Bish Bash Blog

Read all about it

Boy-and-dog for blog

Bish Bash Books is very pleased to announce the latest title to our read aloud children’s eBook for the iPad collection, My Perfect Pet by Stuart Trotter.

My Perfect Pet tells the story of a young boy, Eddy, and his quest to find the perfect pet. His perfect pet can’t be too hairy or scary, too short or tall, too slinky or stinky. This original new eBook will keep you guessing until the very end!

My Perfect Pet is the first in a new series of books to feature the character Eddy and his best friend forever (BFF) Teddy. We will publish the second book in the series, Boomerang Bear, in the next few weeks.

My Perfect Pet was written and illustrated by Stuart Trotter. Stuart has been a children’s illustrator for over 30 years and has been involved with some famous children’s characters.

Stuart has illustrated for Winnie the Pooh (he’s an accredited Disney Artist). He has also illustrated Postman Pat for Hodder and he is currently the official Rupert the Bear illustrator.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with Rupert the Bear, he is a beloved children’s character that originated in the UK in the 1920s. Stuart is the fourth official illustrator of the Rupert Annuals that date back to 1936.

My Perfect Pet was one of the first children’s eBooks that we passed by our two boy’s Andrew and Christian to review. Of course they loved it and ran around the house saying things couldn’t be too slinky or stinky, too hairy or scary. It’s still a firm favorite in our bedtime reading routine. However, we have had some odd requests for pets of late!

You can get your copy of My Perfect Pet now for your iPhone or iPad from the iBookstore

  • Google +1
Secret Parent Confessions

So Lily is now four months old and very much established as a character, a life force and arguably the pack leader of our family. Her parents have slotted into the positions required to make the family unit function; we feel better now we know our place and what we need to do.

It has been an interesting journey and now that she has managed to sleep through (a gift she charmingly gave us on the night of her Mom’s recent birthday) and her parents are no longer walking around like bit-part actors from Night of the Living Dead, it is time to clean the slate and confess for a range of inappropriate behaviors in the last four months.

I assume the below are standard breaches of protocol, all easily forgivable with a few extra sessions emptying the Tommy Tippee Sangenic Diaper bin (oops! That is product placement, right? Just to declare we do not own stock in Tommy Tippee we just like a sweet smelling nursery). Apologies in advance to Lily’s Mom for some of the below if they are new to her:

Minor transgressions – everyone does this, right?

Tampering with the baby monitor so that Mom is unaware the volume is off.

Once busted for the above, wearing almost invisible earplugs in bed.

Laughing openly at Mom as she stands in front of me giving feeding instructions with vomit dripping from her freshly washed hair into her fluffy slippers.

Feigning sleep when Lily kicks off at any time between midnight and 6am.

Taking Lily into the toilet and subjecting her to my morning nuclear waste extraction.

Putting my key in the front door, opening it, hearing a wailing child, wondering if I need to pop back out and buy a pint of milk.

What was I thinking?

Taking Lily to the local grocery store, parking the stroller by the deli counter and then drifting away to buy some tomatoes before spotting the stroller ten minutes later, having totally forgotten I was out with her.

Neglecting to cut her nails (that seem to grow back every day?) so she looks like she has been in a streetfight with some inner city youths before her monthly trip to Granny’s where we have to cover her head with various hats to disguise the damage done by the nightly visit of the ‘scratch’ fairy.

I should be locked up for this

Wondering how much she would make us if we put her up for sale on eBay.

Despite all the above and the no doubt universal judgement from readers that our adorable child should be taken away from us immediately, we have already started talking about having another.

Happy parenting to you all!

  • Google +1
Teaching_Reading

For most teachers, teaching is a passion. I’m a teacher, I love teaching and I especially love teaching literacy.

One of the most fascinating things I find about teaching is helping a student to develop their own personal ideas and beliefs about the world. No matter how old (4 or 15) reading gives students the freedom to develop their own ideas, opinions, and beliefs.

