Sunday, 26 December 2010

Monkey Jack-in-the-Box

Lately, I have a slight issue with the term 'educational' toy or game. Everything seems to have to be educational to address the parents and thus to get better sales numbers. But I say every toy and game is educational to some extent, even if your kid plays with bottle caps, cars or a rug doll, a wooden spoon or a ludo board game set. Some toys have (or are supposed to have) a direct educational impact on you kid - especially when they involve numbers, colors, letters or shapes. That's what people hear and that's what they therefore want for their kids and what' they believe will help their kids in school later on. I am not sure that the kids care and that the educational effect is always achieved.

So being brainwashed by this media propaganda, I was picking toys for my boys at the toy store for this year's Christmas. And I came across this little sweet thing - a sock monkey in the box. You play a funny street organ like tune by turning the handle on the side of the box and in few seconds a monkey pops out at you. Hmm, nice little nonsense, I thought, but then I couldn't resist and I bought the thing. I was wondering if it was not a waste of money, no educational addition for my kids, no real use for this little trinket, no shapes, no first words, no nothing, just a nice melody and then SURPRISE!

So when we found this little box under our Christmas tree I was kind of curious to see how will everybody react. And I was happy to find out that not only the kids but also all the adults wanted to try it, to turn the handle themselves and see what happens. Everybody grabbed the box and went round and round and then HOP! smile on their face, and again and again. So the old little trick of organ grinders with a real monkey on their shoulder still works. Little of magic and some fun. Not everything needs to educate, entertain is good enough.

Friday, 10 December 2010

December Summary

If November was a busy month,  December proves to be a crazy month, you probably noticed too. So just a short sumary of what is going on at Okenko Books.

We published two more stories within our subscription - very popular Lizzie and The Phone Call (S. Canzoneri, J. Tiller) and our first animal story Pug and Pig (J. Linden, L. Latti). You can read more at our books section of our website. We are happy that everything is going so well, we reached more then 2.5k downloads on Androids and nearly 1k on iTunes. Also as of two days ago, the Okenko Books subscription is available to Windows 7 phones users.

We incorporated a gift option into our website, so now you can easily give our subscription to anyone dear to you, it's easy as 1,2,3, you just register with your email and pay and then we'll send a gift note and an activation code to the happy person's email. See our front page for the quick link. Also, over Christmas holidays we are going to re-invent our website, expect more friendly, more structured website with new, cool design.

Finally, we launched a series of standalone ebook apps based on the most popular stories from our subscription. You can see our first swallow, Andie Plays pretend, on iTunes, three more apps are with Apple waiting for approval so they are coming out shortly, hopefully before Christmas. We call these eBooks for iPhone/iPad because they stay true to the original media and they look and are like books, just pictures and texts, and they are meant to be read. Hope you will enjoy these!

And last not least, we are going to host in next few weeks 4 members of our big family from all over the world for holidays so you can imagine how excited (though slightly tense:) we are about the upcoming holidays. Hope you will spend them among your dear ones too and that Okenko Books will help you to spend some quality winter evenings with a good children picture book.

Next time you can expect a Christmas story, Lizzie and The Christmas Tree (S. Canzoneri, J. Tiller) and in the beginning of the new year we have a farm story for our little ones I Think I'm a Cow (C. Montgomery, S. Anca).