23 Apr 2013

EggMania a Review

I recently received this EggMania: Where’s the Egg in Exactly? (March 2013), an enhanced ebook aimed at children ages 6-12. It narrated the adventures of a boy who hears mispronunciations of the word "exactly" as “eggzactly,” even by highly-educated people. In his quest to find the "egg," he searches the world and meets unusual creatures who help him discover the importance of speaking correctly while learning an important life lesson: even if he makes mistakes, he can still be extraordinary.
EggMania was written by Sherry and her husband and business partner, Stephen, their aim is to entertain children growing up in a digital world while providing cerebral enrichment, specifically cross-lateral brain hemisphere stimulation that can increase intelligence by expanding neuronal pathways and synapse connections.
EggMania includes expansive vocabulary (more than 100 advanced words and definitions), 97 pages of original art, narration with sound effects, animation, tongue-twisting rhymes and a hunt-and-find game with over 170 mind-bending fun facts. The series is illustrated by Denise Caliva, renowned artist and owner of Caliva Arts. EggMania showcases a myriad of art styles, from classic to modern, expanding children’s art appreciation beyond the cartoons and gaming characterizations so often used in digital media.
I must confess, though the story was very uplifting and it has a great message behind, unlike some other books I’ve enjoyed reading and reviewing, this wasn’t one of them. All because it came in the form of interactive e-book. First, I am not a technology savvy, and I was annoyed with my iPhone because it was slow in showing me the story and projecting the sound. Second, I am still very traditionalist when it comes to paper books versus electronic books. Third, I couldn’t appreciate the art in this book because I am passionate about cartoons, I don’t know maybe it is because of the perfection they seem to evoke but I am just old school thought.
When I think about the way my daughter sees me in front of a screen, I am not sure if I would cope to see her clued to a digital screen. I use my iPhone and computer 70% of my daily life, I am not proud of that and I would like to come to a point in my life where I use less, but I know that’s not possible because of the age we live in.
Still, I hope my child/children will grow to love traditional books {paper form}, and if they want to use digital books then I hope they read books which have a great message behind.
  • If unlike me you are all for the digital way of reading books you might find these tips interesting. 6 tips for using interactive e-books to engage your kids

1) Visual Sense:
Choose illustrated e-books that are visually-rich, those having artful (not merely stick figure kiddy art or cartoon types common to digital games) and colorful graphics to fully engage children visually and to stimulate their imaginations.

2) Audio Sense:
Select e-books that have two modes of reading: a) Narration with Enhanced Sound—music and sound effects; b) Read Myself. To optimize audio integration, allow children to enjoy and explore the narrated version with enhanced sound. Then, to practice oral reading skills, set up an audition for “the best narrator.” Use an audio recorder or smart phone to tape children’s versions. Allow them to create some fun sound effects and add music along with their narration. Parents may record for younger children who are not yet reading advanced vocabulary. Involve them in the nuances of your oral expression. Make it theirs by including their voice on the recording. Have them read, speak, or repeat after you, some of the words or short sentences.

3) Kinesthetic Sense:
Encourage tapping and touching of the screen to activate kinesthetic and interactive components. To maximize these features, have kids zoom in and out on art images, tap for duplication or animation of image, and tap words for definitions. iPad users can take screen shots of illustrations, then print them in black and white for kids to color, paint, trace, or copy.

4) Emotional Components:
A. Host a live chat to discuss stories and illustrations with children; ask what’s their favorite illustration? And why? Their favorite words, etc. Avoid asking, “What did you learn?”
B. Support the hero in your child. Develop their subjective thinking skills by helping them analyze the subtler life lessons typically inherent in children’s narratives. Kids do not always integrate what we think they will. Help them come to positive conclusions by asking them questions about the main character or characters, asking what they liked about them/him/her and didn’t like about them. Ask how they would respond to the dilemma or conflict if they were that character.

5) Language Development:
Give kids a choice of two illustrations from an ebook or have them select two favorites. Then have them write a new story or poem based upon the illustrations and what the images inspire in their imagination. Older kids can be required to have a lexical humor slant to their story or poem, or to choose a genre such as comedy or drama.

6) Memory and Family Fun:
Further develop kids’ memory and integration by extending the subject matter into family time by playing games, such as charades, using vocabulary-rich phrases from selected ebooks your children enjoy. A family/friends version of “Who’s Smarter than a Fifth Grader” can be played using the Fun Facts that some ebooks provide.
By Sherry Maysonave
Author: EggMania: Where’s the Egg In Exactly
BIO: SHERRY MAYSONAVE, an admitted grammar enthusiast, has a B.S. in Education and began her career teaching third and fifth grades. In 1998, she founded Empowerment Enterprises, one of America's leading communication-image firms. A mother of three and grandmother of five, Sherry remains passionate about helping children develop positive self-esteem and achieve higher levels of success at school and in all facets of their lives. Sherry and Stephen live in Austin, TX. 
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