Getting students motivated and involved in reading is not always the easiest. In my experience all students enjoy being read to, but when it comes to working on their own they each have their own personal struggles. Reading is a developmental experience and is different for everyone. It is important in my classroom that I make students responsible for their own reading, and I stay honest with them.

The first step to engaging students in reading is listening to their concerns. My first question is always, “what are you doing as a reader?” When a child feels like they have ownership over what they do and choice they are motivated to keep working. I give students choice over what they read, but provide them open criticism with their reading choices.

One example, if I notice a student keeps reading in the same genre I might encourage them to read in a different genre. I might ask them what other genres they might be interested in. When it comes to improving a student’s reading it’s important to focus on one small reading goal at a time. In my classroom, I have independent reading time where everyone is focused on becoming better readers, and working on their individual goals. I suggest that families can set up these times in their homes. Instead of watching TV, everyone can read their own books; families can talk about their goals for becoming better readers themselves. Families can then discuss their ideas and thoughts.

There are so many opportunities to integrate literacy into children’s lives, in a variety of ways. The new common core state standards focus around four main topics narrative, informational, persuasive, and response to literature. Children now more than ever are being asked to read, pull meaning from it, and find a way to apply this meaning to their own lives.

This type of thinking can start at a very young age, if you as parents start allowing your children the opportunity to be responsible and make critical thinking choices. Some may say, “yeah this sounds great but, how?” Well through questioning your child’s actions, thoughts, or choices. Make them explain to you their thinking, and if they can’t find the words support them until they can.

Hold your child responsible and do not given them answers. Let them discover them on their own. Allow children to feel disequilibrium, the feeling of uncertainty. In my class I never say “you’re right” I say, “Well that’s one way to look at it!”

Teaching this way is not easy and is challenging for myself. It would be much easier to give them the answer. However, in the past few years, I have noticed a significant change in children when teaching using this method. They become independent, critical thinkers who learn from each other. I follow the motto, “I want to teach children how to think, not what to think and always think for themselves!”

  • Google +1
Scaredy Cat Halloween Facts

In celebration of our new children’s eBook, Scaredy Cat, we thought it would be a cool thing to give you a few Halloween facts to share with your little one.

Did you know that Halloween is an ancient tradition that has developed over thousands of years? It is thought that Halloween originally comes from an ancient Celtic festival called Samhain (about 2,000 years ago). During the festival, as the summer ended and the winter was to begin, people would light bonfires and wear costumes to protect themselves from ghosts.

The Celts lived in Ireland, the United Kingdom and Northern France and they celebrated the New Year on November 1. The day marked the end of summer and the beginning of winter. Winter 2,000 years ago was harsh and because of the cold and lack of food, many people would unfortunately die. The last night of the year (October 31) and the first day of the New Year (November 1) was seen as a time when the boundaries between the living and the dead became blurred.

Over time, during the eighth century, Pope Gregory III deemed November 1 as a day to honor saints and martyrs. This new holiday, All Saints Day, was born from the traditions of Samhain and the night before All Saints Day became known as All Hallows’ Eve, or Halloween.

Did you know that the Halloween tradition of trick or treating probably dates back to All Souls Day in England when during the festival, poor citizens would beg for food and would then be given “soul cakes”. The practice of giving food became know as “going a-souling” and was then taken up by children who would visit neighboring houses in the hope of being given drink, food or money.

In ancient times, the Celts would carve jack-o’-lanterns from turnips for Halloween. They would do this in remembrance of past souls held in purgatory. But as people came to America, they started to use the native pumpkin instead which is much softer and easier to carve. Nowadays, carving pumpkins for Halloween has become the norm through the world.

The Halloween tradition of wearing costumes comes from the need to hide from ghosts. The Celts and other European people thought that ghosts would appear on Halloween. To avoid attention or being recognized, people would wear masks if they left home in the evening. During Halloween, people would also put bowls of food outside of their house to distract ghosts and keep them from coming into their homes.

