A New Way to Spread Holiday Cheer!

December 11th, 2012

Our favorite little reindeer (Rudolph, of course!) has been on the App Store for three holiday seasons as an omBook and a camera app, but this year he’s coming to life in a brand new way.

Catch up with Rudolph in a new holiday game, Rudolph’s Gift. Your mission is to help him deliver presents to as many children as possible, while collecting power-ups and dodging airborne obstacles along the way!

So what do you think? Will you accept the challenge?  Download Rudolph’s Gift for FREE on the App Store!

Tip: Collect the falling misfit toys to unlock bonus rounds!

Can you beat the current Game Center high score of 6.7 million? We think you can!

 

Game features:

  • Dual controls – Move Rudolph with one hand; Shine his light with the other
  • Earn high scores by delivering the most presents without colliding with obstacles
  • Upgrade Power-ups such as Cloud Buster, Invincibility, 4X Presents, and more
  • Fly with different characters (Santa, Hermey the Elf, Yukon Cornelius, etc.) and Sleigh colors
  • Compare High Scores, Most Presents and Furthest Distance on Game Center Leaderboards
  • Hours of endless fun!

 

Get Rudolph’s Gift FREE for your iPhone, iPad and iPod touch . . .  and iPad Mini! . . . and iPhone 5!


Record and WIN!

November 27th, 2012

Do you have a special talent for reading children’s books aloud? Here’s your chance to show off your skills and WIN a five pack of Dr. Seuss “Record and Share” omBooks (for iOS devices only).

TO ENTER: Download the FULL or LITE version of “The Cat in the Hat” and record your Fabulous!, Astounding!, Fantastic! narration and email it (directly from the app) to info@oceanhousemedia.com

                                                                                                 ”We looked!

Then we saw him
 step in on the mat!
We looked!
And we saw him!”

 

Winner announced December 10, 2012!

Winner will be announced on Facebook on December 10, 2012 and contacted via email.  Enter by 12am PT December 10, 2012. It’s easy to enter, just record and send to info@oceanhousemedia.com directly from the app.

Fourteen titles now have the Record and Share feature, including many holiday titles. Find them all HERE!

 

Read it spooky,

   Read it slow…

Read it silly,

    Ready, set, GO!

 

 


Capture Holiday Memories with How the Grinch Stole Christmas!

November 26th, 2012

 

“And what happened then . . . ?

  Well . . . in Who-ville they say

  That the Grinch’s small heart

  Grew three sizes that day!”

  •    How the Grinch Stole Christmas! by Dr. Seuss

 

Generations of families have witnessed The Grinch transform himself into a warm, lovable character with a caring heart. Reading this classic tale has been a family tradition for decades. Now this holiday season not only can you read the book but you can read the digital version of this classic story and share your narration with loved ones far away in the newly updated How the Grinch Stole Christmas! digital book app featuring our “Record and Share” technology.

 

Now you can record your own narration of How the Grinch Stole Christmas! and share it with family and friends this holiday season.

Oceanhouse Media has been working with Dr. Seuss’s The Grinch since December 2009 when we partnered with Dr. Seuss Enterprises and developed three separate apps. We adapted the holiday classic book into a digital book app with three reading options and simple navigation tools for even the youngest of readers to enjoy all at the touch of a screen. We developed Dr. Seuss Camera – The Grinch Edition, a zany camera app where you create whimsical Grinchmas cards. Plus, we also created Grinchmas!, a fun snowball and present-throwing game which went to #8 on Apple’s Top-Paid app charts in just a few weeks. Since then we’ve partnered with Dr. Seuss Enterprises to release digital book apps for more than 30 Dr. Seuss titles. . . and counting.

How well do you know The Grinch? Test your knowledge with these fun facts!

  •   The book was published in the same year as the classic The Cat in the Hat (1957). Oceanhouse Media launched the digital version of The Cat in the Hat to critical acclaim just two months after releasing How the Grinch Stole Christmas! digital book app. Both have been runaway hits, ranking among the best-selling apps in the Books category on the App Store.
  •   In the original book, How The Grinch Stole Christmas! contains only three colors (black, white and red) and yet the delightful images have created a colorful holiday memory for more than 50 years! Our digital book app reflects this same classic color scheme staying true to the original words and illustrations of Dr. Seuss and enhanced with professional narration, custom sound effects, synchronized word highlighting, picture/word association and record and share technology.
  •   Dr. Seuss modeled The Grinch after himself. He told Redbook magazine that “I was brushing my teeth on the morning of the 26th of last December (1956) when I noted a very Grinch-ish countenance in the mirror. It was Seuss! So I wrote the story about my sour friend—the Grinch—to see if I could rediscover something about Christmas that obviously I’d lost.”
  •    Dr. Seuss was 53 years old when the book was published, the same age as The Grinch (“Why, for fifty-three years I’ve put up with it now! I MUST stop this Christmas from coming! . . . But HOW?”).

