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Announcing StoryBots Starring You StoryBooks!

25 Sep

Today marks the official release of StoryBots™ Starring You® StoryBooks, our update to JibJab Jr.® Books. As you heard last month, this transition was just around the corner and we’re thrilled to finally have it in your hands – or App Store!

Make like a bunny and hop over there to update JibJab Jr. Books and enjoy all the goodies StoryBooks has to offer, including all the books your kids have grown to love, super-fast loading times, an improved home screen, and animations at the end of each book. Our kids love it. We think your kids will, too!

Lastly, the StoryBots world isn’t limited to the iPad. At StoryBots.com, your child can star in videos set to classic songs, learn the alphabet with the ABC Jamboree, or go offline with printable activity sheets. Cool, huh?

Happy learning!

 

 

 

Evan & Gregg Spiridellis
StoryBots Co-founders, Brothers & Dads

The Big Race Crosses the Finish Line

4 Sep

Start your engines for the release of our next book, The Big Race!  In our September release, your child is the driver of car number 1 and speeds along the race track to be the first to cross the finish line, but trouble arises with Skeeter the Cheater. Will your child win the big race?

Check out the full book preview and a few of the animated pages here. To download “The Big Race,” visit the JibJab Jr.Books app on iTunes.

About the Artists

Alex Chechik grew up in Toronto, Canada and studied animation at Sheridan College in Ontario. His favorite book as a kid was The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Suess, and his favorite artist today is Gustav Klimt. As a kid he would wander off to explore the city by myself and not tell anyone. The worry turned his parents’ hair grey. Alex’s work can also be found at www.alexchechik.com.

Nate SwinehartNate Swinehart rode in from the rugged wilds of Columbus, Ohio with a tablet pen in his left hand and a Rock Band mic in his right. He was raised by a family of athletes but studied animation, illustration and theater. After sampling the living conditions of Japan, Alaska and the marshes of Savannah, he happily acclimated to JibJab headquarters in Venice Beach. Nate enjoys video games, playing piano and singing, loudly. He’s the proud uncle of four, and excited to make cool stories for them.

 

 

Sneak Peek into Our Upcoming App Update!

14 Aug

Greetings JibJab Jr. fans!

The rumors are true!  JibJab Jr. Books will soon become Starring You StoryBooks. Don’t worry…it will still have all the books your kids love, but it will look different and load a ton faster.  

My brother and I are thrilled to give you this behind the scenes look into the update we submitted to Apple recently and that we hope to have approved and available to you in September.

Here’s what’s changing (and what’s not)…

BOOKS: The books your kids love will not change one iota. You will have all of the books you currently have access to and we will continue to roll out a new book every month. Our pipeline of new books looks amazing and we can’t wait to share them with you!

BRAND: While no one loves the JibJab brand more than us (heck, we invented it) we have decided to roll JibJab Jr. into our new children’s initiative called StoryBots. After the update, the name of the app will change to “Starring You StoryBooks” (which we think better describes the product).

SPEED: Our technology team spent weeks digging into the initial code that was written for the app and have optimized the heck out of it. The result? The app is blazing fast compared to the current version. A lot of the pauses that used to happen in the experience while you were waiting for things to load now happen in the background so the app, overall, is more responsive.

LOADING SCREEN: After the app loads, a super fun intro animation will ease you and your kids into the StoryBots world. Check it out!



HOME SCREEN: While the existing app only fully featured one book on the carousel that wraps around the globe, our new home screen was designed to really showcase all of the books. Having used the new app to read to our kids for the past few weeks while in testing mode we have found that it has greatly increased the variety of the books they want to read at night. That makes the bedtime reading experience more fun for us as well. Here’s the new home screen:

ENDING ANIMATION:  Last, but certainly not least, one of the things that always bugged my brother and I about the existing app was how suddenly the books ended. It was jarring and unpleasant and did nothing to ease us into the inevitable shut down of the iPad and telling our kids it’s time to go to sleep. In the app update, which you will all have soon, we take a much softer approach with a beautifully animated transition from the last page of each book back to the home screen. Hopefully the little guy will get your kids yawning just like it gets our kids yawning – and us too!



