App Friday: PicPocket Books and Okenko Books

Welcome to App Friday, our weekly link exchange of family-friendly apps. This week is all about books: digital books, book apps, eBooks, interactive books – you name it – we download it, think about it, and explore it. The conversation around digital books is heating up, and the developers at Moms With Apps are right in the middle of that great debate by providing exceptional content on this new platform. Let’s learn more, and even give a few a try for FREE this App Friday October 15th.

PicPocket Books for iPhone & iPod Touch

What are your apps about? The PicPocket Books collection includes books to expand horizons with rich, lively illustrations that are enjoyable to read aloud again and again. We work with a variety of publishers and authors and produce books for the iPhone and iPad that have been previously published in print versions. Our goal is to provide children and families with high quality stories that are beautiful, fun to read, and honor diversity.

Why are they special? Several features set PicPocket Books apart from other picture book apps for the iPhone. We offer a wide range of classic content from established publishers, including previously published “board books,” concept books, easy readers, fairy tales, and other culturally diverse picture books. The full color illustrations are detailed and clear. The text is easily readable and the books for the youngest set of readers includes a “learn-to-read” feature where the text is highlighted as the words are spoken, encouraging a connection between the written and spoken word for emergent readers.

What’s in it for me? For App Friday October 15th, Lynette has set FIVE wonderful PicPocket Books to FREE on the iTunes App Store. Apps usually revert back to regular pricing by 8pm US PST, so download quickly!

Huggybird and the Dreambox Huggybird is a versatile character with a high content hug and a humorous approach. He stands for friendship, hugging, humor and can be a bit mischievous. Huggybird loves himself as he is, but he also likes to dress up to try new roles. The different characters allow both children and adults to identify with Huggybird. Let them spark creative play for dress up, storytelling, or “let’s pretend!” (This particular PicPocket Book is also available for iPad: Huggybird HD, which is free for App Friday. Also free for App Friday in Spanish and in Dutch for the iPhone and iPad)

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.

My Friend Isabelle This is a charming story about two young friends, told with simplicity and grace. Charlie and Isabelle are the same age and share a love of drawing, dancing, playing at the park and snacks! Like most friends, they are also different. This book offers an opportunity for a discussion about tolerance, acceptance and friendship by showing that “differences are what make the world so great.” My Friend Isabelle is a subtle introduction to Down Syndrome – share the story to honor Down Syndrome Awareness Month this October.

Best Friends Sleepover Gilbert’s friends help him get through his first night away from home in Jacqueline Rogers’ humorous and heartwarming story about friendship. And her richly detailed watercolor paintings perfectly capture the spirit of four rambunctious little boys, who just happen to look like animals. Narration and original ukulele music by the author. Originally published by Scholastic Books.

…And another App for Spanish Readers:

!Ay, Caramba! Las desverturas de un granjero soñoliento que se preocupa pensando en los labores que debe hacer al día siguiente. ¿Cómo ordeñará la cerca, reparará la vaca, segará el silo y subirá al heno antes de que la mañana llegue?

Okenko Books for Android (iPhone coming soon)

What are your apps about? Our Android app is a children’s picture book library for children 3-8 years old. The app is called Okenko Books Reader and it serves as a reader of books we publish every two weeks. So far we published four books: Lindy lee Loves Pink (Jo S. Kittinger, Sonya Hallett), Sip’n’Cup Go On Vacation (J. Adeleke, Katka Hustaty), David Drew Likes Blue (Jo S. Kittinger, Sonya Hallett), and Andie Plays Pretend (Jade McBlade, LittlePinkPebble). Next on our list is Mike Rides His Bike to School (Julie Musil, Julia Tiller) and it will be published next Friday 10/22. We strive to deliver great, age appropriate stories with decent artwork to spark a child’s imagination and provide educational fun at the same time.

Why are they special? We offer our books in a very innovative way through a subscription service (www.okenkobooks.com) delivered directly to your device. Each subscription may have as much as 5 registered devices so that the whole family can share our stories. We offer several subscription options via PayPal so that the whole process is easy, smooth and secure. All you need to share with us is your email address so that we can inform you about our newly published books and other news at Okenko Books. At the moment we support Android, iPhone (coming soon), Windows 7 phones (coming soon), iPad (coming after that) and we are looking into Kindle and Nook to make it complete.

What’s in it for me? Our app (the Okenko Books Reader) is available for free at the Android Market and it includes a free story about Lindy Lee. All other books are available through the subscription service which provides stories for your kids in a convenient, hassle-free way. The Apple version of Okenko Books Reader is in an approval process right now and should be available very soon.If you own an iPhone/iTouch it is still a good idea to submit your email address at Okenko Books website so that you are informed at the moment the iPhone version is approved. Let us know what do you think!

HALLOWEEN FUN Stay tuned to Moms With Apps for a Wicked Awesome post to celebrate Halloween. In the meantime, don’t forget to carve your App-O’-Lanterns!!!!!

