7 Ways to Encourage Kids to Read

March 3rd, 2014

Cute little girl and boy reading a bedtime story

In celebration of Dr. Seuss’s birthday, we put together this list of 7 tips to promote a love of reading today and for the rest of the year!

1) Set a good example
Modeling good reading habits is essential to helping your kids understand the importance of reading. Let your kids see you reading, and how much you enjoy it. If your kids are older, share what you read and what you have gained from reading a good book. Keep lots of reading material- books, magazines, colorful catalogs, etc- around the house and in reach.

2) Read with your kids, every night
Set aside a special time every day to read with your kids. Read for at least 30 minutes, and try to introduce them to as many new stories and concepts as possible. Don’t stop at just reading the book- talk about the pictures, characters, storylines or anything else to keep them thinking and engaged. Sharing this enjoyment with your kids will help inspire a love of reading at an early age.

3) Visit the library once a week
Get your kids their own library card and get in the habit of visiting the library once a week. Spend some time reading books together at the library and let them pick out their own books to take home. Make your library visits special and something everyone looks forward to each week.

4) Give the gift of reading17891448_xxl
Does your kid have a birthday or any other gift-giving occasion coming up? Give them books- or ask others to give them books- as a gift! Books received as a gift will be cherished more, especially if they come from an important person in your kids’ lives. You could also allow them to pick out a few digital book apps to download as a gift!

5) Look for books your kids will love
Kids are far more likely to enjoy reading if they read about something that sparks their interest. Find out what captivates your kids and pick titles that will keep their attention. If your kids are into dinosaurs, build a collection of dinosaur books. As your kids get older, let them select books they are excited about, or find a series they love and want to continue reading. Subscribe to children’s magazines that are fun and interesting for your kids to read.

6) Read digital book apps
Do you have a reluctant reader who loves technology? Load up an iPad with a collection of digital book apps and start developing good reading habits with interactive content. Digital book apps can also be a more effective way to enhance literacy and build vocabulary- every omBook includes highlighted narration plus tappable words and pictures to improve reading skills.

7) Make reading fun!
Above all, reading should be fun! Read with enthusiasm, use funny voices, act out scenes- anything to keep your kids laughing and having fun. Always suggest reading as a leisure activity, avoid using it as a punishment, and be sure to foster fond memories of reading together as a family.

How do you get your kids to read? Share with us in a comment below!


Valentine’s Day App Sale!

February 10th, 2014

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At Oceanhouse Media, our customers are truly at the ♥heart♥ of everything we do, so this Valentines Day we want to send a little love your way!

For parents, Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to show your little ones how much you love them. What better way to do this than by snuggling up and reading together? If you’re looking for a way to illustrate your unconditional love, consider Ziggy Marley’s “I Love You Too” book app. If you have a faraway valentine, record your message in the app and send it wherever your little loved ones are! Want to practice? Ready, Set, Say “I Love You!”Are you feeling lucky? Enter to win the “I Love You Too” app PLUS a copy of the hardcover edition signed by Ziggy himself! Enter here.

Need some last minute inspiration for that perfect Valentine’s Day date with your significant other? Our “52 Great Cheap Dates” is 99 cents all week!

However you spend the day, we hope it’s full of love, smiles, laughter and hugs!

Love,

Oceanhouse Media


The Next Generation of Coders

February 5th, 2014

As a tech company, we’re always thrilled to see kids excited about technology, which is why we love the recent Kickstarter campaigns dedicated specifically to sparking young girls’ interests in engineering, technology, and programming.
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If you watched the Super Bowl, you may have seen this super catchy commercial for GoldieBlox, a company that began as a Kickstarter campaign in 2012. Headed by Stanford engineer Debbie Sterling, the company creates construction set toys for girls with the mission of inspiring a future generation of female engineers. Sterling founded the company as a response to men greatly outnumbering women in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) careers. “We believe there are a million girls out there who are engineers,” the company’s website says, “They just might not know it yet. We think GoldieBlox can show them the way.”

Hello Ruby is another Kickstarter campaign we love, which has already raised over $290,000 with 16 days left to go! Created by programming teacher Linda Liukas, Hello Ruby is an illustrated book starring a girl programmer that aims to teach children about programming and technology. “Code is the 21st century literacy and the need for people to speak the ABC of Programming is imminent,” Liukas says on the Kickstarter page, “Our world is increasingly run by software and we need more diversity in the people who are building it.” You can find out more about Hello Ruby- and contribute funds to back the project- here.

