March 2nd, 2011 | posted by: Lynette

PicPocket Books Celebrates Reading: Great Offers and Free Book Apps for Kids!

March 2nd is Read Across America, an annual reading motivation and awareness program that calls for every child in every community to celebrate reading on March 2, the birthday of beloved children’s author Dr. Seuss. For more info visit: NEA’s Web site

March 3rd is World Book Day in the UK and Ireland. World book day is a celebration of books and reading, a partnership of publishers, booksellers and interested parties who work together to promote books and reading for the personal enrichment and enjoyment of all. For more information, visit world book day:worldbbokday.com

PicPocket Books champions books and reading aloud to kids, whether from print books or digital versions while on the go.
To help you discover great book apps for kids, PicPocket Books is pleased to announce:
4 Free Book apps on iPad for a limited time only!

I Can Do It Too!

To a very young person, big people seem so capable! Daddy pours juice and never spills a drop, Grandma bakes a cake effortlessly, and a next door neighbor rides a bike as if he were born on one. Whatever the activity, this little heroine “wants to do it too!”
And so she does – thanks to the love and support of those around her. Is it any surprise that soon she is big enough to pass on loving encouragement to someone even younger?This simple cadence of the words and the direct-to-the-heart art result in a book that recognizes how satisfying growing up surrounded by love can be.

I Can Do It Too! for iPad is available for download via the iTunes App Store – iPad App

Far to the North
“Far to the North” takes young readers on an enchanting journey to the snowy Arctic. Under the magical, starlit sky of the Far North, polar bears roam. This lyrical picture book offers a glimpse of a young polar bear as he learns to swim, fish, and play in his wintry home.

Far to the North for iPad is available for download via the iTunes App Store – iPad App

The Lucky Escape

In an imaginative adventure through the digestive system, Human Body Detectives Merrin and Pearl tackle their first case. The girls’ little brother has swallowed a penny. Now through magic and imagination they find themselves on an adventure through his digestive system where they must grab the penny, save Robbie, and narrowly escape his poopy diaper.

The Human Body Detectives series highlights the girls’ adventures through the different body systems, and teaches kids the importance of a healthy diet and lifestyle. If children understand how their bodies work, they are more apt to make healthy food and lifestyle choices.

The Lucky Escape is available for download via the iTunes App Store – iPad App

A, My Name Is Andrew

A My Name is Andrew is a winsome and whimsical, tongue-twisting journey through the alphabet and across the country. Imaginative and artistic illustrations combine with an engaging alliterative verse in this original and refreshingly multi-cultural alphabet picture book. Look out for those happy, hula-loving hamsters!

A, My Name Is Andrew is available for download via the iTunes App Store – iPad App

Special Price offer: 50% off to celebrate reading
from March 2nd to March 5
Books Apps for iPhone and iPod Touch

The Crystal Mountain

When the Fairies of the Crystal Mountain steal Anna’s tapestry, she sends her three sons to get it back. With the help of three magic horses, her youngest son, Perrin, goes through fiery plains and icy seas and at last reaches the Crystal Mountain. Will he succeed in his task?

The Crystal Mountain is available for download via the iTunes App Store – iPhone and iPod Touch

Tractor Mac Arrives

Join the adventures of Tractor Mac and his friends as they work and play at Farmer Bill’s Stony Meadow Farm. Tractor Mac has many friends, including Sibley the workhorse, Margot the cow, Fetch the dog and Sam the ram who all help Tractor Mac learn about friendship, teamwork, the joy of winning, and how to lose gracefully. In this first story of the Tractor Mac series, we meet Sibley the workhorse who can do the work of two horses.

But then Mac, a shiny new tractor, arrives at Stony Meadow Farm. Poor Sibley! Just when he’s worried he’ll be put out to pasture he saves the day when Tractor Mac runs into a big problem.

Tractor Mac Arrives is available for download via the iTunes App Store – iPhone and iPod Touch

Three Blind Mice on Vacation in Africa

Wooleycat is a musical poet who adds inventive twists to the classic Mother Goose rhymes. With this app, you are invited along on Safari in Africa with the three blind mice. Dennis Hysom’s lyrical voice finds perfect accompaniment in Christine Walker’s paintings.

Their award-winning album is now an engaging app. Your ticket to rhyme awaits!

Three Blind Mice is available for download via the iTunes App Store – iPhone and iPod Touch

Mico

Mico the Mouse Who Was Afraid of the Dark: Mico is a little mouse with a big fear. A special friend helps him make discoveries that open up a whole new world for him! Mico’s story encourages kids to take new steps that lead to positive experiences.