That’s all for now. We will let you know as soon as the updated app hits the iTunes store so you can download it and start experiencing all the new, exciting, speedier goodness for yourself (and your kids).

As always, thank you for your support and feedback – and if you have any questions or comments please let us know in the comments below or email us at jibjabjrhelp@jibjab.net. You can also reach us on our new StoryBots Facebook page.

Evan & Gregg Spiridellis
Co-founders, Brothers & Dads

Meet the StoryBots + FREE ‘Starring You’ Videos!

14 Aug

Greetings JibJab Jr. fans!

First of all, my brother and I want to thank you for using JibJab Jr. Books. Since launching the product a year ago, we have been floored by the positive response from kids and parents alike. In fact, that reaction — combined with the fact that we like creating stuff for our own kids — inspired us to create an entire universe of fun and learning called StoryBots™.

The StoryBots are brightly-colored, perpetually positive little creatures who live beneath our screens and make learning fun for kids — and easy for parents!

Today, we are pleased to announce four FREE StoryBots products including:

  • Starring You® Videos - Create free personalized videos set to classic songs and share it with Grandma, Grandpa, or anyone else you’d like! If your kids like starring in our books, they’ll LOVE starring in StoryBots music videos! Create Videos »
  • Activity Sheets - Choose from 100+ free printable activity sheets, add crayons, and get your child to put down the iPad for a little while. You might just get a half-hour to yourself! You can thank us later. Print Activities »
  • ABC Videos - Join the StoryBots as they sing about each letter of the alphabet in the ABC Jamboree series! Warning: Expect delightful giggles as your child learns the shapes and sounds of the letters with these catchy tunes. Learn ABCs »
  • Beep & Boop™ - Implement this StoryBots reward program and return sanity to your home! This simple, free iPhone app turns learning good behavior into a game that is fun for both kids AND parents. Seriously! Download App »

Last, but certainly not least, we want you to know that next month we’re releasing an update to our JibJab Jr. Books app that brings it into the StoryBots world. After the update, the app will still have all the books your kids love, but it will just look different and load a ton faster. Click here for a sneak peek at the new app and more information on the transition.

Thank you for your support. It’s given us the courage to build more products that help kids and parents laugh and learn together. We hope you enjoy this free bundle of family fun as a small token of our appreciation for your support!

Sincerely,

Evan & Gregg Spiridellis
Co-Founders, Brothers & Dads

The Pet Grockle Puppet!

6 Aug

In our animated children’s book, The Pet Grockle, your child meets a cute, friendly Grockle on the playground and decides to take it home.  We were so in love with the illustrations created by the super talented Nate Wragg, that our in house puppet maker, Mike, got to work bringing this little monster to life!  After finding the right materials to create this furry red guy, Mike spent the next 2 weeks cutting, gluing and sewing to create the real life Grockle.

In the story, the Grockle is known for bouncing off the walls and causing ruckus around town, but putting him in puppet form may have calmed him down a bit.





Nate Wragg is a CalArts grad and has worked as an Illustrator and Character Designer on various projects-including Ratatouille  & Toy Story 3.  “His creative and fun illustrations were really fun to bring to life,” says Mike.

The Grockle and Mike.

For a full preview of this book and a few of the animated pages, click here. To download “Pet Grockle,” visit the JibJab Jr. Books app on iTunes.

Pack Your Gear For A Camping Adventure!

1 Aug

Our featured book for August is Camping Adventures, the story of a young explorer and a little feathered friend who set out together for a fun-filled overnight stay in the great outdoors!

Check out the full book preview and a few of the animated pages here. To download “Camping Adventures,” visit the JibJab Jr.Books app on iTunes.