Other Halloween traditions have ceased to be popular in modern times. One such ritual was believed to help young women identify their future husbands. It was said that if a young woman peeled an apple and then tossed the peel over their shoulder, it would land on the floor and form the letter of their future husband’s first name.

The telling of ghost stories on Halloween is a popular tradition. Whether it’s a scary movie or a traditional Halloween ghost story, people like to be scared, just for a short time in a safe environment!

While not particularly terrifying, Scaredy Cat is a wonderful story to share with your child. Scaredy Cat is scared of everything and only one thing can make him feel better!

You can get your copy of Scaredy Cat now for your iPhone or iPad from the iBookstore

  • Google +1
Scaredy Cat Blog1

As we come into October, the witching month of Halloween, Bish Bash Books is extremely pleased to announce the launch of its new children’s eBook – Scaredy Cat!
Scaredy Cat is afraid of everything. He’s scared of creepy-crawlies, howling wolves, fairground rides and peas! Scaredy Cat gets so scared, he is even afraid of his own shadow. So who makes Scaredy Cat feel nice and safe? This original read aloud children’s eBook will let you know!

Scaredy Cat is a book that can be read during any time of the year, but it’s especially relevant during spooky Halloween! Kids are easily scared and it’s good to reassure them through good story telling that there really isn’t anything to be scared about!

Scaredy Cat was written and illustrated by Stuart Trotter. Stuart has been a children’s illustrator for over 30 years and has been involved with some famous children’s characters.

Stuart has illustrated for Winnie the Pooh (he’s an accredited Disney Artist). He has also illustrated Postman Pat for Hodder and he is currently the official Rupert the Bear illustrator.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with Rupert the Bear, he is a beloved children’s character that originated in the UK in the 1920s. Stuart is the fourth official illustrator of the Rupert Annuals that date back to 1936.

Stuart started his own publishing company, Rockpool Children’s Books, in 2006. During the last 6 years, he has published a number of original children’s books that have been read around the world. Bish Bash Books and Rockpool Children’s Books formed a strategic alliance in August to bring Stuart’s quality children’s books to the world in eBook format. And we are really proud to publish Stuart Trotter’s Scaredy Cat.

So as the nights begin to draw in, the temperatures begin to chill, and the leaves begin to brown and fall, why don’t you cuddle up this Halloween with your little ones and read them a cracking good book.

You can get your copy of Scaredy Cat now for your iPhone or iPad from the iBookstore

  • Google +1
Through a childs eye

We sometimes forget that we were children once ourselves. We move from childlike innocence to adult awareness in small imperceptible steps. One day we’re playing with toys and running around as if our hair is on fire, the next we have a job, a mortgage and multiple responsibilities.

It’s impossible to pin down an exact moment when things change. There are a number of milestones we traverse. Getting a driver’s license; first girlfriend or boyfriend; graduating high school; leaving home and going to college; getting that first pay check.

I slipped gradually into that adult world without much thought, like that Tom Hanks character on the movie ”Big”, or Wendy Darling in Peter Pan. It was easy and exciting to get caught up in the adult world of going to bars, dinner parties, work and travel. After all, these were things that, as a frustrated teenager slowly moving into maturity, you dreamed about doing.

Maybe it’s not the same for everyone, but during that imperceptible move from being a child into adult maturity, I think there’s a lot that gets lost along the way. And it’s only now, as a parent, that I begin to see the good stuff I’ve left behind.

Our boys, Andrew and Christian, will play transfixed with a bucket of water in the pool for over an hour. They fill it up and pour the water over themselves, then over each other and giggle uncontrollably with delight as they do it. I’m not entirely sure as an adult that would hold the same fascination for me but to them it’s the only thing in the world. Nothing else exists but the pool, the bucket and the fun they are having. There’s no stress, no anxiety, no worries. They live very much in that particular moment and there’s nothing else to intrude. How wonderful is that?

