Dragon Checkers

We are so proud to announce the launch of our first StoryBoy game – Dragon Checkers, for the iPad. The game will be available in the App Store starting June 30 for $1.99.

Inspired by StoryBoy’s All About Dragons book, Dragon Checkers is a themed twist on the traditional checkers board game – complete with dragon pieces and dragon roars! If you already have the book app, then you’ll recognize many of the dragon characters in the game. And if you don’t have the book but have the game, then maybe you should consider getting the book to find out more fun and interesting facts about each of the dragons that are featured in the game!

We have promo codes to give out for the iPad game and the iPhone book so leave us a comment if you’d like one! First five to do so will get a code. Offer ends July 4. Please indicate which app you’d like a code for.

*Note that codes can only be redeemed in the U.S. iTunes store.

The coolest checker board ever

All About Dragons (for iPhone)

Dragon Checkers (for iPad)

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As part of the weekly App Friday link exchange that we participate in with the Moms with Apps group, StoryBoy’s All About Dragons will be FREE today, June 25!

The app usually retails for $1.99 so it’s a great deal to grab while you can. We are also planning an update in the next two weeks so watch for it!

This post was written by StoryBoy’s Creative Director and originally published on the Moms with Apps blog on June 22, 2010.

About a year ago, I took a leap of faith and jumped off the corporate bandwagon to help my husband and his brother with their start-up, SkyVu Pictures, to create children’s e-books for the iPhone. When I first started in the app business, I was still using my old Nokia 6300 and frankly, quite happy with it. My cell-phone shopping mantra had always been, “I just need a basic model that I can use to call, text and take photos with.”

Enter the iPhone 3GS into my life. It took me a couple of weeks to get used to the device and for a while, I carried my Nokia as well because I felt more comfortable using it as a phone while the iPhone was primarily a device to test our apps. But the iPhone finally won me over when I traveled to attend a convention.

To my joy, I discovered that I didn’t need to bring a laptop or a digital camera if I had an iPhone. I could check my e-mail on-the-go, surf the internet and take photos using one device. It was fabulous! Not to mention the fact that the iPhone was also the device that I could use to demo our app at the convention.

Following that discovery, my iPhone and I have been inseparable. I’ve joined the legions of iPhone moms who swear that they can’t live without it. This is all the more true since my job revolves around creating and promoting StoryBoy iPhone apps. It’s amazing what I can do from my iPhone – check the StoryBoy blog, post Facebook updates, tweet about new apps, check rankings in the App Store, try out new apps, surf the internet, check e-mail…the list is never-ending.

The pitfall is that I now feel incomplete without my phone and find that it’s the last thing that I put down before I fall into bed and the first thing that I pick up when I wake up! The other day, my five-year-old caught me checking e-mail while waiting at a red light and wanted to know why I could use the phone in the car when he’s not allowed to. That’s a good question. It is risky to try and check messages or make calls when you’re driving and after my son’s comment, I’ve resolved to limit my use of the phone in the car. I never answer calls when I’m driving so why should checking e-mail or texting be the exception? I think the iPhone’s ability to allow you to multi-task and respond instantaneously through various channels to be liberating and debilitating at the same time.

The New York Times published an article on June 9 about The Risks of Parenting While Plugged In. The feature photo showed a family of four having breakfast with Dad on his laptop, Mom checking her iPhone, the five or six-year-old daughter playing with an iPhone/iPod Touch and the toddler eating breakfast. I’m sure it’s a picture that resonates with many of us, especially those in the business.

It’s ironic that I used to be, and still am to a certain degree, one of those moms who always shunned exposing my kids to too much technology. But what is too much?  I guess that varies from family to family but I limit my kids’ screen time, which includes television, computer, iPad/iPhone and Leapster (the closest thing we have to a game console before the iPad) time to no more than 1-2  hours a day. There are so many other forms of active play that kids can indulge in so I try to encourage mine to explore other options when they are available.

During our Father's Day barbecue this past weekend, I had the kids play outdoors and do some sidewalk painting before dinner.

When we first  brought home the iPad in April, I refrained from showing it to my kids for more than a week because I knew that the battle would begin once they got their hands on it. Sure enough, my two boys (5 and 2 years old) have fights when we give them iPad time. I recently implemented a reward system surrounding iPad time for my oldest son. He only gets to play with the iPad when he’s finished his homework for the day. And this also applies to the iPhone and the computer. So far he doesn’t get to play on digital technology every day nor does he demand to. I often give him non-media options like a craft activity or board game as an alternative. And even though I’ve produced more than 20 StoryBoy book apps, I still read from printed books to my kids every night because I am at heart a traditionalist and love the look and feel of printed media. Book apps are a great way to entertain and educate the kids especially when you’re on the move but they are not meant to be a replacement for the printed book or for a parent reading to their child.

After dinner, the kids had some iPad time, beta testing our new game, Dragon Checkers, which will be launching next week. It was a big hit with the kids!