App Friday Link Exchange Our goal at Moms With Apps is to spread the word about family-friendly apps. Do YOU have a favorite app to share? Please participate in our link exchange and post it down below. Include the app name in the Link Title, your email, and a URL to the app. Thanks for your participation!

Huggies MomInspired Program Gives Grant to Inspiring Mom (with app!)

This feature is written by Lynette Mattke, an original co-founder of Moms With Apps. She shares her story of being a grant recipient for the Huggies® MomInspired program. Are you a mom with an business idea? Read on, the resources she’s about to describe present fantastic opportunities, and the Fox News Segment also gives a helpful summary.
I just returned from a two day conference at the Kimberly-Clark headquarters in Neenah, Wisconsin, where Kimberly-Clark’s Huggies® brand hosted first-ever MomInspired grant recipients in Neenah at the company’s R&D facilities. I was honored to be one of 12 MomInspired small businesses selected by Kimberly-Clark in this first-ever grant award program for creating PicPocket Books to publish children’s picture books to the iPhone and iPad.
I first heard of the call for the MomInspired grant applications from Lorraine Akemann, MomsWithApps’ very own original “Mother of Invention.” Early this summer, Lorraine urged mom developers with an innovative business idea or product to apply for the grant.

The award offers monetary support, coaching, and networking exposure for moms like me who are building their own businesses around an innovative product or idea. The grant itself is just the start – on-going support from Kimberly-Clark and their PR team, Ogilvy PR Worldwide, is included in this award. The conference in Neenah was our first chance to meet in person and to begin that mentoring process.

The program is strategically brilliant on the part of Kimberly-Clark. As a company dedicated to providing products that help moms, and specifically, their babies, Huggies® is now setting an example by reaching out and embracing moms and their inventions and business ideas. Steve Paljieg, Senior Director of Innovation for Kimberly-Clark and a key champion of the program, notes, “Women are starting businesses at three-times the rate of any other sub-segment, and yet they’re getting about three percent of venture capital. We though that was a pretty significant inequity … we can jump in there as a company and help address that for these women.”

While making an enormous difference for the first 12 MomInspired Grant Award recipients, Kimberly-Clark recognizes the dynamics of the Mom Market and the importance of getting behind it. From their innovative ideas to their influential buying power (moms control the spending decisions in 85% of American households), moms are a serious force to be reckoned with!

What does it mean for MomsWithApps?

Products developed by moms – like many MomsWithApps apps – have a special distinction. Today’s moms are a savvy bunch, and they want to make sure that they are providing their kids with the best products and opportunities. Mom inventors and developers are the ones in the trenches of daily life with kids. We know what works, what appeals to kids, and what the needs of both kids AND moms are. We are going to make sure that our products are “good for” our kids, which means that they are educational and that they support a healthy lifestyle and thoughtful values.

Huggies® plans to open a new round of funding in early 2011. I encourage other moms with an invention or unique business idea to apply once the open up submissions for the next round. The grant recipients will have the benefits of:

  1. Financial reward
  2. Access to the corporate team for general and specific coaching
  3. Networking & linkages with large corporations in the PR Spectrum
  4. Peer to peer mentoring and networking

Once again, a big shout-out to Huggies® for their vision and support, for PicPocket Books and the other MomInspired recipients specifically, and for their broader commitment to building and promote interesting, meaningful MomInspired businesses for the future. Visit the Huggies® MomInspired website for information about future submissions.

Lynette Mattke | PicPocket Books

You can also find Lynette of PicPocket Books on Facebook and Twitter.

App Friday: Round is a Mooncake


Welcome to App Friday, our weekly link exchange of family-friendly apps. Today we are featuring Round is a Mooncake, a children’s picture book brought to the iPhone and iPod Touch by PicPocket Books. The PicPocket Books Apps range from board book style books to concept books, easy readers, fairy tales and more.

What is the book about?
Round Is A Mooncake, A Book of Shapes, explores the shapes of Asian and universal objects in a young girls’ urban neighborhood. The Mooncake app retains the charm and simplicity of the print version while introducing interactive features on the mobile digital platform. Touch the mouse, cat, crickets, abacus and more to find all the hidden sounds in the app.

Why is it special?
Originally published by Chronicle Books, an independent publisher of distinctive books, Round Is A Mooncake, A Book of Shapes, is a multi-cultural gem of a book. Bright, whimsical art accompanies narrative rhyme and a short glossary adds cultural significance to the objects featured in the book. The author, Roseanne Thong, and the illustrator, Grace Lin (2010 Newbery Honor recipient), have both won numerous awards for their work.

What’s in it for me?
PicPocket Books is offering FREE DOWNLOADS FROM THE APP STORE ON FRIDAY, APRIL 2ND of Round is a Mooncake. This is the perfect time to add a bright new title to your virtual library!

App Friday Link Exchange
Do you have a family-friendly app to share, either a personal favorite or one you developed yourself? Please, post it in the link below! This way, visitors can see a variety of apps for kids and families. Include your name (with app name) in the Link Title, your email, and a URL to the app. Once you submit this in the Simply Linked form, it shows up just like example #1 in the link below. Thank you for your participation!