HOMESTRETCH UPDATE: With a $35 pledge, you will receive a PAPER copy of Little Red in one of the following languages - English, Spanish, French, Italian or Mandarin Chinese. For those who love Little Red but don't have an iPad, this is the perfect solution!
Kids love reading with Little Red!
Little Red Riding Hood is the first installment in a library of multilingual, interactive apps, thoughtfully designed to help children gain critical early literacy skills while developing an appreciation for their own heritage and the diversity of other cultures.
If you help me reach my Kickstarter goal by contributing and spreading the word, I will be able to complete Little Red Riding Hood in bilingual English / Spanish format and make it available for FREE download to the public!
Projected launch date for the app is May 15, 2013.
Additional funds received beyond our goal will enable the release of Mandarin, French, German and Italian versions of Little Red Riding Hood, along with the production of more bilingual stories starting with Cinderella, City Mouse / Country Mouse and The Snow Child.
Features of the App
I set out to capture the nostalgia and beauty of time honored stories in a way that feels like reading a real book, while using the power of interactive digital technology to help children engage, learn and explore.
The illustrations are all hand drawn and painted by artist Lia Marcoux and then digitally animated by our team to bring the story to life for your children.
My apps will be commercial- and ad-free. I want parents to know they can trust Circletime Kids to provide their children with a safe, fun learning experience.
Language toggle button Children can bounce between languages with a touch of their finger
"Read to Me" modes Professional bilingual narration with visual text cues allows kids to listen and follow along in whichever language they choose.
"Read it Myself" modes Read to your children or let them read to you in whichever language they choose. If they get stuck on a word, your child can simply touch to hear it pronounced. This is a confidence-building feature that really works - I've used it to help my own children learn to read independently.
"Feels Real" swipe-activated page turn animation Forward and backward realistic page turn animations activated with a swipe of the finger feel like turning pages in a traditional book.
Interactive Animations Beautiful hand drawn illustrations are digitally animated and brought to life on every page for kids to touch, discover and play.
"Drag and Drop" puzzles Completion puzzles for kids to solve are integrated throughout the story, with fun and satisfying rewards.
Vocabulary Cues Touch objects on the page to see the word and hear it pronounced in the language of choice.
Text pronunciation Touch individual words in the body of the story to hear the pronunciation in the language of choice.
"Nighttime Mode" For a relaxing bedtime story, a soothing starry sky graphic screensaver appears on the display while the story is narrated from start to finish in either language.
Appropriate for any culture
By replacing traditionally human characters in the story with animals, I gave Little Red a fun twist while making the story appropriate for any culture. Regardless of their race or color, children from any ethnic background can enjoy and identify directly with Little Red and her friends without feeling “left out."
English Literacy and ESL learning This app will be a resource both in introducing English speaking children to other languages, and in introducing foreign children to the English language. Refugee centers, ESL teachers, bilingual preschools and homeschool parents will find this app a helpful tool.
Bilingual learning and its cognitive benefits Children who learn the sights and sounds of a new language get a head start in their education. It’s well documented that cognitive development is improved with exposure to foreign languages at an early age. The concept that there is more than one word for an object opens new mental connections and helps prepare the child’s mind for more advanced learning. See the FAQs at the bottom of the page for more benefits of language exposure!
Familiar, beloved stories - with a TWIST! I researched hundreds of stories to choose our first project. Little Red Riding Hood is one of the most well known stories in history, and a favorite of boys and girls all around the world. By using a familiar story to deliver the sights and sounds of a new language, children feel comfortable and have fun while developing new skills.
Kids LOVE the twist we gave Little Red! Rather than a woodcutter randomly showing up to save the day by killing the wolf and slicing him open to save Little Red and her Grandmother, our hero cleverly outsmarts the wolf all by herself with the help of a new friend. No creepy woodcutter necessary!
And just WAIT 'til you see how we empower Cinderella! She is one sassy bear.
I have over 15 years of experience as a professional interactive designer and fine artist, and am known for my ability to produce digital experiences that are intuitive, engaging and feel like "real life" rather than virtual. Over the years I have designed, produced and directed digital interactive experiences for a wide variety of commercial clients and high profile museums.
