. ‘Resume’ has now entered his vocabulary. If he is not playing with a toy right now, it is ‘resuming’.”

Sam’s reproduction of the Green Eggs and Ham font, inspired by the omBook and the original print version.

Sam’s creativity doesn’t stop there. He’s quite interested in fonts (see picture above) and has also memorized all three of his Dr. Seuss omBooks. He’ll put on costumes, grab his stuffed animals (and parents) and act the books out.

“Sam’s love for The Cat in the Hat, nurtured by his omBook, inspired our Halloween costume a year ago when he was 6,” Erika adds. “He told me he wanted to be Thing One. I was thrilled because in previous years he didn’t have enough language skills to comprehend the nature of Halloween. When I asked if Daddy and I should be the fish and the Cat in the Hat or Sally and Nick, he replied ‘No, you should be Thing Two and Thing Three.’ ”

After all, Erika says, if there are Little Cats A through Z, why not Things One through who-knows-how-many?

Sam (Thing One), Todd (Thing Two) and Erika (Thing Three) enjoying Halloween.

Thanks Sam and Erika for kindly sharing your story with us. Families such as yours encourage our team to continue developing apps that uplift, educate and inspire. And thank you Dr. Seuss for still inspiring young minds with your brilliant stories and illustrations.

Have a story you’d like to share with us? Feel free to leave a comment below or send us an email at info@oceanhousemedia.com. We’d love to hear from you!