Posted by on Nov 24, 2011 in Editorial | No Comments

Why I Wrote “The Sun Goes to Bed”

(or)

I’m a Wannabe: Being Part of the World of Children’s Book Apps

by Tami Lehman-Wilzig

I’m the kind of children’s author who looks to life for inspiration. No ghosts or goblins for me. No wizards or witches. Real-life behavior of parents, children and animals is what’s on my radar.
So when I read a newspaper article written by a father living in a rustic village, explaining how he took his four-year old daughter on a daily walk to watch the sunset, I had an Aha moment that I quickly translated into my first early childhood book. And not just a regular, full color, illustrated book. An App book, because another article I had read on a technology start-up called Touchoo, similarly piqued my interest, plus I couldn’t get over its slogan: “Books for Little Fingers”.
Both these articles happily coincided with my impending grand-motherhood. I fondly recalled reading to my sons way back when they were in between mischief. And bedtime?  Prime time for me. Nothing was more cuddly and warm than having two tired heads leaning on me while I read out loud. But a grandmother reading to her grandson every night? That’s charting old/new territory. Then again, so are children’s book apps. So I embraced the challenge, mapping out a story about a tired sun at the end of a work-filled day.
I first determined that a lilting cadence was necessary to draw in the reader. I carefully crafted each word, each sentence. In the process I could feel my unborn grandson’s eyes tracking the illustrations with the voice-over text. I could sense his small, nimble fingers patting folding flower petals, swiping a curling cat’s tail and tapping ants walking through sandy trails. My excitement grew as I realized how this new, interactive world of reading would allow me to virtually be by his side nightly, teaching the ways of nature – his and that of the universe – while hearing my voice read to him out loud. Yes, the ability of parents and grandparents to record their voice is another benefit of children’s book apps.
Today, my book is in production and my 8-month old grandson is a work in progress. He’s an inquisitive little fellow who likes to poke, touch and feel, not to mention follow sounds and people’s voices. By the time he turns One he’ll certainly be using his tactile talents and I know he’s app to be all ears when his grandmother shows him how The Sun Goes to Bed on her iPad.
Tami Lehman-Wilzig is an award-winning children’s book author.  Her ninth and tenth books are scheduled to come out on September 1, 2011 – Green Bible Stories for Children and Nathan Blows Out the Hanukkah Candles. The Sun Goes to Bed is Tami’s first children’s book app.