About the Artists

Ashlyn Anstee  grew up in a rainy city, moved to a snowy city, and now lives in a sunny city. She writes and illustrates books for JibJab. When she grows up, she would like very much to eat cake, wear dresses, and raise monsters in her backyard. You can also see some more of her art at ashlyna.blogspot.com.

Jacob Streilein is from Durham, North Carolina where he grew up drawing cartoons for his school newspaper and screen printing thousands of T-Shirts in his friends’ kitchen every weekend. He is studying animation at CalArts, but he occasionally misses the deep fried goodness of the dirty South. He listens to rap and despises country music.

Join The Barnyard Band

2 Jul

In our latest title, Barnyard Band, your child stars as a young farmer whose catchy banjo picking inspires all the animals to grab their instruments and join in the jam! You will have some foot-stompin’ fun on the farm and meet many fun farm animals that each play a unique instrument: a duck on guitar, the pig on stand up bass, a mouse on spoons, a horse on the washboard and many more. Snap along to this new book today!

Check out the full book preview and a few of the animated pages here. To download “Barnyard Band,” visit the JibJab Jr.Books app on iTunes.

About the Artist

Joey Chou has worked as an illustrator for animated features, TV shows and children’s books. He graduated from Art Center College of Design with a degree in fine art. Joey is originally from Taiwan, and now lives in sunny Los Angeles.  See more of his work at http://joeyart.blogspot.com.

New Book Out Tomorrow!

1 Jul

Barnyard Band, the story of a young farmer whose catchy banjo picking gets all the farm animals playing their own instruments is July’s featured book. We want to give you the heads up that it will be going live & populated to your iPads tomorrow!  Sorry for the delay and thank you for your support.

In the meantime, enjoy another one of our titles starring your child! Which one is your family’s favorite? Leave us a note in the comments below.

Set Sail With Pirates and Mermaids

1 Jun

Arrrrrrrr you ready for our latest book? The adventures continue when your child stars in this tale of a courageous scuba diver who helps three mermaids reclaim their stolen treasure and saves the day! Along the way they encounter other sea creatures who need help capturing what the pirates have pilfered, including a school of fish missing their books, Jellyfish whose peanut butter has been stolen, pearl-less oysters and more!

Check out the full book preview and a few of the animated pages here. To download “Pirates and Mermaids,” visit the JibJab Jr.Books app on iTunes.

About the Artist

Ashlyn Anstee  grew up in a rainy city, moved to a snowy city, and now lives in a sunny city. She writes and illustrates books for JibJab. When she grows up, she would like very much to eat cake, wear dresses, and raise monsters in her backyard. You can also see some more of her art at ashlyna.blogspot.com.

Alex Chechik grew up in Toronto, Canada and studied animation at Sheridan College in Ontario. His favorite book as a kid was The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Suess, and his favorite artist today is Gustav Klimt. As a kid he would wander off to explore the city by myself and not tell anyone. The worry turned his parents’ hair grey. Alex’s work can also be found at www.alexchechik.com

Go On Your Very Own African Adventure

1 May

In our latest monthly tale, your child gets to join the animals for wild and woolly fun on the African plains. African Adventure features a young explorer who experiences first hand what the animals do when they’re not hunting and grazing.  A friendly chimp leads your child to a secret jungle clearing for some zebra zip-lining, hornbill hang gliding and more, culminating in an animal dance-off!

Check out the full book preview and a few of the animated pages here. To download “African Adventure,” visit the JibJab Jr.Books app on iTunes.

About the Artist

Kai Wu grew up in southern China and moved to Washington D.C. after middle school. After his 2011 summer internship at JibJab, he returned to CalArts to refine his cartoon-drawing talents, but not before illustrating Ocean Commotion. His favorite books as a kid were Dr. Slump, a manga series written and illustrated by Akira Toriyama about a misbehaved robot girl. He also swears that even as a kid he loved his fruits and veggies.

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