Learn to read with Insects! ebook

I am pleased to announce my very first e-book. Insects! is aimed at the discerning 5 to 7 year-old, produced in collaboration with early-learning e-publisher Tipitap:

The book is bundled with several other, mostly science titles in the Booksy system. Booksy itself is free, as is your first book, with subsequent titles in the series downloadable for only $0.99.

I normally write for a college educated audience, so avoiding vocabulary like “myrmecochory” and “phenotypic plasticity” was a bit of a trick. All the same, any remaining difficult words are just a tap away from hearing them pronounced aloud. A distinct advantage of the electronic format.

Anyway, I don’t have an iPad myself. So I’d really, really appreciate impressions and constructive criticism from those of you who download it. I may be making more of these reading-level books in the future.

15 thoughts on “Learn to read with Insects! ebook”

  1. What a great idea. I don’t have an iPad either so can’t help. Pity they didn’t make the app cross-platform and device, like the Kindle reader; it would surely help their sales.

  2. I just downloaded it it looks great! I’m not parental so I can’t address kid/learning factors, but the layout is good, and the pictures wonderful. It would be nice to be able to enlarge them, but that would presumably be a distraction from the ‘learning to read’ part.

    There’s a small typo: on page 14, the sweat bee is labeled ‘sweet bee’.

    More books! Plus you really ought to do a dedicated photo gallery app. Photos do look good on iThings, and apps are an all too easy way to part us from our money…. Put a fair price on it, and ignore the whiners who think that everything should be free.

    1. Thanks, Ceratina!

      I just looked at the proofs and it says “sweat bee” there, so I think Tipitap must have second-guessed me at the last minute and introduced the error. I’ll contact them to see if it might be fixed.

  3. I got myself a state of Alabama approved Ipad. I’ll DL it and get you feedback (I doubt any will be necessary, however!!)

  4. Why not make a version for the b&w Kindle, color Kindle Fire, and color and b&w Nook, etc. ? No reason to limit ‘perfection’ to such a limited venue.

    Should be relatively painless to produce multiple file types with Calibre (free) and will add another set of marketplaces. I hear that self publishing (99 cent versions there too) at Amazon is pretty easy as well. Pictures are not half bad on those even in black and white and then can be read on any desktop with the various free reader software as well.


    1. That is all true, but the publisher Tipitap is primarily interested in (and good at) the more involved, more interactive apps. Part of the appeal of the Booksy series is that all the words can be pronounced aloud if the young reader is having trouble, and there are some other interactive features that go beyond the simple ebook.

      Having said that, I do have a couple other app/ebook projects planned that I intend to be cross-platform, but these are a good ways out.

      1. I can understand if you don’t want to bother.

        Certainly all of the android iPad competitors, which does include the Kindle Fire, as well as desktops, can run interactive apps and sound output and there may well be equivalent apps. However, the function of gatekeepers is to keep people OUT or they would not be there at all.

        There is no simple eReader. Rather there are a series of more or less capable devices ranging atm from low priced Kindle’s at @ $79 to desktops all of which can perform as functional equivalents, more or less.

        You can produce pubs that are directed at the highest quality desktop which also scale all the way down and let the customer decide which granularity level is acceptable to them.

        Perhaps you forget, we did not have sound or interactivity in our books as children and they did the job just fine. We learn from our parents, family and friends as well – it’s part of the job.

  5. Hey Alex, I downloaded the app and your book and I can’t wait to share it with my goddaughter this weekend!
    Excellent work, and a great into to the world of natural sciences!

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