Co-reading with your young child creates lasting memories and is a special bonding experience. Together, you can help prepare them for school and introduce new ideas and topics. For dual language learners and their families, however, access to good quality stories and informational books can be a challenge. Oceanhouse Media recently learned of a family literacy program in Maine that is exploring some new solutions.
Comienza en Casa| It Starts at Home was created by Mano en Mano | Hand in Hand to serve the unique needs of migrant farmworker students and parents who are enrolled in the Maine Migrant Education Program. The program works together with families of preschool and kindergarten children who primarily speak little or no English in the home. They have discovered that using our record and share feature, with the help of a skilled bi-lingual volunteer, the families are able to enjoy hearing digital stories in their home language, helping children build early literacy skills and school readiness.
Monthly meetings are held at the local elementary school. The program’s educators and the local kindergarten teacher discuss early learning topics and goals with families, and engage in a variety of hands-on educational activities. This is an opportunity for many families to participate in learning modules involving technology use as well as traditional early learning activities and enjoy resources that they may not otherwise have access to in their home environment. Topics such as the importance of speaking in the home language, using rich language and “digital media diet”/balance are also discussed. After the meeting, families are loaned iPads loaded with apps to take home and use with their children, as well as provided with a variety of activities that encourage families to read, play, and create together.
Digital reading plays an important part in the program. All of the apps have been carefully screened by educators for age-appropriateness and to align with the early literacy and learning goals for each module. Originally, the program provided and discussed written Spanish translations with families for a number of Oceanhouse Media digital book apps. With the addition of the record and share feature, it is now possible to translate and make an audio recording available in Spanish (or any other language), email the file, then open it on the iPad in the app, so that it is available as a narration choice. While the text is still in English, the children and families can hear and better understand what the story is about.
Red Fox at Hickory Lane is one of several Oceanhouse Media digital book apps that include the record and share feature.
The program’s website quotes one parent as saying “The translations were useful because we don’t understand all of the words in English so first in Spanish, then in English you get the idea of what it’s trying to say.” Bonnie Blagojevic, an early childhood educational consultant for the program, really appreciated parent feedback about the importance of having the audio narration available in Spanish, making it possible to really listen to the book with their child and discuss important concepts.
Two weeks after the initial meeting, Ana Blagojevic, Migrant Education Coordinator at Mano en Mano, visits families in their homes to discuss how the various activities, some on the iPad, and other traditional early learning activities that might take place inside or outside the home, have helped their child learn educational goals for the month. It’s at these one-on-one meetings that Ana works together with parents to create an action plan for their child based on what the parent feels is a priority for his or her child to learn and focus on during the remaining two weeks.
The program is always looking for digital book apps that will allow families to experience vivid storytelling that’s filled with great content and social/emotional value. While original use of Oceanhouse Media digital books apps involved sharing written translations for stories such as A Frog Thing, Ladybug at Orchard Avenue, The Legend of Spookley the Square Pumpkin and Leo the Lightning Bug, with the record and share feature it is now possible to hear the narration in Spanish of Red Fox at Hickory Lane. Parents of several of the children in the program shared that their children really enjoy animals and appreciated the opportunity to be able to listen and learn about foxes in Spanish.
“For families with young children that speak Spanish and/or other languages at home, there’s a limited number of apps offering really strong stories and the chance to build knowledge/understand concepts,” says Bonnie. “The record and share feature in Oceanhouse Media’s digital book apps is a wonderful example of quality resources that make apps accessible to dual language learners so that parents and children can learn together.”
Earlier this week Carisa Kluver from Digital Storytime (one of our favorite app review sites) stopped by our office to say hello and talk book apps. Carisa has been reviewing book apps since 2010 so it was fun to chat with her about the many changes in the industry.
We recommend Digital Storytime to any teacher, librarian, or parent who wants to locate good quality book apps in an extremely crowded appstore. Carisa has reviewed over 700 book apps in the last few years and rates titles on interactivity, re-readability, educational quality, originality and more.
She also offers 29 curated book lists for topics including dinosaurs, dogs, seasons, moral stories, feelings, bathtime, sleep and much more. Plus, you can search for book apps based on the device you own (iPad, Android, Kindle Fire and NOOK Tablet.)
Thanks again for stopping by, Carisa. It was nice to finally meet you!
Carisa previewing an upcoming book app with Development Director, Greg Uhler
Oceanhouse Media’s President Michel Kripalani recently sat down with PadGadget to discuss the Dr. Seuss apps and the significance of the iPad for children’s book apps. Below is an excerpt.
Behind the App with Oceanhouse Media President Michel Kripalani
Children’s book app developer Oceanhouse Media is well-known to iPad owners for their cutting edge digital — yet still faithful-to-print — versions of the Berenstain Bears, Mercer Mayer’s Little Critter series, and, of course, Dr. Seuss for iOS. If a reader wants to own Green Eggs and Ham, or any of Dr. Seuss’ other classic titles on her iPad, she’s only going to find it as an omBook.
Company President Michel Kripalani shared his thoughts on how his company partnered with Dr. Seuss Enterprises, how to know when an apps has enough bells and whistles, and where the iPad will be in 5 years.
(PadGadget): Oceanhouse Media is well-known as the developer who brought Dr. Seuss to iOS. How did the relationship between OM and the Dr. Seuss estate develop?
