I wish I could say that careful planning led us to having all these kid-focused offerings. The truth is more ‘organic’. We’ve shipped a suite of fun educational apps for toddlers — Hippo Hooray, and we’ve shipped A Story Before Bed, a service that lets parents and grandparents who can’t be near their kids at bedtime, record a video of themselves reading a children’s book. The kids can play the video back synchronized to the pages of the book on screen, anytime they like, as often as they like. You can see a demo here.
With the holidays coming, we decided to put out a little end-of-year treat for everyone. As of today A Story Before Bed now features the Christmas classic The 12 Days of Christmas. Since we produced this book in our in-house publishing division it only made sense to feature the characters from our Hippo Hooray series – Honey the hippo and Raphael the robin. Once the book started coming together, the next logical step was to launch it for the iPhone as well. So now you can record a video of yourself reading The 12 Days of Christmas on A Story Before Bed just in time for Christmas, and you can purchase The 12 Days of Christmas iPhone app that features all the artwork from the book and a modern instrumental soundtrack to which you can sing-along. The words appear on the page synchronized to the music so you won’t forget the lyrics.
While the book is available right now on A Story Before Bed, the iPhone app will be available as soon as the Apple apps team gives the go ahead. We submitted the app over a week ago so we’re crossing our fingers that it comes out any day.
We think this is a small first in shipping a new book on two emerging digital platforms. If folks are excited about releasing books on the iPhone and on A Story Before Bed, we’ll do more in the future. Let us know what you think.
Happy holidays from Jenny, Hillel, and Walter at Jackson Fish Market.