My second book Wally meets Mozart, soon available on this site is about wally getting introduced to music. I was always in awe with the verbal capabilities of whales. They can not only communicate thousands of miles apart, whales also express verbally their state of mind: the singing whale, or the musical whale. Every whale has to learn how to sing and they follow classes given by Mozart. This next book describes how wally discovers music and realizes that music brings whales and people together.
Today I published my first children’s picture book! The proof looks beautiful, and the colors come out really well. I’m surprised of the comments on the quality of the createspace on demand printing. I must say it looks really nice. Well enjoy the preview here or better surprise your friends with a little gift and order here.
As e-books are getting more popular, louder criticism is heard on e-reader hardware and epub 1.0.5 software. The epub software doesn’t allow for animations and movies. E-pub 1.0.5 allows you to create hyperlinks to other web sites with video content however none of the e-readers can play java/flash based movie formats. Actually the only movie format that can be played on e-readers is the mp4 h.264 format. Continue reading “Picture books and ePub 1.0.5”
After Europe’s financial mismanagement, it is time for something more sincere and sensible. I dive into the world of children, and I am very happy and exited to share with you that Wally is going to be available in book format. Obviously print on demand minimizing affecting our natural resources and I’m looking into the possibilities to use bio degradable plastic. I decided to go with CreateSpace because they are financially more interesting than LSI and they have more flexibility in book formats. I read a lot of stories about the print quality between the two and I’m very curious to see the first proof in my mail box next week. Continue reading “Wally published with CreateSpace”
For my research on finding the best ingredients for a good interactive book, I interviewed Tom Huntington from Learning Goals Institute. He shares with us what he considers the most important positive aspects of interactive books from a (life) learning goals perspective. The interview is on my wallymeets website and can be found here. I was amazed by the revelations on the power of reading to kids at a very young age.
I’m working to make my book Wally meets Mozart interactive for young children. With the help of very short, 10 second, animations I’m trying to share the beautiful sound of the violin. In this animation Wally follows the sound of music and meets Mozart.
I wonder how interactive books affect the reading experience when parents read to the child before sleeping. In an interview with a doctor at the USC children hospital in LA, I was told that regular books stimulate the child’s fantasy more than interactive books, which entertain the child more. Because, she continues, children have their own sounds for Mozart’s music and their own voice for Wally.
To me, stimulating the child’s fantasy is far more interesting than entertaining the child. It seems that the absence of information stimulates the child’s fantasy, probably just like Donovan shares with us in his interview, that reading stimulates the mind. I will continue with this project trying to find the thin line between entertaining and reading.
This is an interview with Donovan Oakleaf. Donovan is a school teacher at the LA school district in Venice for more than 10 years. He discusses some of the opportunities he sees in electronic books and the importance of reading. This interview is edited to 90 seconds and can be found here on my wallymeets website.
Wally is a baby whale and my idea. Wally is sometimes me, and sometimes has its own mind. At those moments I listen and try to understand what he tells me. Today Wally is telling me that he wants to go digital because then he can share his adventures with more children. I explain that a big whale like him must create a lot of zeros and ones. “It doesn’t matter you old man”, laughs Wally, ” I want to play in the digital playground”. Isn’t the depth of the ocean not a wonderful place for your stories Wally? “It is Isgar, but I will share them digitally”.
I’m going digital with Wally, wallymeets.com – it has advantages, digitally Wally fits everywhere. Wally wants to be in every corner of the web. There are more animals and characters, all screaming on the web “hey kids look at me!”. Websites for children books show book listings of what grown-ups think is a good book for kids. Children are very efficient and inventive, soon there will be websites made by children for children that track all the digital children books available on the web. Children tell the program, what animal they want to see, what colors they like, which setting, ocean for Wally books for example, and bingo the kids get a listing with digital books that fulfills their wishes.
What does it mean for the writer? You need to make a children-book-finder friendly website. Benefits are no more publisher cost, no more printing cost. Plus the possibility that, if you get popular, things go quickly. Yes, there will be more competition but there will be a more diverse public than ever before. Digital or not, Wally is still real to me and to children when they read a book about Wally.
Today I call myself … children book writer, hm, I’m not sure am I am writer or more a green entrepreneur who wants a greener world. It feels better being an activist than just children book writer, something doesn’t feel right…
Yes I first have to define what it is I want to be, before I can become it!
What is the right word… writer, activist, green entrepreneur, children’ entertainer, … that is it. Interaction with children, introducing them to the unusual. Painters and musicians, education about green energy and ocean life. That is fantastic, and who is going to translate my language into simple understandably children language? Of course Wally.
Please meet Wally the baby whale who meets Mozart, Picasso, invents green energy and knows a thing or two about ocean life. You can find him also at wallymeets.com