After twenty years in children’s print publishing as an author and illustrator, I enrolled in UBC’s unique interdisciplinary MA in Children’s Literature program. During my degree I became interested in children’s media, particularly animating picturebooks for trailers and story apps for the iPad. I began a hybrid thesis which involved researching picturebook scholarship and how I could apply it to creating quality story apps. That academic study became a commercial project when I founded Rascal Media.
But I’m not the first CWILL member to have a story app in the iTunes Store. Check out Paola Opal’s Saffy Looks for Rain and Rebecca Kool’s Fly Catcher Boy! Rebecca’s app was developed by former CWILL president, Crystal Stranaghan. Following their leads, I’m proud to announce the completion of my story app for the iPad.
The King’s Ears is an inventive, beautifully illustrated, animation-rich, and highly interactive story app adapted from the award-winning children’s picturebook, The King Has Goat Ears, published by Vancouver’s Tradewind Books. Narrated by Terry Jones of Monty Python fame, this retelling of an ancient Greek myth by CWILL member and early childhood specialist Katarina Jovanovic shines with wisdom and wit. The King’s Ears is about accepting yourself just the way you are. The app’s meaningful and fun interactions, beautiful sounds, and child-controlled animations stimulate laughter and thoughtful discussion.
The beta is essentially the same as the version which will be in the App Store in November. If you would like to download it now for free in exchange for some feedback, please complete the Rascal Media contact form so I can send you a beta invitation. I am hoping to get feedback from as many people as possible during the beta period so we know the app is stable before selling it in iTunes. It works on any iPad or iPad mini except for the very first one that came on the market.
Please share with any teachers, librarians, teacher librarians and students who might be interested in story apps. The app appeals to a broad range of ages but I’d say the sweet spot is grade two.