So now that you know a little more about The Grinch, why not record and share your own take on this classic tale? It’s also a great way to capture your children reading and share it with family members that may be in different parts of the country or world.  Tell us how you plan to share the new version of How The Grinch Stole Christmas! digital book app at info@oceanhousemedia.com.

We hope your holiday season is filled with all the joy in Who-ville! Merry Grinchmas!


Introducing Dr. Seuss Bookshelf!

September 19th, 2012

Many of you have asked for an easier way to organize your Dr. Seuss apps and today we’ve released an exciting solution, Dr. Seuss Bookshelf! (Stay tuned for OM Bookshelf!)

With the Dr. Seuss Bookshelf you can organize, browse, or launch any Dr. Seuss omBook, game or camera app that is located on your device. You’ll be able to easily locate stories for bedtime, plus, learn about new Dr. Seuss apps, sales and FREE apps in real time.

With over 45 Dr. Seuss apps on the App Store, this bookshelf has been a long time coming. We hope you find it useful and enjoyable!

Dr. Seuss Bookshelf contains:

The Store
-Browse all Dr. Seuss apps and find new releases!
-Sort Dr. Seuss apps by type, price or age
-Use the search feature to find exactly what you’re looking for

My Apps
-View all Dr. Seuss apps that are currently on your device
-Launch your Dr. Seuss apps directly from this shelf
-Rearrange their order (iPad only)

Featured (iPad only)
-See NEW RELEASES – take advantage of introductory pricing!
-Know when omBooks are ON SALE or FREE
-Discover holiday and special occasion omBooks

Favorites (iPad only)
-Add frequently used Dr. Seuss apps here to make them a Favorite
-Rearrange favorites in any order

Watch the Demo Video!:

NOTE: Dr. Seuss Bookshelf is only available for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.


Oh, the Places You’ll Go!

July 31st, 2012

The Oceanhouse Media staff recently took a field trip to the UC San Diego Geisel Library to see The Dr. Seuss Collection. We had the rare opportunity to get an up-close look at the works of Ted Geisel (Dr. Seuss) including original drawings, sketches, proofs, notebooks, manuscript drafts, books and other memorabilia from the extensive collection.

As the digital publisher of the Dr. Seuss omBooks, it was thrilling to see Dr. Seuss’s early drafts of several classic books, such as Green Eggs and Ham, The Cat in the Hat and How the Grinch Stole Christmas! as well as “bone pile” fragments of preliminary drawings, false starts and experimental sketches.

Our sincere thanks goes out to Lynda Claassen, head of UCSD’s Mandeville Special Collections Library, for graciously hosting us and sharing her knowledge about Dr. Seuss and the collection.

Check out the photos below!

Michel Kripalani, President of Oceanhouse Media, holding one of the first sketches for Green Eggs and Ham. 

The evolution of Green Eggs and Ham.

 

OM Staff with UCSD’s Lynda Claassen viewing an early version of The Cat in the Hat. 

The beginnings of The Cat in the Hat.


Oceanhouse Media Chosen As Innovation Awards Finalist

June 26th, 2012

Oceanhouse Media President Michel Kripalani was honored to attend the San Diego Business Journal‘s inaugural Innovation Awards after being selected as a finalist in the mobile devices category. The Innovation Awards acknowledge local organizations who stretch the boundaries and demonstrate how innovative spirit drives economic value.

We’re grateful to have been a finalist and were excited to hear all about the activities of other San Diego companies. A big thanks to the San Diego Business Journal for putting on a great event. We certainly saw that innovation is thriving in San Diego!

 

Oceanhouse Media President Michel Kripalani (left) with San Diego Business Journal Editor-in-Chief Reo Carr at the 2012 Innovation Awards.
(Photo by Bob Thompson ©2011Fotowerks)

 


Tips on Encouraging Kids to Read in the Digital Age

June 21st, 2012

This article is reposted with permission from The Digital Media Diet, the blog for Digital-Storytime.com, featuring articles about kids, technology and the digital publishing industry sprouting up around digital children’s books.

By Michel Kripalani, President, Oceanhouse Media

“The more that you read,

the more things you will know.

The more that you learn,

the more places you’ll go.”

— Dr. Seuss, “I Can Read with My Eyes Shut!

Dr. Seuss was right. Reading opens up our minds to new experiences and knowledge. For children, it can be a magical time. Today’s story telling has taken on a new dimension with the introduction of books on digital devices. Kids can now interact with stories, touching the screen and exploring the different features a particular book app has to offer.

