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Storytelling on the iPad…

We first need a story…right?
“A playful bedtime story, written in Assyrian verse, takes little ones on a journey into the wilderness to discover various animals and the events that take place during the night.” SOLD!
I was sold by the book’s description and by the talented creator of the book, Romil Benyamino.  A witty and charming artist, Benyamino authored Sahra (“moon” in English), a beautifully illustrated Assyrian Children’s Story about the moon, to showcase the Assyrian language in a fun and engaging way for children. I purchased a couple copies directly from Romil and gifted them to close friends, including my late grandfather who really enjoyed the story and its vivid illustrations.

No Assyrian Story Book apps on the iPad…yet 
A digital reproduction of Sahra on the iPad would venture into new territory.  For starters, this would be the very first digital Assyrian Children’s Book app on iPad.  Second, this interactive book app would have to be compelling enough to transport readers into the immense galaxies and lush forests introduced in the hard copy work.

I needed a platform that would allow for the creation of interactive books on the iPad.  We’re not talking about an ebook or a pdf view of an already published hard copy book.  Rather, we’re talking awesomely immersive and interactive experience manifested as an original story turned iPad app. Get the picture?  Something that would take readers on an epic adventure, engaging them along the way.

Where there’s a kit… there’s a way
The Story Teller’s Kit provided exactly what I needed for my latest project.  The Story Teller’s Kit, by CartoonSmart, provides the foundation and plumbing for creating custom story book apps on iOS devices.  I discovered the kit via binpress, a marketplace for commercial open-source software projects.

Benefits of the Story Teller’s Kit include:
  • Easy to use. Really low learning curve
  • No coding required
  • Feature rich
  • Great documentation & support

A follow-up blog post will cover how I used the kit in detail by describing my experience wiring up a couple of the book’s pages.  For now, I love that the Story Teller’s framework actually works as described and works well for its intended purpose.

The Sahra Moon iPad app will be available for download from iTunes as soon as the stars have aligned themselves.
Update August 15, 2013: the iPad app is now available
Update 2 July 28, 2013: the iPhone app is now available
Update 3 July 28, 2013: the android app is now available .  I used apportable to do the conversion to Android. It was fairly straightforward – apportable rocks! 
App description: Take a journey into the wilderness to discover animals and magic of the night.  Moon, an interactive Assyrian Children’s book, is a colorful way to build Assyrian reading skills.  On their way to dreamland, readers will enjoy rich illustrations, read-along narration, and interactive animals while learning their names and spelling in one of the world’s oldest languages.