It’s stiflingly hot outside, there’s a lot of work-pressure, and it’s understandable if you have not had the time to check out what some of your colleagues had been doing last week. In this edition of AppBoard Tuesday, we’ll be bringing our mobile app development experts up to date with…nopes…not the latest apps – but with our Story Time department. That’s right – no apps this time, we are going to talk about kids’ books this week.
So, What’s New?
The team’s the same, the Story Time mobile app for kids is still doing great at iTunes and Play Store – but things have progressed a lot beyond that. You may or may not have noticed (ideally, you should!) several colorful storybooks – paper ones, not your digital e-books – lying about at office. Those are the Story Time books, released earlier this month. For everyone outside Teknowledge reading this – yupp, the books are up for sale!
What Titles Are Available?
To start off with, the Story Time team has gone with eight popular classic fairy tales. The following books are available at present:
- The Wizard Of Oz
- Simon In Space
- Alibaba and the Forty Thieves
- The Jungle Book
- Puss in Boots
- Around The World In 80 Days
- Peter Pan
Trivia question here – Can you name the authors of these stories?
What Format Are The Books In?
They are colorful, they are glossy, and they are very high on quality. Two out of the eight books are in hardcover (‘Aladdin’ and ‘Alibaba and the Forty Thieves’) are in hardcover – while the rest are in classy paperback format. After all, kids will be handling them, and the Story Time team has made sure that the books do not get damaged easily!
Where Can You Get The Books?
If you are a part of the Teks mobile app developers’ team, hop over to the Story Time desk (if you don’t know where that is, shame on you!) – and check out the storybooks. External readers can buy books online directly from eBay. The team is also working on creating a dedicated ecommerce website which would serve as a great online bookstore. It’s not quite ready yet – but it will be in a few weeks.
What’s The Price?
Aha, the question that every buyer (of everything – not necessarily books!) are most concerned with. Although it’s not printed (yet) on the book covers, each of the Story Time books are priced between Rs. 120 to Rs. 175. Purchase these books online, come over to our office and grab a couple – the price will remain the same. Oh, and for our internal members – there are cool discounts. After all, you are family!
Reaching Out To Kindergartens & Play Schools
If you were wondering why the Story Time team was coming in rather late at office last week – there you have the answer. Our content creators and UI/UX designers had been off to a 3-day promotional drive at Park English School, Kolkata. There were storytelling sessions, contests, chocolate distribution, and stalls had been set up for the display of the books to kids and their parents (after all, the latter decides to buy or not!). You will be pleased to learn that the response among the little ones was overwhelmingly positive – and sales were, to put it mildly, above expectations. There are quite a few similar programs scheduled at other leading junior schools in the city over the next few weeks. Wish the Story Time team luck!
What’s Special About These Books?
You might be thinking about what’s so special about the Story Time books – and what sets them apart from other similar books for children, right? Fair enough, little readers won’t find Jim Carrey smiling ‘The Mask’ face (or similar such ho-hum fun stuff) in the storybooks. What they’ll get is an opportunity to give expression to their creative side. Every book is bundled with loads of interactive activities and fun games/trivia. If you haven’t had a chance to look at the Story Time books yet – here’s a teaser of what they contain (in addition to the stories, that is!):
- Aladdin – Treasure Hunt, Coloring games (who won’t love to paint Abu and Genie?), Crossword puzzle, Word games, Spot-the-difference and Quiz questions. Kids can get into the shoes of Aladdin (metaphorically, of course!) and jot down their own story. For the little fans of paper art, there’s origami instructions for creating wombats too!
- Simon In Space – One of the more informative storybooks in our online book catalog. As kids will read about Simon and Toby zooming through space, they’ll find fun facts and tidbits about each planet in the solar system. Reading fun meets general knowledge in this book.
A shout out to all of you: How many moons does Venus have?
- Puss In Boots – It’s the story of the classic talking cat – and the Story Time team decided against putting in any additional games and activities in this book. The illustrations and the story-narration are more than enough to keep young readers hooked though.
- The Jungle Book – Mask-making. Something that children from practically every age-group would enjoy. The book comes with an innovative two-in-one readymade mask (one side’s a tiger, the other is a bear). All that kids need to do is follow the three-step instructions provided next to the mask.
- The Wizard Of Oz – Meet the characters – right from Dorothy and Toto, to Scarecrow and Tin Man. There are several fun facts about the original book – by L. Frank Baum – in the Story Time publication as well. After all, children should know about the main classics too!
- Around The World In 80 Days – Kids can become Phileas Fogg, and frame their very own unique stories. There are coloring games, treasure hunts, word puzzles, crossword, spot-the-difference and message-decoding challenges. Oh, and readers can make their own origami fan as well.
- Peter Pan – Five fun facts about Peter Pan and Tinkerbell. For the origami lovers (yes, the Story Time books focus on fostering creativity in kids), there are step-by-step instructions to make a Peter Pan hat (with feathers and all!). Of course, children can also color Peter – in shades of their choice!
- Alibaba and the Forty Thieves – Along with Aladdin, this was one of the biggest draws at the interaction program at Park English school. The book has captivating pieces of information on Arabian Nights, along with a slightly tricky treasure hunt.
Got the gist by now? There is no way in the world that a kid will feel bored, if (s)he is handed these books. They look nice, the stories are interesting, and they get readers involved!
Are The Stories Same?
Almost, but not quite. The Story Time team has revamped each of the fairy tales in a bid to make them more engaging. The essence of the stories are, of course, the same – but there is a fresh new feel about each of them. If you thought that the Story Time Android/iPhone app for kids was good, you will love these storybooks too (by ‘you’, we mean ‘you’ and ‘your kid’!).
Spread The Word
The initial response to the Story Time books at kindergartens as well as on eBay has been good, but the sales have not yet set the world alight. We are confident that things will pick up within a matter of weeks (c’mon, it has only been a few days since the printed books arrived) – and it would be great if each of our mobile app developers did their bit to spread awareness about these books. Write about them on your Facebook and Twitter timelines, tell about them to your friends – and recommend them to parents of young ‘uns. To all those who are planning to buy these books online, do give us a feedback. We promise to come up with many more books in future!
That’s about it for this week’s AppBoard Tuesday. As promised, we have not mentioned any mobile app in this edition. We’ll make up for it next time around, of course. Till then, stay zapped with…not apps this time…but storybooks!