If you have a reluctant reader, encouraging them to read can be a bit of a challenge. So can finding the right level of interactivity in children’s book apps so that it doesn’t distract from the reading experience. Parents, myself included, want to have their child immersed in the story for the right reasons.

There are added benefits to reading on a digital device. Interactivity, when used the right way, can be helpful for a number of kids, from beginning and reluctant readers to English language learners. For instance, if a child is stuck on a word, they can tap the screen and have the word repeated until they are able to pronounce it.

So how do we encourage kids to read in the digital age? Creating good literacy habits starts young and to ensure that children have a wonderful reading experience, here are 10 helpful tips on keeping reading fun and educational in the digital medium.

  • Simple navigation. Select apps that are easy to use to ensure an enjoyable reading experience. Avoid apps that have complex navigation or numerous features and instructions that may frustrate young kids.
  • Co-Reading. Parent and child interaction is key, as was recently noted in a Joan Ganz Cooney Center Study on print books vs. e-books. It’s best to have parents by their kid’s side when reading on device. Ask your child questions about what is happening in the story and encourage them to be playful and explore during reading time.
  • Limit “bells and whistles.” Keep interactivity to a minimum. Look for book apps that maintain the integrity of the story and create a reading experience that most closely resembles reading stories in a traditional book format. Stay away from titles that embed superfluous puzzles and games if they distract from the story and hinder reading comprehension. When selecting a book app, ask yourself if the features in the app are there to enhance the literacy aspect of the title. Avoid interactive features that take your child out of the narrative and off of the page to interact.
  • Reading options. Look for apps that include different reading modes which lets your child choose how they’d like to read the story. In addition to reading with their parents, can your child have the option to have the story read to them by a narrator or choose to read it on their own? Key features to look for in book apps for emergent readers include picture/word association, word highlighting and the ability to touch an individual word and hear it pronounced.
  • Make it a ritual. Set aside a special time to read together (i.e. before naptime). Turn off the T.V. and phone and dedicate the time to reading only. Establishing a routine sends a message to your child that reading is important.
  • Build on interests. Look for topics that are interesting to your child when selecting book apps. For example, focus on activities or hobbies that are most appealing to your child in order to find stories that will appeal them. From sports and dancing to animals and science, there’s an app for that.
  • Remember to have fun! Encourage your child to be inquisitive while reading, taking advantage of the touchscreen technology and the added benefits of digital reading. Taking turns reading the story aloud and acting out the different characters can make reading that more fun, especially for a reluctant reader.
  • Model good reading habits. Have your child see you use your digital device to read as well. You’re your child’s best role model. Take time out of each day to show your child that you enjoy reading too. Tell them what you like to read.
  • Look for the classics. Check out beloved stories that have been teaching kids to read for decades. Is there a story you enjoyed reading as a child? Chances are there’s an app for that now. You’ll have a great time revisiting your childhood favorite stories while introducing the digital versions to your child.
  • Build your digital library together. Involve your child in selecting which book apps to load on their device. To guide you through this process, take a look at resources such as Digital Storytime, KinderTown, Moms With Apps, Common Sense Media, Children’s Technology Review, Parents’ Choice and Kirkus Reviews for their recommendations. These resources can help guide you to age-appropriate reading material. You can also visit your local library and see what tablets they have available preloaded with recommended age-appropriate book apps for your child.

With more than 650,000 apps on the App Store and 500,000 on the Android Market, there is no shortage of book apps available for children. Feed your kids a good diet of the right book apps and they’ll be inspired to be lifelong readers in the digital age.


Thanks, Our Lady’s School!

June 19th, 2012

This year we had the incredible opportunity to try out our apps with the students of Our Lady’s School, a San Diego K-8 school with a mission to educate the mind, heart and spirit.

We met with students from kindergarten through 4th grade and showed them apps like The Cat in the Hat, Oh Say Can You Say Di-no-saur? and There’s No Place Like Space! It was so enjoyable and eye-opening to see our apps in the hands of these children, most of whom had never used an iPad before.

Some of their comments about “There’s No Place Like Space!”:

“My favorite part was when I looked through the telescope. I also liked it when it gave me a warning not to look at the sun.” (7-year-old boy)

“It was cool! I liked that it reads to you and explains all the stuff.” (10-year-old girl – English Language Learner)

“I like that it told you about the planets and how far they are from the sun. I learned that some planets are very far away and get very cold!” (7-year-old girl)

To thank them for their valuable feedback (and just being really awesome), we stopped by last week with a new iPad2 (and LOTS of apps, of course!).

Oceanhouse Media co-founder, Karen Kripalani and her two daughters, delivering a new iPad2

 

Karen’s daughter giving the new iPad2 to the students at Our Lady’s School

Thanks, Our Lady’s School, for welcoming us into your classrooms this year!


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

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

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!