I see that same sense of being completely consumed in the moment when they eat ice cream. Nothing else exists but the spoon and the ice cream and the only thing that gets said in between each bite is “more sprinkles please”.

The ability to be completely lost in the moment is something I have failed to do for some time. No matter how hard I try, other worries keep butting in. Have we paid the mortgage? Did I reply to that email? Do we have enough money to fix the leaking shower? With being an adult comes great responsibility!

Kids are also not embarrassed to express their feelings; they just say what they mean and they say the truth (whereas I tend to have to be more guarded in what I say to people). Everything is exciting to them; even going food shopping is a thrill (although it drives me nuts). There’s a general sense of wonder even at the smallest or most insignificant thing like drawing letters or a picture of a train (I struggle to write anything legible these days). And when a certain advert with the Train song “Drive By” comes on TV, the boys dance with unlimited freedom and ask for the song to be played again and again when it’s over!

Children simply aren’t tainted or jaded with adult cynicism. Everything is wondrous to them. There’s nothing they won’t do. Everything is an adventure because everything is new.

Don’t get me wrong, it is fun being an adult. I get to choose when I go to bed, what I want to eat, and I can have a cocktail and feel flattered to be asked to show my license. But how much more fun would the day be if I could look at it through a child’s eyes and see the wonder in everything.

  • Google +1
Neandersmall

In celebration of the release of our first read aloud children’s eBook Neandersmall and the Egg, we thought it would be a good idea to let you know about some cool Prehistoric facts to share with your children.

And if you didn’t already know, you can buy Neandersmall and the Egg on iBookstore

Neandersmall and the Egg is a story that introduces the small but brave little boy Neandersmall and charts his epic adventure to find dinner for his mommy and daddy Neandertall. However, while trying to get the ultimate take out, Neandersmall discovers a new friend, a pterodactyl he calls Terry.

Neandersmall is based on a prehistoric pre-human species called Neanderthals. Did you know that Neanderthals pre-date modern Homo-sapiens and walked the earth 600,000-350,000 years ago? Evidence suggests they lived around modern day Europe. Not a lot of people know that!

Neanderthals would have lived in complex social environments and were well suited to living in cold climates. They built tools and did speak a basic language. Unfortunately, Neanderthals were displaced and made extinct by modern humans about 25,000 years ago.

Did you also know that the name “Neanderthal” is derived from the Neander Valley in Germany where Neanderthal remains were first discovered?

While going on his egg hunt, our brave little boy, Neandersmall, befriends a pterodactyl and calls him Terry. However, pterodactyls initially roamed the skies well before Neanderthals would have existed. It is estimated that pterodactyls lived during the Jurassic period which was 150 million years ago. But we’re not going to get too hung up on facts. After all, this is a children’s eBook!

Did you know that the name pterodactyl comes from the Greek word pterodaktulos, meaning “winged finger”?

Did you also know that pterodactyls were carnivores that probably fed on fish and other small animals? They would have grown to have a wingspan of about 5 feet and there would have been many different species of the genus Pterodactylus. But unfortunately it is thought all became extinct about 65 million years ago.

Neandersmall and the Egg is the first in a series of Neandersmall stories that we will publish in the not too distant future. In the meantime, you can always take a look at our new children’s eBooks at www.bishbashbooks.com/newchildrensebooks

  • Google +1
learner license

So I am a proud and happy new parent, eagerly opening the operating instructions for my new accessory, Lily, who is so patient and understanding bearing in mind how amateur her father is at this new discipline. It has only been 10 weeks since our bundle of joy came early (hope she keeps this punctuality up through the rest of her life) into our lives. Has it been what I expected? Of course not.