Mico is available for download via the iTunes App Store – iPhone and iPod Touch

Sleeping Beauty

The beautiful illustrations in this classic rendition of Sleeping Beauty bring new details and style to this favorite fairy tale. Vibrant watercolors relate the timeless story of the princess who sleeps for one hundred years. From an emerald frog to the cascades of roses that twine their way through the story, the rich colors of these painted pages are bound to please!

Sleeping Beauty is available for download via the iTunes App Store – iPhone and iPod Touch

Wednesday Is Spaghetti Day

Do you ever wonder what your pet cats do when you leave them home alone? Catrina and her cat friends cook, feast, sing and dance the whole day long. No one can remember having so much fun. But all too soon the family returns home. Will the cats get the house back in order without being discovered?

Wednesday Is Spaghetti Day is available for download via the iTunes App Store – iPhone and iPod Touch

Earth Grows Warmer

Eric can’t understand why the polar bears and penguins at the Brookfield Zoo are unhappy. When the animals don’t know what’s wrong, Eric wishes to talk to Sophia, the sky fairy, who first gave him his enchanted leaf.

Sophia takes Eric on a journey from the Arctic to the Antarctic to the Amazon to help him see the effects of Global Warming and the human aspect of the problem. Through the story, young children will see that while no one can do everything, even they can do something to help put less carbon dioxide into the air.

The Earth Grows Warmer is available for download via the iTunes App Store – iPhone and iPod Touch

BlueBeary

Blue Beary is a book about belonging. Everyone needs a primary place of belonging from which to grow. We all need someone who loves us best of all and cleans us up when we fall down. From that place of belonging we wander out and forage through life, discovering the world around us.

Join Samantha and Beary on their first colorful adventure in the Open Eyes series as they grow, learn and explore the world.

BlueBeary is available for download via the iTunes App Store – iPhone and iPod Touch

Happy Reading and enjoy these precious moments with your kids.

February 23rd, 2011 | posted by: Lynette

10 Tips for Reading With Your Kids

Try to build family reading time into your day.

1. Choose books you like.

2. Have a big enough bag to carry the book with you. Sturdy canvas totes are great – also good for hauling picture books to and from the library.

3. Use audio books and/or book apps in the car and while on the go.

4. Hold the book at an angle your kids can comfortably see.

5. Look at and discuss the illustrations, too. They are clues to the story.

6. Involve your kids by asking questions such as, “What was he doing in this picture?”

7. Accept all answers. Don’t say, “No” or “That’s wrong.” Instead ask, “Why do you think that?” The book belongs to the reader’s imagination as well as the creator. Ask questions such as, “Why,” “How” and “What do you think happened after the end of the story?”

8. Sub-text is what goes on underneath the story. Some kids “get” it. Others do later. This is one way books and stories help broaden our horizons. Embrace it.

9. If you have children who are different ages, start a family serial using a junior chapter book. Encourage character voices for the dialogue.

10. Try to build a regular reading time into every day!

Picture books, chapter books...choose ones you like!

(adapted from Elissa Lawrence’s suggestions, published in the Herald Sun)

February 7th, 2011 | posted by: Lynette

Penelope The Purple Pirate Goes to School

Melissa Northway, the author of Penelope The Purple Pirate, has taken her app on the road – and straight to school! Miss Kristen’s class from Child’s World Preschool in Irvine, California, gathered eagerly around to see, hear, and play with Penelope on the iPad. Melisa reports that the children inched their way up closer and closer to her – (until they were pretty much on top of her at the end!)  Even the shy children were able to get involved and touch the screen for the sound effects. They really got excited to touch the screen and so they had to take turns.  There were eight children and everyone got a chance to touch the screen.

After the story was finished, Melissa went through the questions at the end of the app about what is Penelope’s favorite color, and what the children’s favorite colors are. Noteworthy answers were “all the colors – except black” and one girl answered “all the colors in the rainbow!”   The children’s  comprehension was really good and they stayed attentive throughout the entire Q&A.

At the end, there was a treasure chest filled with “goodies. ” The children were able to pick out two items and had to leave the rest for the next adventurous pirate.  They thought that was great fun!

February 2nd, 2011 | posted by: Lynette

Who’s Your Valentine?

Are you thinking about Valentine’s Day? Will you make homemade cards?

If you are looking for some Valentine’s Day inspiration in the form of a children’s picture book, check out A String of Hearts, by Laura Mallone Elliott and illustrated by Lynn Munsinger.  A String of Hearts is lovely Valentine story about the real meaning of friendship.

