The Musings, Notes & Book/App reviews of a Children's Writer

Archive for the ‘app reviews’ Category

The Grand Giveaway

The Grand Giveaway.


You just never know

As the year comes to a close I reflect on the friendships and relationships made this past year. The writing and teaching field has the most supportive people I’ve ever met and I’ve met a lot of people. They’re always willing to share information, opportunities and advice which is always valuable.

I recently met Monica Babaian in a twitter chat Story app chat that meets on Sundays at 8pm central. She’s a Tech savvy Librarian and i’m a Digital Author/aspiring Art Teacher. We even live in the same state but our paths might never have crossed had it not been for this chat. Her site is a great resource for parents and teachers which I plan on visiting often. The result of our meeting was an amazing app review with educational tie-ins and resources. It’s a great way to end the year and  as I look forward to the New Year, my resolution is to keep looking forward because you just never know where the next friend, opportunity or great idea will come from.

The review below was re-blogged from:

Storybook App: Grendel’s Great Escape by Michelle Anaya

Grendel’s Great Escape is a storybook app for both iPad and Android by children’s author and creator of Blue Sandpiper Imprints, Michelle Anaya (@bluesandpiper).

Grendel’s Great Escape is about a boy named Martin, who takes his pet ferret, Grendel, to school for show and tell. But when it’s Martin’s turn to present for show and tell, Grendel is missing! The entire school turns into a chaotic mess as Martin and his friends try to find Grendel while avoiding the wrath of the school’s principal, Mr. B.

What I really like about this storybook app is that it includes a long list of ferret facts at the end of the story. The storybook app also has its own curriculum for helping students develop reading strategies, which teachers and school librarians will find handy. For those teachers and school librarians who are allowed to have animals in their classrooms and libraries, a pet ferret would be a great way to make text-to-self connections with Grendel’s Great Escape.

Grendel’s Great Escape includes two screens of ferret facts!

Another possible way to use Grendel’s Great Escape in the classroom or library is to extend the storybook and reading strategies lesson into a science unit from Discovery Education (@DiscoveryEd), which has a couple of videos on ferrets and animal habitats. Yet another way – let students use online databases and encyclopedias to create their own list of ferret facts. Activities like these help students create text-to-world connections.

The storybook integrates interactive features throughout the book, including one page in which the reader can squirt ketchup or mustard all over the screen — something kids will surely enjoy. Readers have the option to turn the narration and music on or off. Blue Sandpiper Imprints recommends this storybook app for ages 4 and up. The Android version of Grendel’s Great Escape is $2.99, and the iPad version is $3.99.

For more information about Grendel’s Great Escape and other fun storybook apps from Blue Sandpiper, please visit their website.


In the spotlight! Author Alexis Purcell

In the spotlight this month is Author Alexis Purcell.

cd9d1ad84d5a57c5b34eaa365e22f4bb_otfm_1d3aAlexis’s success is an inspiration to indie authors and book app developers everywhere and we are thrilled for her.

This Thanksgiving, Alexis will have a lot to be thankful for.  All her hard work and perseverance is paying off.

The book app community  and the Book App Alliance will be joining her on an App-Watch of The Turkey Who Forgot to Gobble’s meteoric rise up the iTunes paid book apps chart. If you’ve read this story you’ll agree that this couldn’t be happening to a nicer Turkey.

Screen Shot 2013-11-22 at 7.54.46 PMWhen called upon, Alexis was happy to share a little about her journey as a writer and app developer.

In Alexis’s words:  I began the journey of creating children’s book apps in 2012.  It was just me, lots of research on the computer, and my new found friend at the time, Karen Robertson.  With Karen’s occasional guidance and her reference books as my guide, I guess you can say “the rest is history”.  (Reference books: “The Top 5 Things You MUST Know about Creating Book Apps for Kids!”, “How to Market a Book App”, and “7 Secrets of Book App Marketing.

So, fast forward to today: Have you ever had a day where you are reassured that pursuing your dream was the right choice? Today was that day for me when I saw that my app of “The Turkey Who Forgot How To Gobble” was ranked #3 in the Apple iTunes paid book apps and has consistently remained in the top 10 in November.  This is more than I ever would have imagined as I am not part of a company with deep pockets yet I find myself up there with the big guys like Dora and Disney….who knew??

Cover page-app

Dreams do come true!  I feel very blessed and am grateful for the opportunity to bring joy to children, and to those who are young at heart.

Alexis Purcell – Award winning author of:

The Turkey Who Forgot How To Gobble,

Twinkle Twinkle Nighty Night, and

Twinkle Twinkle Hear My Prayers (early 2014)


Link to the app store for The Turkey Who Forgot How To Gobble


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