Once a year, the Reading is Fundamental truck rolled into my elementary school parking lot. It seemed like book fairies brought every single copy of Amelia Bedeliato my school so I could add yet another book about the bumbling maid to my collection. It was a free book; it was my book.
There’s something special in owning a book. For over four decades RIF has been putting books in the hands of young readers. RIF provides 15 million new, free books to 4 million children across the country.
Years after my Amelia Bedelia phase, I find myself working at FableVision, a studio that helped launch what can only be described as RIF 2.0. Working with RIF and the National Writing Project, FableVision developed a suite of free enhanced bilingual ebook apps. Water Wonders and Our Book by Us! feature the work of FableVision founders and twin brothers, Peter H. Reynolds and Paul Reynolds.
With a tap on the iPad, I first downloaded Water Wonders, a colorful exploration of Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM) concepts with twin siblings Sydney and Symon. One cool feature of the book: kids can decide to read on their own or have the book read to them. After reading the book, kids get a chance to experiment – giving a truly hands-on approach to learning.
The Our Book by Us! app was developed for preschoolers to read and explore with their caregivers. The app features six minibooks highlighting the daily adventures of SugarLoaf and her family. For an interactive feature, Our Book by Us! has a drawing tool allows kids to create their own stories. The kid in me spent the better part of an hour creating my story by following prompts on the screen.
In keeping with RIF’s goal of providing a free book for young readers, both apps – available on iTunes, Google Play and in the Amazon Appstore - are offered free of charge through the generosity of Macy’s and the Verizon Foundation.
The format for reading is changing. More and more publishers are jumping into the e-reader world as libraries are stored in a handheld tablet. Water Wonders and Our Book by Us! bring RIF into this world. With a tap and a download, every kid can have their own book.
Download your copy of Water Wonders and Our Books by Us! (available in English and Spanish):