Guest Blog by our Partner, Valarie Budayr
From the first moment we decided to explore the world of Willy Wonka and create The Ultimate Guide to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, we knew it would be created as an e-book. Unlike many e-books today which make their first appearance as a print book, The Ultimate Guide to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was always designed to be an e-book from the moment of its initial conception.
Why an e-book, you ask?
Our first thought in creating The Ultimate Guide to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was to open the discussion on how we create screen-time balance in our children's lives. I've heard many arguments both pro-screen and anti-screen, but the piece of the conversation that was missing was the one about creating balance.
The reality is that technology is here to stay. Even if we choose to have a home which is screen-free, at some point our children will be introduced to the world of technology through their schools or via their friends.
For myself, creating balance in my family goes beyond implementing a whole bunch of rules and guidelines that must be obeyed. We've always taught our children through play and role-modeling as well as setting guidelines.
While creating our Charlie e-book we came up with this list of attributes which we wanted to achieve in our final product.
1. Creating Balance: The Ultimate Guide to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was created to enchant and delight, inspire discovery of new ideas, and jump into a world only imagined. Our e-book is designed as a way for you to enjoy your time inside the pages of the book, but also as an option that can be "turned off" so you can go play with family and friends. Experiencing the world of Charlie and Willy Wonka via e-book is one of balance, flexibility, and family-togetherness.
2. Protecting the Earth's Resources: Virgin forests throughout the world are being destroyed at an alarming rate. In lieu of possibly contributing to problem we placed our intention of teaching ecology and conservation by making The Ultimate Guide to Charlie fully alive on the screen. Readers still have the option to download the templates, recipes, and printables that they may need from a download website, and do so as they need them.
3. Enhancements: One of the greatest pleasures for us as a creative team was joining up with Chintu and Aarti Parikh of Kite Readers. It was important for us that "Charlie" actively engaged its readers without being a passive form of entertainment. Inside the pages of The Ultimate Guide to Charlie, you will find light animations, beautifully produced videos that are captivating and engaging, as well as a book which is easy navigate, read, and explore.
4. Easy to Navigate: The KiteReaders team had a huge job in hyper-linking the 195 pages which make up The Ultimate Guide to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Readers can easily move back and forth between chapters and activities throughout the book. We also created a Chocolate Factory map which can get you anywhere you want to go right within the story. A top-hat icon is placed in each chapter to take you back to the Table of Contents giving readers free reign of where they travel. This allows children, families, and friends the ability to access the story and adventure from any point they choose. If you feel like making gum, you can start there. If you're in the mood for chocolate, you can start there. This book is frustration-free thanks to easy navigation and built-in flexibility.
5. Easy Accessible Links: In our resource section we've placed several links. These links will take the reader's journey to the next level, as well as go to links of product sites to get supplies. It was important for us that readers could access those links easily while not having to leave the book. Can you imagine actually hearing author Roald Dahl discussing his book with children? Visiting his home and his museum? All of this becomes part of the magic of The Ultimate Guide to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by having links carefully placed and linked within the page of the book.
6. Creating Memories: Our final and most important goal with Charlie is to offer wonderful activities so you, your family, and friends can experience one of the most beloved books of all times. While engaging in and practicing creative reading by jumping into the pages of our books, we instill a great love of reading. Play is a great vehicle to teach problem solving skills through imagination as well as creating memories that last a life time. Throughout the years my family has jumped and adventured into the pages of hundreds of books. The characters in those stories are not merely words on a page but friends we have journeyed with together. We see the world through their eyes. It is truly a sad thing when our stories end, but there is always the next book.
It is our hope that The Ultimate Guide to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory will bring you, your family, and friends many happy reading moments and adventures.
Valarie Budayr is the founder of Audrey Press and author of the books The Fox Diaries: The Year the Foxes Came to our Garden and The Ultimate Guide To Charlie and The Chocolate Factory. She is passionate about making kid's books come alive and when she isn't jumping into a book and creating wildly inventive adventures, she is "mom" to three uber creative children, married to a wonderfully patient man who has come to love yarn, proud owner of one adored cat, and the Fox Whisperer to lots and lots of Foxes (that come and go as they please). You can also find Valarie at Jump into a Book and on Facebook or on Twitter at @Bookjumper.
You can take a look at The Ultimate Guide to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory in the iTunes stores.