If you have daughters, nieces, little sisters, or friends who are interested Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, check out some of our favorite resources! (boy & girl organizations/resources included further down)

Girls Who Code
This program aims to provide computer science education to one million young women by 2020. The NYC-based organization launches programs in New York, Detroit, San Francisco, and San Jose this year and seeks to empower female students in their junior and senior year of high school.

Girls Teaching Girls to Code
Girls Teaching Girls to Code is a program where Stanford women in Computer Science teach Bay Area high school girls to code. Students learn programming basics, build exciting projects, and develop strong relationships with mentors in the field. More camp locations coming soon.

Girl Develop It
Empowers women of all ages from diverse backgrounds and from around the world to develop software and tools for multiple industries.

Girl Scouts: Girls in Science, Tech, Engineering, and Math
There are now 5 new categories of STEM badges that Girl Scouts of all ranks can achieve!

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These great organizations cater to kids of all genders!

Digital Media Academy

Kid-tested, mother-approved technology camps at prestigious universities. Camps offered for programming & app development, music & audio production, robotics & engineering and much more!

Kids Code Camp
Free one-day non-profit events with the goal of inspiring younger generations to understand technology and open source coding and foster a desire to build imaginative things.

CODE
A non-profit dedicated to bringing computer science classes to every K-12 school in the United State.

Do you know about any other awesome organizations that encourage kids to learn about technology and programming? Share with us in a comment below!


Oceanhouse Media Celebrates 5 Years in the App Market

January 23rd, 2014

Today we are thrilled to celebrate Oceanhouse Media’s 5th birthday! The past five years have taken us on an incredible journey, and today we reflect on how much we have learned and grown since our first app release in 2009. Oceanhouse Media has been true labor of love- endless hours of hard work, late nights, and creative problem solving from some of the best minds in business have helped push the company to where it is today. Of course, we have had TONS of fun along the way and are happy to say that we are just getting started.

But before we blow out our candles, let’s take a little walk down memory lane and recap how it all started…

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January 2009- Oceanhouse Media was founded by Michel & Karen Kripalani with the goal of creating apps that uplift, educate and inspire. The company was initially run out of the Kripalani’s home in Encinitas, CA.

March 2009- 51 days after the official formation of the company, Oceanhouse submits its first app for iPhone and iPod touch- Bowls. In less than a month, the app makes it to #10 in sales of all paid apps on the App Store.

—This was before the advent of the iPad and there were only 30,000 apps on the App Store (and we thought that was a lot!)—

June 2009- Oceanhouse Media partners with Hay House Publishers to bring their line of self-empowerment card decks, calendars, and more to the digital world.

September 2009- The company announces its second major license deal, partnering with Chronicle Books to adapt many of their fantastic products for the iPhone.

November 2009- Oceanhouse Media launches the first official Dr. Seuss app- How the Grinch Stole Christmas!- just in time for the holidays. This is just the first of an entire collection of Dr. Seuss apps!

January 2009- The company celebrates its first birthday with roughly 20 apps on the App Store.

April 2010- Apple releases the first iPad, and Oceanhouse Media creates its first four iPad apps: The Cat in the Hat, Dr. Seuss’s ABC, How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, and Bowls HD.

July 2010- Dr. Seuss’s Green Eggs and Ham is released as Oceanhouse Media’s 100th app.

September 2010- The company partners with Zondervan to release a line of Berenstain Bears Living Lights apps, beginning with The Berenstain Bears Say Their Prayers, The Berenstain Bears Go To Sunday School and The Berenstain Bears And The Golden Rule.

November 2010- Oceanhouse Media partners with Mercer Mayer to bring the timeless Little Critter books to the App Store.

December 2010- Oceanhouse Media releases its first apps for Android devices- The Cat in the Hat and How the Grinch Stole Christmas!.

December 2010- The company partners with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt to introduce a series of Tacky the Penguin digital book apps.

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The Oceanhouse Media Team

January 2011- Oceanhouse Media celebrates its one million paid app downloads on the App Store!

April 2011- The company releases It’s Tyrannosaurus Rex!, the first omBook in the Smithsonian Institution Prehistoric Pals Series.

April 2011- Oceanhouse Media begins releasing apps on Barnes and Noble’s NOOK Color.

