Over the years, I’ve experimented a lot with different publishing possibilities. And not even intentionally. Somehow, I’ve been fortunate to have opportunity come knocking on my door several times. In 2010, when the iPad just made its entrance into the digital world, I was approached by an international company called Apps Of All Nations (later iStory Apps) with the question, if I wanted to collaborate by allowing them to turn one of my existing picture book publications into an interactive iPad app. Pleasantly surprised with a tendency to say ‘Yes!’ before considering the odds, I immediately joined the Apps Of All Nations team of experts from all over the globe. The elected book?
It was an invaluable learning process for my book’s illustrator (Daniëlle Schothorst, The Netherlands) and I (Aruba) to work together with such a talented group of people (Argentina, France, Canada, US), creating the most innovative and trendy gadget of the moment; the iPad app! And even though we didn’t receive an advance or royalties or any monetary compensation for our contributions, we got the scoop on the complete iPad app creation process before the hype even started. Best of all, the Hopus book app travelled to Canada to help teachers integrate digital school material into their classrooms. A couple of years later, I received a request from project leader Isabelle Duston, to share the story of Hopus with the children of Tanzania and with Syrian refugees through her organization Global Learning XPRIZE. Of course, she already knew, I couldn’t possibly say ’No’.
In 2012, I was approached again, this time by our local Kiwanis Club of Aruba with the request to participate with their Kamishibai-project by contributing with a story. Because of the tight deadline, an existing publication would be the most doable, so I suggested my picture book story Hopus. And that’s how Hopus came to life again, now as Kamishibai story cards to be distributed to all elementary schools in Aruba. What a lucky character!
If you ask me, I never would’ve thought my first picture book would become Aruba’s first Children’s Book Festival Book-gift, much less my debut as a children’s book author in The Netherlands and Belgium. What started out as a story inspired by my son who has autism, has taken its own path, changing formats and languages as it journeys around the world, making me a proud mommy.
Due to the exceeding expenses of the Hopus app experiment, this item isn’t available on iTunes anymore. To make sure the journey of Hopus is ongoing, I’ve decided, together with my friend and beloved artist, Daniëlle, to offer Hopus as a Kindle eBook from December 2017 onwards. I’m very excited to have finally made the Amazon.com plunge, and I hope I can count on your 1-click (or two?) and reviews ;) Thank you!
Also available in the Kindle store: picture book story Nano and Nena