(OceanHouse Media): As a UC San Diego graduate, I had an affiliation with the UCSD Geisel Library (named after Theodor Geisel, a.k.a. Dr. Seuss) and was able to secure an introduction to Dr. Seuss Enterprises in 2009. From there, we had to pitch why Dr. Seuss would be great on an iPhone (the iPad had not yet been announced). Thankfully, they saw our vision. In the Fall of 2009 they gave us the approval to develop our first digital book app based on How the Grinch Stole Christmas! Its success led to us further partnering with Dr. Seuss Enterprises to bring all 44 classic Dr. Seuss titles to the app market. Over the last three years, we’ve developed over 40 Dr. Seuss apps including classic books, short stories, book collections, cameras and games, including the best-selling Dr. Seuss Band musical instrument game app.
Oceanhouse Media, Inc. is excited to announce that its president, Michel Kripalani, is a semi-finalist for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2013 Award in the San Diego region. The award recognizes outstanding entrepreneurs who demonstrate excellence and extraordinary success in such areas as innovation, financial performance and personal commitment to their businesses and communities. Finalists will be named in May, with awards being presented at a special gala on June 13, 2013 at the Hyatt Aventine in La Jolla, Calif.
“I’m honored to be selected as a semi-finalist for this distinguished award,” said Michel. “As a serial entrepreneur, this is definitely wonderful inspiration for me, both on the professional and personal front.”
Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur Of The Year is the world’s most prestigious business award for entrepreneurs. The unique award recognizes the significant contributions of entrepreneurs who inspire others with their vision, leadership and achievement. Now in its 27th year, the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year Program has honored the inspirational leadership of such entrepreneurs as Jeff Bezos of Amazon.com, Michael Dell of Dell Inc., Herb Kelleher of Southwest Airlines, Fred Smith of FedEx, Larry Page and Sergey Brin of Google, Richard Schulze of Best Buy, Andrew Mason of Groupon, Mindy Grossman of HSN, Inc., Reid Hoffman and Jeff Weiner of LinkedIn, and many more.
“Write me a story that first-graders can’t put down!” This was the challenge that Dr. Seuss accepted that became the classic The Cat in the Hat. The book includes 236 different words that a first-grader can read.
The Cat in the Hat is this year’s featured book for Dr. Seuss’s 109th birthday and our “Hats Off to Reading” celebration. We at Oceanhouse Media in partnership with Dr. Seuss Enterprises are celebrating by putting the digital version on sale for 99 cents and offering The Cat in the Hat camera app as a free download through March 7! In addition, more than 40 Dr. Seuss book, camera and game apps are on sale.
Our award-winning digital version of The Cat in the Hat brings the antics of the infamous mischievous cat to life and has been a top-charting digital book app since its release three years ago. We’ve stayed true to the original words and illustrations of Dr. Seuss (check out the photos from both the original manuscript and the digital version below) when adapting the book into an interactive digital book app, enhancing the story with professional narration by voice talent extraordinaire Joseph Narducci. Now, you can record and share your own narration with the iOS version of the app!
The Cat in the Hat book was published in 1957, the same year as How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (the first Dr. Seuss digital book app developed by Oceanhouse Media to hit the app market). It’s amazing to think that both of these timeless classics were published in the same year!
Did you know that The Cat in the Hat wasn’t the first Seussian feline to don a hat? Dr. Seuss first put a hat on a cat in 1949’s Bartholomew and the Oobleck (an upcoming Oceanhouse Media digital book app).
As Oceanhouse Media celebrates Dr. Seuss’s birthday, our team is reminded each day the indelible mark that he’s left on children’s literature. We feel honored to bring his books to life in digital form. And, like the Cat in the Hat, what great fun we’re having along the way!
What’s your favorite part of The Cat in the Hat story and why? Feel free to share your comments below. You can even send us your recording of you reading your favorite part of The Cat in the Hat at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to hear it!
An early manuscript of The Cat in the Hat.
The digital version of The Cat in the Hat stays true to the original words and illustrations of Dr. Seuss.
And he took off his hat – and it didn’t do any good. Another hat sat on Bartholomew’s head.”
- The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins by Dr. Seuss
This year marks the 75th anniversary of Dr. Seuss’s second published book, The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins. Oceanhouse Media is joining the year-long “Hats Off to Dr. Seuss” celebration with the release of the digital version, launched on the same day as Random House Children’s Books’ newly re-colored 75th anniversary hardcover edition.
In the story, King Derwin of Didd demands “hats off to the King” when he passes by his citizens. But poor young Bartholomew Cubbins has a problem. Every time he removes his hat, another hat appears atop his head! The interactive book app includes our newest “Record and Share” feature so you can record yourself reading young Bartholomew’s humorous attempts to remove his hat to honor his king.
Did you know Dr. Seuss was an avid hat collector? Ever notice all the fun hats of different sizes, colors and shapes that appear throughout Dr. Seuss’s stories? Check out a few of the fun examples from our Dr. Seuss book apps below:
So, let’s tip our hat to the great Dr. Seuss and kick off 2013 with a hat-ful of fun!
Do you have a fun hat story inspired by Dr. Seuss to share with us? If so, we’d love to hear from you! Feel free to leave a comment below or email us at email@example.com.
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!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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 email@example.com directly from the app.
Fourteen titles now have the Record and Share feature, including many holiday titles. Find them all HERE!
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 Hatto 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
We hope your holiday season is filled with all the joy in Who-ville! Merry Grinchmas!
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:
-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
-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