May 2011- Oceanhouse Media secures a licensing agreements with Andersen Press to bring the classic Elmer the Patchwork Elephant books to the digital market.

May 2011- Oceanhouse Media introduces Once Upon a Potty: Girl and Once Upon a Potty: Boy apps from Alona Frankel’s toilet learning classics.

July 2011- A new licensing partnership with Kidwick Books kicks off with the release of Leo the Lightning Bug by Eric Drachman.

July 2011- The company moves into a proper office space in Encinitas, CA.

August 2011- After a year of successful releases from the Berenstain Bears’ Living Lights series, Oceanhouse Media partners with HarperCollins Children’s Books to release more Berenstain Bears book apps, starting with The Berenstain Bears’ Bedtime Battle.

November 2011- Oceanhouse Media, Dr. Seuss Enterprises, and Random House Children’s Books announce plans to bring Random House’s best-selling series The Cat in the Hat’s Learning Library to the App Store.

March 2012- The Lorax reaches the number one spot on the overall iPad Top-100 paid chart.

March 2012- The company partners with Byron Barton to create a series of beginner, transportation-themed omBooks.

September 2012- Oceanhouse unveils the new “Record and Share” feature in omBooks, allowing users to record a customized narration of a story and share it with family members.

September 2012- Oceanhouse Media releases a free Dr. Seuss Bookshelf app.

October 2012- Five Dr. Seuss book apps are launched for Windows 8. This marks the first time the company developed apps for PCs.

May 2013- Oceanhouse Media launches Hay House NOW on the App Store, providing customers with instant access to motivational lectures, courses, video and audio from best-selling authors such as Louise L. Hay, Dr. Wayne W. Dyer, Doreen Virtue and Dr. Christiane Northrup.

August 2013- The release of On Beyond Zebra! marks the final classic Dr. Seuss title adapted as a digital book app.

August 2013- Oceanhouse Media is recognized as the 114th fastest growing company in the United States by Inc. 500’s list of Fastest Growing Private Companies. The company was also recognized as #9 among the Top 100 Software Companies.

October 2013- Oceanhouse Media wins its first Parents’ Choice Gold Awards for the Cat in the Hat’s Learning Library “Ice is Nice!” and “On Beyond Bugs!”.

November 2013- Oceanhouse Media partners with reggae icon Ziggy Marley to adapt his children’s book I Love You Too for iOS and Android devices. This marks the company’s first time partnering with a celebrity.

November 2013- Oceanhouse Media introduces a new line of Chicken Soup for the Soul apps with Angels Around Us.

Today Oceanhouse Media has more then 350 apps, with 1-3 new releases every week!

Thank you to all our customers who have supported us throughout our journey. We cannot wait to see where the adventure takes us next!


Blogger Spotlight: Common Sense Media

December 5th, 2013

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Ingrid Simone from Common Sense Media- one of our favorite children’s media review sites- chatted with us about her site, technology, and more for this edition of the Oceanhouse Media Blogger Spotlight. See what she has to say below!

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

Ingrid Simone (IS): Common Sense Media was founded in 2003, and we launched our blog, Making Sense, in 2013. We’ve always reviewed media for kids and families, but now we also have great resources for teachers on our “Graphite” site: www.graphite.org.

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

IS: Our organization is dedicated to improving the lives of kids and families by providing the trustworthy information, education, and independent voice they need to thrive in a world of media and technology.

OM: Who is the most tech savvy person in your house?
Probably my 8-year-old son. But his sister and I are no slouches.

OM: Which item of technology could you not live without?

IS: Definitely my iPhone, but I’d miss my iPad terribly if I didn’t have it.

OM: What iPhone game are you addicted to right now?

IS: Words With Friends has been a daily part of life for me for years — I’m such a wordgirl.

OM:  Which essential back to school app do you recommend for parents? Which one for kids?

IS:  Parents: Wunderlist
Kids: That’s tough…there are lots of great apps out there, and it depends on their age. For younger kids, I’d say a good book creation app can go a long way because it can be used in a variety of subject areas. Book Creator and Kid in Story are favorites. For older kids, WordFlex Touch Dictionary and Evernote are good tools.

OM: What apps are your kids using now?

IS: Minecraft Pocket Edition–both my 8-year-old son and 10-year-old daughter would say it’s their favorite. They both love creating, and the open-ended nature of the app leaves them so much room to explore.