The story illustrates that popularity isn’t everything and a steady, loyal companion who is there when needed is what we really cherish. A historical note about the origins of Valentine’s Day makes A String of Hearts a clincher for a February fourteenth storytime. (Reading Level: Kindergarten-3rd Grade)

String of Hearts, by Laura Malone Elliot

January 19th, 2011 | posted by: Lynette

Fireside Stories: Tales for a Snow Day

We woke up this morning to the entire neighborhood covered in a sheet of ice – and, much to my son’s delight – no school! What could be more conducive to a cozy morning reading by the fire with a cup of hot chocolate by your side?

Fireside Stories, from Barefoot Books. Available from Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Fireside-Stories-Caitlin-Matthews/dp/1846860652

Even though this beautiful collection of stories is entitled Fireside Stories: Tales for a Winter’s Eve, my son and I can attest to the fact that these are darn good stories for any time of the day. This children’s book is a collection of traditional tales, beautifully illustrated, with handsome borders and colorful images. The eight tales in Fireside Stories, retold by Caitlin Matthews, come from Scotland, Russia, Austria, the Czech Republic, and Canada.

Drawn from countries and cultures around the world, these wonderful wintry stories express the magnificence of the season. From a group of courageous Russian animals to a legend about a bag of warmth that can keep winter away forever, these cozy stories will keep out the winter chill. So next time there’s a snow day, cuddle up and share a story by the fire!

December 15th, 2010 | posted by: Lynette

Read Early, Read Aloud, and Read Often!

Reading opens doors to new worlds!

Read early, read aloud and read often – PicPocket Books always encourages children and families to follow this advice – whether you’re reading print books or books on mobile devices like the iPad or iPhone. Other proponents of literacy and reading also echo these recommendations to read early, read aloud and to read often.

The well-established Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) book distribution and reading motivation program has given over 300 million new books to children who might not otherwise have books to call their own.

Read Early, Read Aloud is also the goal of a new campaign sponsored by the First 5 Commissions of Southern California.

The Family Child Care Language and Literacy Project targets child care centers to promote more early reading opportunities in day-care type settings. Specialists modeled ways that care providers can work with children; they offered tips for reading to infants, toddlers and pre-schoolers; they encouraged providers to set up dramatic play areas where they can engage children in conversation; and they demonstrated ways to build youngsters’ comprehension skills and vocabulary. The 15-month project brought about a 20 percent increase in the number of times a day child-care providers read to children; and a 29 percent decrease in the number of hours the TV was on.

Let’s keep reading!

November 3rd, 2010 | posted by: Lynette

Wordless Wednesday

September 26th, 2010 | posted by: Lynette

Top 5 reading tips for early childhood from PicPocket Books

Reading can be one of the great pleasures of childhood that continues throughout a lifetime

  1. Read with your child every day, whether it is from a print book or digital bookapp version!
  2. Let your child choose the book – even if it is the same one over and over.
  3. Set an example of reading – let your child see you reading for pleasure.
  4. Go to the public library often.
  5. When your child is older and has longer books assigned for school, read the same books yourself so you can discuss them together with your child.

September 7th, 2010 | posted by: Lynette

There’s no App for that

Sometimes authors, publishers, or parents whose kids use PicPocket Book Apps ask me if I think that book apps will eventually replace print books. I always answer no, that book apps are supplements, not replacements for traditional books and the valuable time parents can spend reading with their children. Plus, how do you build a Lego battle station on your bed with apps?

July 3rd, 2010 | posted by: Lynette

Celebrate Independence Day with some picture books!

A cute family of bears on a road trip across America brings Irving Berlin’s classic song, God Bless America, to life. Reading level ages 4-8.

America The Beautiful, by Katharine Lee Bates

This book also uses the lyrical of a classic song, America the Beautiful, to give a new and unique interpretations of the well-known song. There are wonderful and moving images of the Statue of Liberty, Pike’s Peak, immigrants, the Apollo II, the firemen of Sept. 11th, and the WWII Tuskegee Airmen. Ages 4-8

Apple Pie Fourth of July by Janet S. Wong

Apple Pie 4th of July explores a girl’s experience as a first-generation Chinese-American as she watches the parade preparations from her parents’ Chinese restaurant. In vain she tries to tell them that no one wants Chinese food on the 4th of July, but evening does bring a steady flow of customers, and concludes with fireworks and sharing American apple pie with the neighbors. Ages 4-8

Fourth of July Mice by by Bethany Roberts

This rhyming book with its clever and humorous illustrations is perfect for little patriots. Join in with the fun as the mice celebrate the 4th of July with a parade, a picnic, a baseball game, and of course, fireworks. Ages 4-8

Cordoroy's Fourth of July, by Don Freeman

Cordory, the beloved storybook bear is here to celebrate Independence Day! The colorful board-book illustrations are great for the youngest readers. Ages Baby- Preschool