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Random House Offers Kids App for Bestseller Rocket

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Jan 24 – Jan 30, 2011 Edition Random House Offers Kids App for Bestseller Rocket

New York, NY/Authorlink News/January 27, 2011—Random House Children’s Books (www.randomhouse.com/kids) today announced that How Rocket Learned to Read for iPad is now available in the iTunes store. The app is based on acclaimed author-illustrator Tad Hills’s New York Times bestselling picture book that is teaching kids everywhere how to read. How Rocket Learned to Read for iPad retails for $7.99, but is available now at the special introductory price of $4.99. With an array of innovative interactivity and educational games, this app introduces the concepts of reading and writing to children through an exciting new platform.

“This is the first app we’ve helped develop at Schwartz & Wade, and the process of translating a book from print to digital has been fascinating,” said Lee Wade, VP and Publisher of Schwartz & Wade Books, the imprint that published the original book in July 2010. “When you take an exceptional book and add captivating interaction, animations, and reading games you can create something almost addictive—an iPad app that we’re confident kids won’t be able to resist,” added Anne Schwartz, VP and Publisher of Schwartz & Wade Books.

With the swipe of a finger or tilt of the iPad, Hills’s bestselling and award-winning picture book bursts to life, making learning to read fun. Children have two options for reading this story that boasts over 40 pages of interactive text and lively illustrations with a realistic page-turning feature. The first option, “Read to Me,” allows kids to simultaneously watch highlighted words and listen to the story read aloud by Tony- and Emmy-nominated actress Hope Davis. The second option, “Read It Myself,” enables readers to silence the narration and read the story at their own pace. With the tap of a finger, readers can hear any word on the page read aloud, giving them extra guidance when they feel challenged. In one spread that displays the entire alphabet, kids can tap their way through every letter to hear it and see a corresponding illustration created exclusively by Tad Hills for the iPad app.

Kids can practice their writing skills by tracing a finger on the screen alongside Rocket in one scene where he spells letters in the snow, and then shake the iPad to magically begin again with a clean slate. Additionally, kids can play two games, “Bird’s Words” and “Alphabet Drop,” that will help hone their letter recognition and spelling skills.

Random House Children’s Books collaborated with Domani Studios, a leading advertising agency, to create How Rocket Learned to Read for iPad. Also available from Random House Children’s Books is Wild About Books for iPad, developed in partnership with Smashing Ideas. For more information, visit www.rhkidsapps.com.

How Rocket Learned to Read was published to widespread critical acclaim in July 2010 and quickly became a New York Times and Publishers Weekly bestseller. The book was an Autumn 2010 Children’s Indie Next Pick, and received a 2010 Parents’ Choice Silver Award. The Boston Globe raved, “[This] picture book all about the joys of reading defies gravity. . . . It may persuade tentative kindergarteners that school is worth a try; teachers and librarians will love it.” Tad Hills is also the author of the New York Times bestselling Duck & Goose picture books.

Random House Children’s Books is the world’s largest English-language children’s trade book publisher. Creating books for toddlers through young adult readers, in all formats from board books to activity books to picture books, novels, ebooks, and apps, the imprints of Random House Children’s Books bring together award-winning authors and illustrators, world-famous franchise characters, and multimillion-copy series. The company’s website, Kids @ Random (www.randomhouse.com/kids) offers an array of activities, games and resources for children, teens, parents, and educators. Random House Children’s Books is a division of Random House, Inc., whose parent company is Bertelsmann AG, a leading international media company.

Domani Studios, founded in 2001, is a second-generation award-winning advertising agency whose clients call upon them to create engaging online and mobile experiences for their audiences. Known for skillfully giving brands a strong digital presence, Domani Studios is a leading creative agency whose clients include Coke, Sony, Gucci, Starbucks, Sprint, Kellogg’s, and many more. Domani Studios is based in New York and Chicago.