FrogDog Media LLC, a software development company based here in Santa Barbara, recently introduced a new iPhone application dubbed iStoryTime, which enables users to download a number of illustrated and narrated children’s books.
iStoryTime allows iPhone carriers all over the world to access five stories, and will soon expand its library to include more.
For $1.99, children can read or listen to either The Weiner Dog Magnet, the hilarious story of a monkey and a weiner dog magnet; Shoe-per Duper Shoes, the story of a group of talking shoes; The Brave Monkey Pirate, the story of a monkey pirate’s magical trip to the hospital; Binky the Elephant, the story of an elephant’s journey to appreciate difference; or Fred the Fish, the story of a fish and a walrus learning to try new foods.
iStoryTime features three narration options: the voice of a child, the voice of an adult, or a silent option so children can read the stories themselves. The screen shows the words of each story, even when it’s being narrated, and the pages of the story flip either automatically or manually.
Graham Farrar, founder of FrogDog Media LLC, explained that the company intends to become a kind of “electronic publisher for children’s books on mobile devices.”
His company has plans to accumulate an entire library of authors and illustrators, which emulates the way the print publishing business works. Farrar expressed excitement at the rapid pace of the application’s growth; he said that the company releases a new title almost every week.
The application provides not only exciting, educational opportunities for children, but also publishing opportunities for aspiring authors and illustrators.
Farrar said that he and his partners have decided to approach the issue of first rights a bit differently than mainstream publishers. He explained that FrogDog LLC will buy mobile electronics rights, but will leave the remaining rights with the content creator. The idea is that authors and illustrators will be able to gain exposure and, if their work becomes successful, they will be able to present it to a print publisher.
Farrar said that he felt inspired to create iStoryTime because, as a father, he knows what it’s like to bear the responsibility of entertaining a restless child.
“I wanted [my daughter] to have the option to enjoy a book that I’d always have with me in my pocket, and I wanted her to be able to use it on her own, which is why the stories are narrated,” he said. “You know, this is like having a little babysitter in your pocket but your kid is doing something that’s wholesome. It makes kids happy, it keeps them occupied, and you don’t have to feel guilty.”
For more information about the iStoryTime series, visit istorytimeapp.com.