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Tag Archives: Ripple Reader

Intelligent reading – Comprehension in young children

Reading – we all recognise it as a core skill. By ‘intelligent reading’, I mean reading with a level of comprehension commensurate with the child’s experience of the world they inhabit. Fortunately, reading to children is now encouraged  as being supportive of  reading literacy and as a sound foundation for future learning.

Not that long ago, children were seen as passive recipients of the eager parent’s input via the quality time spent in ‘read to me’ and ‘bedtime story’ sessions.

I always felt sure my children were taking in much more than the professional opinion allowed.

Recently, I borrowed a copy of Dr. Virginia Lowe’s very excellent book, “Stories, Pictures and Reality: Two children tell” (Routlege 2007) based on the record of her own two children’s responses to books from birth to adolescence. Dr. Lowe’s book vindicates what I felt all along as a parent! This book should be set reading for students of primary, early childhood and remedial teaching, child and family psychology and for anyone with an interest in literacy or children’s literature!

Her children had a smorgasbord of stories proffered continuously, both Dr Lowe and her husband being librarians who were passionate advocates of children’s literature.  The children’s reactions to and responses concerning elements of story and  illustrations provide a wonderfully insightful peek into the psyche of the child. Both Lowe children clearly had a blessed and privileged childhood, but being ‘read to’ is within the reach of most children. Public libraries and school libraries are accessible to most families. Even if parental work commitments make  a nightly ‘reading’ impossible, there are weekends and visits to grandparents when  a ‘storytelling’ session can be included in the agenda.

There are other options.

Storytelling sessions are held regularly in many public libraries and are ‘free’.

And online  resources such as “Ripple Reader” and “A Story Before Bed” provide a way for even absent grandparents and parents to read to their children. In the USA and Israel, ‘bedtime stories’ are part of official early education policy. Programmes like “Reach Out and Read” and “Read to Me” do a monumental job in promoting literacy and the power of  storytime to be a deeply meaningful and bonding time in families.Virginia-Lowe-Stories-Pictures-and-reality-cover12517427738

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E-Book Publishing – iphone/ipad/e-book – some notes

Children’s books on ipad and iphone

Thought I’d share some notes on e-publishing, especially with all the excitement generated by ipad. I have two picture books coming out myself on iphone and am looking forward to having picture books on ipad!

Iphone

Pros

Most of the iphone publishers pay better [some much better] royalties than book publishers.

Though the RRP cost of books is low, volume of sales is high compared to hard copy books.

Folk buying an e-book for iphone often buy the hardcopy too if the child likes the book.

If you are publishing with an iphone company who works with  the big publishers or with big children’s media companies, then it potentially brings your work to the attention of  some important networks/people. It puts you book into good company!

Cons

Starts with costing you the author.

There is a setup fee or the set up cost is taken out of your royalties.

You have to make your own audio and ensure it is of ‘professional’ quality or pay to have  the iphone publisher produce it for you. American iphone book producers like to use American accents [sorry Aussies].

If they format the text into the images for you that is a cost as well.

You have to submit the completed book upfront  [not such a hassle for the author/illustrator] as a pdf. For author working with illustrator  it means either you pay the illustrator upfront or they work with you with  royalties in mind. If it is accepted  you may find you have to then submit each frame [individual jpeg image] resized to iphone format . This can mean force sizing, which can distort the image slightly.  If you do not do this yourself, there is a cost for them to do it.

Like all publishers, they are selective.

I have books soon to come out with PicPocket Books and istorytime. [See my website for updates www.jenniferrpoulter.weebly.com ] For a preview of “Toofs!”, to come out with PicPocket Books, see the interview with Susan Whitfield [http://susanwhitfield.blogspot.com/search?q=Poulter ].

e-book

kindle

Pro

Good format for b&w and has growing audience.

Con

No colour.

e-book

ipad

Pro

Is all the buzz – is touted as new direction in children’s publishing [most recently at CAL seminar in Brisbane recently].  Not seen as replacing hard copy but as important new outlet.

Penguin are already there, are going for interactive stories on ipad. Exciting! [see UTube and http://www.engadget.com/…/penguins-ipad-formatted-books-shown-off-making- waves/ ] All the same pluses for iphone also apply here and more.

Con

Same companies doing iphone are now doing ipad as well so the cost  structure may still apply – may change too as ipad is much more flexible than iphone and is beautifully suited to picbooks. Because of this, there may not [note may not] be the same need for audio.

Ripple Reader

Pro

If your book is already in hardcopy, it is ‘free’ [yep that’s right] to load your book onto Ripple Reader and free to join the company.  Ripple Reader pays royalties! It is an exciting innovation that makes your published book accessible much, much more widely.

Con

Your book must exist in a published version first, so that the editing process it has gone through ensures production quality.

Recommended Reading

Latest SCBWI Newsletter [March/April 2010] page 22 – article by Elizabeth O. Dulemba titled, “My 1st iPhone Picture Book App”. Elizabeth was published with a company called Rhodesoft.com [“Reading Rhino”]. I don’t know as much about them, but they do also require a set up fee.

LINKS

www.jenniferrpoulter.weebly.com

http://www.picpocketbooks.com/

http://istorytimeapp.com/

www.ripplereader.com

rhodesoft.blogspot.com/