OM: Complete the sentence: My favorite thing about being a mom in the technology age is ____.

IS: Instant access to answers when my kids stump me with their questions.

OM: If you were a butterfly, what colors would your wings be?

IS: Blue, purple, and magenta.

OM:  If you were gifted the ability to fly for one day, where’s the first place you’d go?

IS: I’d fly to the Amazon rainforest to hang out with my tropical butterfly friends.

Thank you very much to Ingrid for participating in the Blogger Spotlight! Be sure to take a peek at Common Sense Media for trustworthy reviews of children’s movies, games, apps, & more.

More Oceanhouse Media Blogger Spotlights:
Anne and Jayne of Teachers with Apps
Melissa Northway
Christie Dwyer of The Appy Ladies
Carisa Kluver of Digital Storytime
Shannon Des Roches of Squidalicious
Mary Mahon of the iMums


Blogger Spotlight: The iMums

November 27th, 2013

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Welcome to the Oceanhouse Media Blogger Spotlight with Mary of The iMums! Mary got the chance to check out Oh Say Can You Say Di-no-saur? from the Cat in the Hat’s Learning Library. Find out her favorite picks for bedtime stories and more below!

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

Mary (M): The website was launched by the Australian iMum Amanda in August 2011. Originally the site was The iMum, but soon after it launched myself (Mary, the British iMum,) Alison (The American iMum) and Grace (the Singaporean iMum joined Amanda. It originally had an Australian focus and evolved to a global perspective as we became The iMums and we now have a whole team of mums from across the globe working together.

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

M: To find the best apps and technology products for busy parents. We are all mums ourselves and have strict policies about what we will review- for our children’s apps we only recommend apps we would feel happy with our children using.

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

M: That has to be my husband Victor, he’s been working in computer speech recognition for many years and is my tech “go to” person. However, he has been amazed by how much I have learned in the last few years and he will even come to me now with iPad related questions.

OM: What children’s book do you really want to see on the App Store that isn’t currently available?

M: I’d love to see The Gruffalo, by Julia Donaldson, my kids just love her books.

OM: Which app can you not live without?

M: Maps- I’ve lived in the USA for a long time but still get lost easily! Having the ability to always be able to look up where I am and how to get to my destination is a lifesaver.

OM: Which essential back to school app do you recommend for parents?

M: Lifetopix- a great app to help you to stay organized with all the activities going on in the school year– it keeps your calendar, to-do lists, shopping lists and more together.

OM: Which one for kids?

M: This is really hard as there are so many great educational apps out there The iMums recently compiled a list of our top 24 Back to school apps for different ages. One series I use a lot are the Squeebles- my son is currently using Squeebles Times Tables 2 to practice his multiplication skills.

OM: What book (non-children’s) are you reading right now?

M: How Green Was My Valley by Richard Llewellyn

OM: What is the favorite bedtime story at your house right now?

M: My oldest son is enjoying Hardy Boy Mysteries, and for my twins always love Dr. Seuss – “What was I Scared of?” is popular at the moment.

OM: Which dinosaur from the Cat in the Hat’s Super Dino Museum would you want to see come back to life?

M: The Brachiosaurus- he seems like a big, gentle giant much better than a fierce T.Rex!

OM: If you could be an archaeologist in the field for a day, which civilization would you go study?

M: Prehistoric Ireland – I’d love to find out more about the people who built Newgrange in County Meath, Ireland– it dates back over 3,000 years making it older than Stonehenge or the pyramids but we still don’t really know what it was used for.

Big thanks to Mary and all the ladies at the iMums for participating in our Blogger Spotlight!

Other Oceanhouse Media Blogger Spotlights:
Anne and Jayne of Teachers with Apps
Melissa Northway
Christie Dwyer of The Appy Ladies
Carisa Kluver of Digital Storytime
Shannon Des Roches of Squidalicious


Blogger Spotlight: Squidalicious

November 22nd, 2013

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Today the Oceanhouse Media blogger spotlight is on Shannon from Squidalicious! Shannon and her kids got the chance to check out Ice Is Nice! from the Cat in the Hat’s Learning Library series. Here’s what she had to say about her blog and parenting!