The great thing about being a new parent is that everyone (the veteran parents) is so secretive about what is about to happen, a conspiracy of silence, the only indicator of what is to come being an occasional wry smile – let’s face it if we really knew the truth would we all be parents now? Many would have thought again! After the adrenaline and euphoria wore off, probably some time in week three, a sort of panic and awareness took hold as I tried to calculate in my small brain exactly what this meant. Of course brain did not compute, could not handle the size of the query and so we fumbled on trying to provide for precious Lily as best we thought, feeling perpetually inadequate, reading the multitude of baby whispering books and learning of ‘accidental parenting’ and marking ourselves down guiltily as prime suspects for this moniker. Somehow Lily survived during this period, got bigger, fed more. Another miracle. And so our confidence grew, and we started to adapt our lives, our emotions, our plans for our new family member.

What has happened to me since Lily arrived, and lets face it until she did it was kind of all about me, right? I am a control freak, a condition that my wife tolerates with almost saintly forgiving. But Lily won’t and she has already won this battle of wills, and the process has been good for me. I think. And I have lost weight! How? Stress perhaps, as I have not been to the gym since she was born. I don’t eat as much because I don’t have time to eat now or the time to prepare a really sumptuous meal. In fact meal times are pretty strategic, we hardly ever eat together now, Lily likes to be with us and so we sort of play tag team passing her back and forth while one of us eats. Maybe I will get to meet my wife and spend time with her again in 18 years time when Lily goes to college.

I have stopped drinking (I did not drink that much but no one told me how debilitating a few glasses of red were to my bottle handling the next day), given up gambling on the horses (this is a great change as I was a perennial loser and now reading form is just not possible), and my wife says I need to keep doing triathlon so that Lily can run across the finish line with me which is going to be a big ask as I am 44 and so need to be staying in shape for another five years! Perhaps the wife has arranged some good life insurance I don’t know about.

And I have now connected with our forefathers, a whole new world of digital capability has arisen, and I don’t mean being able to work out how to download apps on my Android phone (which is what Lily will teach me in four years time). I am talking serious newfound dexterity in my toes; I can now turn on the TV, pick up almost anything off the floor and move objects with my feet and toes, all of course while holding a rocking baby.  Of course I am no match for my wife who would thrash me in toe wrestling when it becomes an Olympic sport in 2016.

But I see my Bish Bash editor peering over my shoulder quizzically and frowning so at last to the main issue. Reading to Lily. This started recently when I had run out of other rituals with which to entertain her; in a rash moment I plucked ‘Middlesex’ by Jeffrey Eugenides off the book shelf and started to read to her (she had already rejected The Economist as too dry and who can blame her). She was patient and interested and cooed approvingly as the book started with discussions on conception, the female sperm swimming slower than the male, and the likelihood of birth as a hermaphrodite. Hardly suitable stuff for a newborn I hear you say but there is plenty of time for ‘Goodnight Moon’. I am sure the tale will get more wholesome. It has made me appreciate how hard public speaking is, even when you have the script right in front of you.

So until next time when I will deal with more trivial fare like who will win the election, having a sex life as a new born parent, the Jets’ QB issues and how to be able to afford to send my girl to college. Happy (accidental) parenting.

  • Google +1

In September, 2012, Bish Bash Books will publish its first children’s eBook Neandersmall and the Egg. This is a very exciting time for us at Bish Bash Books and we have been working very hard to ensure we have the best children’s eBooks available. Neandersmall and the Egg represent the first in a range of titles that Bish Bash Books will release during the fall of 2012.

Our new interactive eBook follows the adventures of a small prehistoric boy, Neandersmall, as he searches to find dinner for his mommy and daddy Neandertall. And in his epic quest, instead of finding dinner, he finds a new friend. The eBook is aimed at children from 2 years onwards and combines a page turning story, bold colorful graphics and catchy music.

Neandersmall and the Egg was written and illustrated by Sam Walshaw. Ms. Walshaw has written a number of children’s books including Maisey and the Pirates and the Little Fairies series. Neandersmall and the Egg will be the first in a series to feature the charming Neandersmall character and his friends that will be released early 2013.

Neandersmall and the Egg is narrated by Matt Marshak who has also composed the Neandersmall theme song! Matt is an accomplished musician who has toured the US. He is also an author and is currently working on a number of titles to be published by Bish Bash Books.