My mother's family came to this country as Latvian refugees. (you can read their dramatic, inspiring story here) After my own daughters were born, I wanted to honor that history by introducing my girls to our cultural roots but I couldn’t find any good resources online to help me. In my research I realized there are millions of parents like me, wanting to explore their heritage with their kids but unable to find a fun, easy way to start. So, in the elusive spare time I had available as a single mom with two young kids and a full time job, I set out to build a free, global resource to connect kids with the cultures of the world.
I developed CircletimeKids.com, which quickly gained traction and is now becoming a thriving multicultural community where kids can learn about world cultures through recipes, crafts, songs, stories, games and art. The passionate response from parents and teachers to the resources I created for the CTK website gave me the courage to take the next step – dedicate myself full time to building an interactive, multicultural children's library.
I enlisted the help of an incredible pool of talent as I began to write and design Little Red Riding Hood. I brought aboard the incredibly gifted illustrator Lia Marcoux, audio experts at Luminant Audio, the code jockeys at Lucent Mobile, professional editors, translators, voiceover talent, engineers and more. With their help, my now-nonexistent savings account and the generous support of friends and family, I started building the first story which will serve as a template for additional tales.
Circletime Kids has been built from the ground up by dedicated, hard working professionals who are in it for the right reasons - to give kids the tools they need to make healthy choices in a complicated world.
You can rest assured knowing that every dollar contributed to this campaign is being monitored and approved by a Board of Directors, and will be used to produce well designed, commercial-free experiences available for everybody to download and use. Anybody who would like more information on how we will be using funds is welcome to contact me directly.
It is my dream and intention to develop a comprehensive multilingual library of traditional stories from all around the world. We will include stories and oral traditions that will capture the imagination of children and help them learn and grow by sharing the wisdom of their great grandparents, the elders of their tribes, their ancestors from long ago - in a multitude of languages.
I would like to thank my mother Mary for inspiring me to start Circletime Kids, and for the wisdom, support and love she has given me over my lifetime. The stories she told and the songs she sang taught me how to be a mother, and gave me the strength to become the woman I am today.
We've been working on making all sorts of neato gifts using Lia Marcoux's beautiful artwork from the story. I'll mail these straight to your door to thank you for supporting this project! Note that at each reward level you also receive ALL the previous gifts. A whole pile of awesome goodies! My kids helped me make these and they love everything on the list, so I know yours will too.
Risks and challenges
As I have designed and produced many projects of a similar scope in a professional capacity for clients in the past, I am confident that the funds I am seeking will be sufficient to complete this project.
My team is proven, my methods are sound, and our vision is clear.
The hard part is already done - we have completed multiple prototype stages and have detailed budgets for all aspects of the remaining production, including the inevitable snags and sneaky costs in development and deployment.
That said, the one thing that is completely predictable in a creative production is that there will be unexpected surprises. What I can tell you is that I have dealt with enough of these in the past to know how to tackle them when they arise. I've been working towards this for years. This project WILL be completed, and this is only the beginning! I am so excited!
I have a vision, a mission, and the talent in place to make it fly. It's happening, by golly! It's happening.
ALL previous rewards, plus: LITTLE RED TOTE BAG! Use your natural cotton fiber Little Red tote to carry books, groceries... or even your lesser cool tote bags! Look in the project description to see a picture of how CUTE it is!
ALL previous rewards, plus: LITTLE RED WATER BOTTLE! With this BPA-free water bottle featuring Little Red and the Wolf on opposite sides, your kid will be the envy of the class! Or, you will be the envy of your kid! Either way, big win for you.
ALL previous rewards, plus: AMAZING MOUSE CAP! Adjustable size natural cotton cap featuring Little Red’s heroic mouse pal is great for girls, boys and grownups too! Give it to a kid, or wear it to the office and amaze your coworkers.
ALL previous rewards, plus: LITTLE RED PILLOW CASE! Snuggle up with your child on a soft and lovely Little Red Riding Hood pillow to explore the story you so generously made possible! Choose from 10 different designs. (case only - pillow not included)
ALL previous rewards, plus: 24" CHARACTER WALL DECAL! You thought that other stuff was cool? Well, how about a two foot tall wall decal, character of your choice! Every baby loves the Big Bad Wolf next to her crib... right?! (Or you can choose Little Red, Granny, Mama or the Mouse)
PLATINUM SPONSOR LEVEL: All previous rewards, plus your name, organization or business thanked as a Platinum Level Sponsor on the Circletime Kids website, AND listed as a presenting sponsor inside the app itself!