Today’s technology is marvelous. It frees you to do so many things that weren’t imaginable just five years ago. As my family plans an upcoming vacation that will involve a 20-hour plane journey with two kids, I am thankful that we will have in our carry-on an iPad, two iPhones and probably an iPod nano to keep the entire family entertained during the long journey. It will be liberating to leave behind the heavy books and games that we lugged on our previous trips to keep the kids entertained. The kids will probably get a lot more than their recommended 1-2 hours of screen time during the journey but I’m okay with that since it will probably save my sanity during the trip.

We’ve just released our newest book All About Dragons! It is a week early because we were super excited that Apple approved the app so quickly and wanted to share it with everyone during the long Memorial Day holiday weekend.

All About Dragons is our most fun and interactive book to date. There are hidden facts and mysteries to reveal throughout the book. We were inspired to create the app after watching How to train your dragon with our son and his cousins. The kids ranged in age from 5-11 and they were enthralled with the movie. The adults thought it was pretty cool too.

Shortly after watching the movie, I acquired a number of apps and other dragon paraphernalia to satiate my 5-year-old son’s demands for stories and information on dragons.  Our son’s interest in dragons inspired us to create All About Dragons. We even let him advise us on what he thought would be pertinent content for the book. The result was this unbiased first review after he tested the app for the first time – “Awesome!”

This book is designed for the iPhone but we’ve tried it out on the iPad and it works really well, if not better, because there of the larger iPad screen. Kids can pour over the detailed dragon notes that look as though they have been scribbled in the book.  We recommend that you download this app to your iPad if you have one so that the kids can enjoy a big screen version.

By the way, if you enjoy this book, look out for our next app, which is inspired by All About Dragons. It’s a dragon-inspired board game for kids and will be hitting the App Store this summer!

Drop us a comment on this blog if you would like a promo code for our latest book. Note that codes are only valid for use in the US iTunes store.

View a short video on the book here!

A book for and about children with cancer

We’re so excited that our book The Nurse with the Red Clown Nose has finally been approved by Apple and is available for sale in the iTunes store starting May 20!

The approval process was a little longer than we expected because we learned the hard way that Apple is pretty sticky about how a fund-raising app is marketed in the App Store. As such we couldn’t make any mention of the fact that we are donating all of StoryBoy’s proceeds from the sale of this app to the Children’s Cancer Foundation in iTunes, but we can shout about it on our blog!

The Children’s Cancer Foundation (CCF) is a non-profit organisation impassioned with the mission to improve the quality of lives of children with cancer and their families through enhancing their emotional, social and medical well-being.

100% of StoryBoy’s revenue from the sale of The Nurse with the Red Clown Nose will be donated to the CCF as a sign of our support for the important work that they do with the children and families whose lives are affected by cancer.

To find out more about the book, view our video here.

You can also download the app here for $0.99 and contribute to a great cause.

All sales proceeds benefit the Children's Cancer Foundation

We are very excited to announce the upcoming launch of our newest book The Nurse with the Red Clown Nose. The book is dedicated to all the kids, families and caregivers whose lives have been touched by cancer. All sales proceeds will be donated to the Children’s Cancer Foundation so spread the word and put down $0.99 for a great cause!

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Tomorrow, April 22, is the 40th anniversary of Earth Day. It’s a great time to learn about our planet, how to take care of it and to encourage kids to think about it and take little steps that can make a difference.

So we’re giving away our Erika Knows Green: Water Conservation book free from April 22-23 in the iTunes App Store, to encourage you to spread the green message.

Please download the book and tell your family and friends about it.

Erika Knows Green

It’s App Friday again and we are delighted to be part of a New York City-themed promo with iKidNY. App Friday is a weekly link exchange of family-friendly apps by Moms with Apps.

Today’s App Friday theme is New York City so if you are planning a trip to the Big Apple or live in the city, now is your chance to pick up three FREE apps for and about the city!

  1. iKidNY is an app developed by a New York City mom. It helps you find kid-friendly locations while you are out and about in the city.
  2. StoryBoy’s A Day in New York City with Noah – follow Noah and his family as they explore the sights of New York City in this animated book that is great if you’re planning a trip to the city with kids!
  3. StoryBoy’s A Day in New York City with Kids – a companion travel guide to our story book that gives visitor information on the sights that Noah visits and more!

Enjoy!

StoryBoy is part of a great collaborative group of developers called Moms with Apps. You can visit the group’s site at http://www.momswithapps.com/ to find out more information.

We run weekly Deals of the Week so look out for great family-friendly apps available at discounted prices!

This week’s deals include the following:

  • What’s for dinner? A 3 Little Pigs Sequel by StoryBoy (Deal price: $0.99)
  • Family Matters by Weiner Family Studio (Deal price $0.99)
  • One Little Boy by Touchoo (Deal price $0.99)
  • Mom Maps by Mom Maps (Deal price FREE)
  • iLiveMath Animals of Africa by iHomeEducator (Deal price $0.99)

Sale runs April 13-20 so download these deals while you can!

We  jumped on the iPad bandwagon and released three StoryBoy books as iPad apps so check it out if you’re one of the lucky few who already has an iPad in hand. Two of the books are free and we are still doing a lot of research and development to perfect our iPad apps so bear with us as we go through some growing pains. Any and all feedback is welcome!

You can either leave a comment here or e-mail us at support@storyboy.net.

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