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

Shannon (S): I launched www.Squidalicious.com in July of 2003, so I recently celebrated my 10 year bloggingversary. It has evolved … considerably since then. My older kids, Iz & Leo, were four and two, and my youngest, Mali, was not here yet — it is very different parenting teenagers than it was parenting toddlers! Also, iPads didn’t exist and my kids rarely used technology themselves — they would need us to rewind their VHS tapes for them! I also started blogging right around the time of Leo’s autism diagnosis, and in a panic fell for some really harmful and unhelpful autism pseudoscience. Thankfully — for Leo’s sake — I have since figured out what’s what and in fact have become an advocate for evidence-based approaches to autism on another blog, Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism, though I have left all my previous blog posts up so readers can see how my thinking evolved.

OM: What is the goal of your blog?

S: Mostly I want to document what it’s like to be a parent in this complicated and ever-changing world, especially the parent of an autistic child. I also use the blog to talk about my advocacy work for vaccines and autism and iPads, and some of my geeky enthusiasms. Since my kids are now older, I am more guarded about their privacy and tend to write around them rather than specifically about them, or involve them in the decisions about what to post if I am writing about them. India gave her permission for me to use this photo, for instance.

OM: Which item of technology could you not live without?

S: My iPhone, probably, which makes me laugh as I just got one for the first time a few months ago. But it allows me to track, connect, communicate with, educate and entertain my family almost everywhere I go. I keep two pages of apps just for my kids.

OM: Who is Leo’s favorite storybook hero?

S: Leo likes stories that are about explanations or actions, which is probably why he loves Mr. Brown from Mr. Brown Can Moo! the best — Mr. Brown is demonstrating all the things he can do, rather than trying to compel someone else to do something, as in the Cat in the Hat or Green Eggs and Ham. Leo doesn’t like stories about social conflict as much, though he always enjoys book apps like those from Oceanhouse media that let him read the stories to himself via touching and hearing each word.

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

S: A year or so ago I would have said me or my husband, but now our teenage daughter is not only eclipsing many of our skills, she is also keeping much more up to date with the latest tech developments though blogs like Gizmodo and Engadget. And she’s already far better at blog coding than I am!

OM: If you could live inside any Dr. Seuss story, which would you pick?

S: Probably Dr. Seuss’s Sleep Book. I could really use some more sleep. And my very own soft-tufted barbershop pole for doing just that.

OM: Which app can Leo not put down right now?

S: Leo always has a set of apps that he likes best. Right now he’s focusing on puzzle apps, like Duck Duck Moose’s Puzzle Pop, and free play music & sound apps like Cosmic Top, and Dr. Seuss Band. To the point where I go around humming the Dr. Seuss Band music all day long.

OM: Which app can you not put down right now?

S: I’m pretty practical — I use the Podcasts app to catch up on my favorite NPR radio shows while I’m working or driving. The app I’m most excited about right now is called AllowanceBot — we’re using it to remind the kids about mandatory chores that lead to full allowance, as well as giving them opportunities to increase their allowance through extra chores. Taking personal responsibility, going by chore checklists, and seeing the allowance tally up is apparently more motivating than “because I said so.” Who knew?

OM: Summer, winter, spring or fall – which is your favorite?

S: We just had the best summer ever, so I’m going to go with that — we went to Africa, spent two weeks at the beach in San Diego, and spent a week on a boat in British Columbia. Plus in between all that the kids went to their very favorite camps. We are feeling very very very lucky — even though the summer fun meant the kids were less than excited about going back to school.

OM: How many continents have you been to? What’s the next continent on your to-visit list?

S: Sadly for a Geographer, I’ve only been to four — North America, Europe, Asia, & Africa. Probably I’d want to go to Australia just because the animals there are so different than ours and my kids would love seeing them, plus Leo really loves going to the beach and Australian beaches are supposed to be wonderful.

Thank you very much to Shannon for participating our Blogger Spotlight! Stay tuned for more coming your way.

Other Oceanhouse Media Blogger Spotlights:
Anne and Jayne of Teachers with Apps
Melissa Northway
Christie Dwyer of The Appy Ladies
Carisa Kluver of Digital Storytime


Blogger Spotlight: Digital Storytime

November 18th, 2013

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Welcome to the next edition of the Oceanhouse Media Blogger Spotlight! Today the spotlight’s on our friend Carisa Kluver from Digital Storytime, who got the opportunity to check out There’s a Map on My Lap!: All About Maps from the Cat in the Hat’s Learning Library Series. See what she has to say about her favorite app as a mom and more below!