We have been reading Neandersmall and the Egg to our two boys, Andrew and Christian, for the last two months. It was an instant children’s eBook hit and they have taken very quickly to turning the onscreen pages, picking out and repeating words that are highlighted as the story is narrated, and singing along with the Neandersmall song.

At Bish Bash Books, we are very proud of our first new title as we feel it meets our ambition to provide innovative new stories for children that will engage, educate and entertain.

Further titles will be released during the fall of 2012. For more information, please see our new children’s eBooks page.

  • Google +1
Bish Bash Books Strategic Alliance

Bish Bash Books is very proud to announce today a strategic alliance with Inkebooks, an innovative eBook creator, and Rockpool Children’s Books, a leading independent children’s book publisher, to provide a new and original range of entertaining children’s eBooks.

The aim of the alliance is to provide quality eBooks for early stage readers. Each title blends original characters, stories, illustrations and music to provide fun and highly interactive reading experiences. The eBooks can be delivered via Apple or Android devices. Traditional paper books will also be published.

“We want to provide a quality reading experience for children and parents around the world. Our aim is to engage, entertain and educate through the telling of original stories and the utilization of new technology. We feel eBooks provide a rich potential for children to learn about themselves and the society in which they live. It’s a very exciting time to be a children’s publisher” said Danielle Taylor, co-founder of Bish Bash Books.

“Getting children reading has always been our goal” said Stuart Trotter, Publisher and Creative Director of Rockpool Children’s books. “We create original and exciting books that are ideally suited to become eBooks and with this alliance we hope to bring our much loved titles to a wider audience.”

“With the introduction of the iPad and eBook readers in general, the reading experience has been changed forever” said Paul Simpson, CEO of Inkebooks. “We have been working steadily over the course of the lasts three years to develop innovative eBooks that take full advantage of the new technology to promote children’s reading. We are delighted to have likeminded partners for the delivery of high quality interactive children’s eBooks”

The first eBook to be released is Neandersmall and the Egg. “I’m very excited at the opportunity for Neandersmall and I look forward to creating more new adventures for him” said Sam Walshaw the creator of Neandersmall. The first Neandersmall title mixes a strong story, colorful illustrations, music and songs to provide an exciting reading experience for children ages 3-7.

The partnership will deliver 6 new additional children’s eBooks during the fall of 2012.

In photo (from left to right) Danielle Taylor, Co-Founder of Bish Bash Books; Stuart Trotter, Publisher and Creative Director of Rockpool Children’s Books; Sam Walshaw, Author and Illustrator of Neandersmall and the Egg.

About Bish Bash Books
Bish Bash Books was incorporated in New York in January 2012 with the simple vision to provide engaging, educational and entertaining eBooks, apps, podcasts and classic paper books that will get children, wherever in the world they call home, hooked on the simple pleasure of reading. Visit us at www.bishbashbooks.com.

About Rockpool Children’s Books
Rockpool Children’s Books is an independent publisher of children’s picture books and board books, and published its first four titles in October 2006. Since then, its international reputation for high quality picture and board books has grown steadily. To date Rockpool Children’s Books has published 31 titles, animated two books, have 11 book apps for the iPad, and is delighted to be to embarking on this creative alliance with Bish Bash Books.

Rockpool publishes talented new author/illustrators, and sees its future in producing quality books richly diverse in both stories and illustration, in traditional form and digital. Visit us at www.rockpoolchildrensbooks.com

About Inkebooks
Inkebooks is an ePublishing bureau that has been providing publishing services for a number of years.

Inkebooks offers a professional eBook conversion service that allows you to publish any eBook in different formats, including Amazon Kindle format, Sony reader format, iPad and iPhone format. The Inkebooks unique eBook Conversion engine can convert from any file type to any eBook format.
We are not just committed to making beautiful eBooks, we also want to make eBook creation and ePublishing easy and affordable. Visit us at www.inkebooks.com

  • Google +1