Sunday, February 15, 2009

Baby animals....

In the moments between my novels, I have been writing these. Each one is a beautifully illustrated picturebook , based on current research. The story is told from the viewpoint of a baby wild animal.
Inside the cover, there is a DVD of BBC wildlife footage with a child actor voicing the baby animal, guiding kids though a typical day in in his/her life.
The footage is scored with both natural sounds from the animals and their habitat, and original music that kids can sing along with. There's a set of "fun facts", too.
On on the DVD case is a key code for the MAF Kids' Club website. When a child enters each book's code, a new section of the website opens. All are full of games for kids 3-6, each one based on that animal and its habitat. Many of the games are reading readiness games. Each child chooses, dresses and equips an avatar. Points are earned and can be used to buy adventure "gear" that allows kids to cross rivers, use binoculars to see the animals in the distance, play their own choice of music as they explore the habitatand more. Every navigation link is voiced for prereaders. The games span a wide range of abilities.
It's a Stealth Literacy, multi-media three-fer: Book, Video, Website. There are four books available now, Ella, Leo, Korow, and Nanuq. Tahi (Dolphin) and Suluka (Snow Goose) are coming soon. The key-code in each book opens a new section of the website.
You can find or order the books through wonderful, local, independent bookstores, B&N, Borders, Amazon, and on the series website:
The team:
Executive Producers: Ron Berry and John Christianson
Artist: Lara Gurin
Art Director and Book Designer: Eugene Epstein
Writer and Creative Director: Kathleen Duey
Vidiographer: Stephanie Carlson
Composer and Sound Artist: George Fogelman
Website Wizards: Caleb Gray and Wes Gray
Credits for individual voice actors are listed in each book.

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