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

Carisa Kluver (CK): My husband Marc and I launched Digital-Storytime.com in the Fall of 2010. My blog launched in February of 2011 and we founded EdApps4Sale.com (our free app site) in 2012. I had been assisting my husband, an app developer, with marketing efforts for a smartphone app he developed in 2009 for Android. The experience was eye-opening.

Everything was a bit chaotic online when searching for kids apps, and I was surprised at the quality of the reviews (or lack thereof). I didn’t find many sites that were providing app reviews worthy of the picture book genre, in particular. Having worked for years with young families as a social worker and being the mother of a preschooler, I was alarmed at some of the content I came across aimed at kids.

I also found a lot of promotional and advertorial content on review sites, which concerned me as a parent and former educator. How were teachers and librarians going to find and recommend quality digital books without a trustworthy online resource, I wondered? And then it occurred to me that I was in as good a position as anyone else to take on the challenge.

The Digital-Storytime.com site has evolved over the past three years quite a bit, adding a deal page that automatically lists price drops and category listings for different subjects. We have also changed the look of our sites a couple times, including hiring a graphic designer to help us personalize things a bit more. Because we have a custom website, built into a database structure (and in-house IT support), we can do a lot of things other review sites and websites can’t do, like scan for accurate prices 4x/day and even reproduce our content almost instantly for book app formats like Google-Play, Kindle Fire & Nook Color.

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

My goal when I began the site was to provide a user friendly source of quality, thorough reviews of enhanced picture book apps. I wanted it to feel like a digital book store in some ways, with a quality, curated selection. So many wonderful kids app review sites are out there promoting great games and educational apps, but the focus on reading makes our site unique. It also allows me to review a lot more of the depth and breadth in the book category.

A secondary goal of my site was to influence the industry in a positive way by providing developers with insight into what parents and kids want (and need) in book apps. My blog, The Digital Media Diet, has given me a wonderful platform to share best practices and my thoughts on the evolving marketplace. I feel very honored that so many people read it everyday.

OM: Which app can you – as a mom – not live without?

CK: I don’t use a lot of ‘adult’ apps, since I’m constantly vetting new storybooks most of the time, but I really love the Epicurious app and most days I have my iPhone plugged into our stereo with The Mountain (103.7) app – my favorite radio station from Seattle (especially nice since I moved back to California).

I also count on the Dr. Seuss & Oceanhouse Media Bookshelf apps almost every night – with all the books so easy to access in one place, it’s often the first place we start when looking for a good bedtime read. We also read print books most nights, but my little boy really likes to start off with Dr. Seuss.

OM: What is the most popular bedtime story at your house right now?

CK: Hands down, Dr. Seuss’s Sleep Book – it has been our favorite in print and digital for over a year now. We also read The Kissing Hand a lot. My little boy kisses my hand nearly every day when I drop him off at school, in fact. I know he won’t do this forever, so I try to enjoy it as much as I can while it lasts.

OM: Who is your son’s favorite storybook hero?

CK: Right now my kiddo is obsessed with Big Nate … not sure if he qualifies as a ‘hero’ though. He also loves the Magic Treehouse and Magic School Bus series (might be something about ‘magic’). My son doesn’t really like traditional superhero’s (we don’t have a TV or watch many movies, so he hasn’t been exposed to a lot of mainstream media), but he’s really into physics and time travel, so I’m reading “A Wrinkle in Time” to him aloud by chapters, each night (after the required Dr. Seuss book app first, of course).

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

CK: Absolutely, without question, my husband – Marc Kluver. He designed and built my website from scratch and solves most of my technical problems (sometimes I have to beg, but he’s MY hero). He’s really Digital-Storytime’s secret weapon. ;-)

I share many app reviews with him before publishing, too, so he can help me accurately weigh in on the technical issues I find when testing book apps. He is self-taught and started with Assembly language at the age of nine. I’m sure my son will someday be as savvy, but for now, Marc holds the title.

OM: Who is your all-time favorite Dr. Seuss character?

CK: I’m pretty fond of the Lorax and Horton, but those Sneetches are truly amazing – star-bellied or plain-bellied. They just have such a great lesson to share.

OM: How many states in the U.S. have you visited? Which state is on the top of your to-visit list?

CK: I think I’ve been to most of them, actually – at least in the airports. I used to travel a lot for work when I did trainings for health education teachers. Now I am doing something similar, by collaborating with librarians nationally. I have lived in Alaska even.

