Kids, Work

Zap & the No Fly Zone Interactive Children’s Book App & Interview with the Creator!

zap and the no fly zone

Z is for Zap is available in the iTunes Store .

About the Jamaroos series
Zap and the No Fly Zone is the first book in a series of 26 that will come out this year (one for each letter in the alphabet).
Each story features one of the animals that live in the Jamaroos Jungle.
The first is Zap Zebra’s story. Zap is having trouble figuring out how to solve the nonstop bugging by the pesky flies. The next story we are releasing in February is about Jag Jaguar and his trials and tribulations as a nocturnal animal learning how to play the jungle bells in a crowded jungle.

Meet Sam, the mom behind the App series.
Let me introduce you to Sam, mother of a baby girl who is about to turn 1 and the Mompreneur who wrote and illustrated Z for Zap, the first in a series of 26 that will come out this year. I had a million questions for her about creating an App series (how COOL is she!?) but narrowed it down to three, which she kindly answered:

Me: When and how did you come up with the concept for your iPad book series?
Sam: I actually have two clients. One is Dale Carman who is the cofounder of Reel FX, and the founder of Carman Industries, LLC, his new company created to develop apps. In my other life I produced animated commercials and worked for him.
His client is Reading Friends, an amazing preschool in Fort Worth TX. It focuses on teaching young children to read. It has a history of educating children who end up advanced at the top of their class once they enter school. It’s been around for 30 years.
Their curriculum involved capital the 26 animal characters for each letter in the alphabet. A little over a year ago, Dale met the Reading Friends team and their curriculum, and saw an opportunity to bring their characters to life and bring the proven pre-school reading curriculum to a wider audience. He reached out to me to write and illustrate the books and characters. I’ve written and illustrated the next book about Jag Jaguar, and it will be out in February. The following 24 books will roll out through 2013.

Me: How did you get the app developed?
Sam: This project has been a labour of love for all of us. Dale started with a group of developers in India to create the book, and ended up not being happy with the result and spent too much money. He went back to the beginning and we redid everything. With his background in animation, he taught himself how to code and build out the interactive features in the book. We hired a team of experienced local developers to build out and finish the book. I had a baby last January, and started working on this at home in the hours I could find (sometimes the middle of the night when baby was sleeping and I couldn’t !?). Now I have a wonderful nanny that comes to the house while I work at home from 8am – 3pm, so I can actually dedicate enough time to get these books illustrated. I take every Wednesday off for mommy baby day.

Me: Has your baby girl discovered your iPad yet?
Sam: Only when we fly. I’m from Toronto, and she’s popped up to Canada with me 7 times so far in her young life! It’s been VERY HELPFUL. But she’s also totally obsessed with grabbing my iPhone whenever she sees it. I'm looking forward to introducing her to reading through the app and the time I've put into it. I can't imagine anything more amazing than watching her learn to read using something I've had a hand in creating.

Z is for Zap is available in the iTunes Store . It is adorable! My son loves it.


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