I don’t think I’ve been to Maine … but really, I’d love to rent an RV for a year and just travel to all the lower 48 again with my son. I love history and learning about things in the actual place where they happened is such an amazing experience. When I was a kid, I used to beg my grandmother in North Carolina to take me to all the civil war battlefields and lots of old cemeteries. She thought I was a bit ghoulish, but I was always an anthropologist at heart.

OM: If you had a time-travel treasure map that could take you back in time, which ancient civilization would you visit?

CK: What a great question! I would love to go back to the time of the Enlightenment and Renaissance, although it would be hard on me to be ignored just because I was a woman. I might get myself into some trouble there, I’m afraid. I think we live in a time that is nearly as exceptional, though – I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

Thank you very much to Carisa for participating in our Blogger Spotlight! We have more on the way- stay tuned!


Introducing Chicken Soup for the Soul Apps

November 14th, 2013

We just launched a brand new line of Chicken Soup for the Soul apps based on their best-selling series of inspirational books! Each app contains 21 heartwarming stories, in addition to special features including a personal journal, thought-provoking Soul Work questions, motivational quotes, and much, much more!

The first app in the series is “Angels Around Us”, available in the App Store today for the introductory price of $2.99. With this app you can dive into a collection of stories about angels, miracles, and other divine occurrences to uplift and inspire you!

The app got all of us at Oceanhouse Media thinking about the power of random acts of kindness, and how all of us can be an angel to someone! When has someone been an angel in your life? Leave a comment and let us know!

“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.”

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“It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.” ― Mother Teresa

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“Love only grows by sharing. You can only have more for yourself by giving it away to others.” ― Brian Tracy

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Stay tuned for more Chicken Soup for the Soul app releases!


Blogger Spotlight: The Appy Ladies

November 13th, 2013

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It’s time for the third edition of the Oceanhouse Media Blogger Spotlight, and this time we’re featuring Christie Dwyer from The Appy Ladies! Christie had the opportunity to take a peek at Oh, the Pets You Can Get! from the Cat in the Hat’s Learning Library Series. Read on to find out how she inspires her kids to read, what apps she can’t live without, and more!

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

Christie Dwyer (CD): The page was launched 12 months ago by a group of women from around the world.  We come from a variety of backgrounds, including teachers, specialists, therapists and parents.   Although from different backgrounds and countries, we all have a strong interest in Special Needs and have the same focus, which is a desire to provide information about apps and accessories, to support for people with special needs and their carers, families and educators. The website is supported by a FaceBook Page, Twitter, Google and Pinterest boards.

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

CD: To support Caregivers, Parents, and Educators by sharing information in an accessible and fun way.  We provide app and accessory reviews, interviews with developers about apps, and of course our never-ending giveaways.  We also provide general information such as contacts relating to specific disabilities, State and National support services, and employment services for people with disabilities.

OM: What inspires your kids to read?

CD: My two very young children have each been listening to family members read since before they were born. As a teacher by trade, I know that the most effective way to inspire the love of books is by reading aloud to them, especially at an early age. Reading takes them on adventures they may not be able to encounter otherwise!

OM: What inspires you to read? What book (non-children’s) are you reading right now?

CD: I get inspired when it’s about pertinent topics to me that I can apply to my everyday life. I don’t have as much time to read non-children’s books, but I’m currently reading a Mary Higgins Clark mystery novel.

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

CD: Total Baby, as I was pregnant with my first child when the apps came out.

OM: What is the favorite bedtime story at your house right now?

CD: My baby loves Dr. Seuss and Sandra Boynton books. My preschooler loves to read the Frog & Toad series as well as Curious George stories before bedtime.

OM: If you were stranded on a desert island, which piece of technology would you want to have with you?

CD: My iPhone (and possibly a solar charger!)

OM: What app can you not live without?

CD: For the last few years, Total Baby has been my go-to app. But Facebook has been handy too.

OM: Do you have any pets? If so, what are they?

CD: Yes, my family has two cats.

OM: If you could be another animal for one day, what would you be?

CD: I would be some type of bird, so I could fly!

Thank you very much to Christie and all the wonderful people at The Appy Ladies for participating! Stay tuned for more spotlights!

Other Oceanhouse Media Blogger Spotlights:
Anne and Jayne of Teachers with Apps
Melissa Northway