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Grammy Award Winning Artist Alicia Keys Makes Her Children’s Book Debut This August At IDW Publishing! July 30, 2014

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Blue Moon


San Diego, CA (July 28, 2014) – Today, 15-time Grammy® award winning Alicia Keys announced the expansion of her groundbreaking storytelling app Mama Mae & LeeLee into an upcoming children’s book from IDW Publishing. In 2012, Keys debuted her digitally interactive app The Journal of Mama Mae & LeeLee, immersing users in a vibrant and heartfelt tale. The first story from the acclaimed app, Blue Moon: From The Journals Of Mama Mae And LeeLee, will published in book form this August.

The Journals of Mama Mae & LeeLee offers a poignant and interactive experience that revolves around LeeLee, a creative young girl who struggles with moving to a new city. Aided by her grandmother Mama Mae, LeeLee is introduced to tales built around Mama Mae’ four pillars: authenticity, empowerment, self-confidence, and exploration. With these stories opening her eyes to new characters and circumstances, LeeLee learns to recognize her inner potential. Featuring original and exclusive music from Alicia Keys herself, the app provides a truly dynamic experience for child users.

“I love the written word! It’s been an inspiration for me my entire life! And to be a part of The story of Mama Mae and LeeLee means so much to me and is so close to my heart! It’s something that is meant to be shared by all generations,” said Alicia Keys. “What I love about the book is that it keeps the spirit and values we admire about Mama Mae and LeeLee alive, while also introducing them to new characters that bring their own personalities and real life lessons to the magical world. I’m excited to build on the app’s powerful message and evolve this beautiful story in a way that continues to touch the hearts of children, parents and grandparents.”
IDW Publishing’s hardcover adaptation of Blue Moon features beloved characters LeeLee, Mama Mae, and introduces the inspirational story of Abey, a young 17th century Native American girl, whose extraordinary adventures challenge her curiosity and test her courage. Though obstacles stand in her way, Abey finds her way home with a little faith in herself and help from new friends. Written by Alicia Keys, Jessica Walton, Cheryl Abood, and Victoria Racino, this new book is brought to life by the same captivating visuals from Bento Box Interactive.
Fans of Mama Mae and LeeLee and Alicia Keys can download the original app through the iTunes App Store. In addition, an all-new adventure in the newest story Mookey the Tiger, is also available now.
About AK Worldwide
AK Worldwide, Inc. serves as the base of operations for all of Alicia Keys’ endeavors in and out of the entertainment industry. Keys, 15-time Grammy Award Winning singer, songwriter, and producer founded AK Worldwide in 2009 with the mission to invest in the “business of inspiration”. Through the company, Keys nurtures projects she is passionate about from philanthropic initiatives to film, and digital productions. In 2012, AK Worldwide launched the interactive children’s app series, The Journals of Mama Mae & LeeLee in partnership with Bento Box Interactive. Most recently, AK Worldwide produced the Film Independent Spirit Award nominated feature, The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete. About Bento Box Interactive 
Bento Box Interactive (“BBI”) designs, produces and distributes interactive storytelling experiences for multiple platforms, from audio-enhanced interactive storybooks to apps for mobile, tablet, and other digital devices. Titles include The Journals of Mama Mae & Leelee with Alicia Keys, award-winning storytelling app The Paper Fox and 26 episodes of Sweet Pickles, based on the classic series. Bento Box Interactive is the interactive media sibling of the award-winning animation studio, Bento Box Entertainment. For more information, visit www.bentoboxent.com.

Capstone Picture Book Benefits Families Affected by Disasters April 23, 2013

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Link: www.capstonepub.com/aspx/press.aspx?EntityKey=13April23


Capstone’s New Picture Book to Benefit Families Affected by Natural Disasters

Publisher Partners with Save the Children for Emergency Relief


MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – April 23, 2013 – Capstone, a leading publisher of children’s books and digital products and services, is partnering with Save the Children, a leading independent nonprofit organization for children in need, to raise money for the organization’s domestic emergency fund which helps children and families during times of severe crises and natural disasters with food, medical care, and education.


Capstone is making a substantial donation to Save the Children’s domestic emergency fund, from the sale of its wordless picture book, Flood, by Argentinean illustrator Alvaro F. Villa. The critically acclaimed tale follows a family through the emotional experience of surviving and rebuilding in the face of nature’s devastating force.


Flood is an intense look at the effects of natural disaster on a family, but it also carries a simple message of hope and recovery. This book can be used as a powerful tool, especially for families and communities affected by disaster, for beginning a discussion with children about the experience of such a traumatic event,” said Ashley Andersen Zantop, Capstone Group Publisher and General Manager. “Save the Children is an incredible charity, and Capstone is proud to partner with them on this title to support their emergency relief efforts in the U.S.”


Reviewers are praising Flood for the poignant wordless narrative, beautiful illustration and discussion value: “leaves an impression that no child will quickly forget” (Wall Street Journal), “a wordless narrative of epic proportions” (ForeWord Reviews), “gripping story of loss and regeneration” (School Library Journal), and “a useful resource for adults to use with children, especially given the damaging hurricanes in recent years” (Publishers Weekly).


“The children who have recently experienced Hurricane Sandy came immediately to my mind. This is a really smart and non-threatening approach to help children open up about their feelings and fears after a traumatic event. It’s a very therapeutic and healing resource,” said Roxanne Davidson, M.Ed., elementary school counselor in Portland, Ore., and blogger at Books That Heal Kids.


A free reader’s guide offering reading and discussion tips, as well as writing prompts, is available at www.capstoneyoungreaders.com/products/flood.



By Alvaro F. Villa

Publication Date: February 2013 ● Ages 6-8 ● Grades 1-3

32 pages ● Trim 11” x 8 ½”

Trade hardcover: $15.95

ISBN: 978-1-62370-001-0

Available from Capstone Young Readers

Reinforced library binding: $15.95

ISBN: 978-1-4048-8006-1

Available from Capstone


About the Author/Illustrator

Alvaro Fernandez Villa lives in Buenos Aires, Argentina and has a degree in fine arts. He became interested in art as a very young child, and has developed skills in both digital and traditional art forms.


About Save the Children

Save the Children works in nearly 120 countries, including the United States. They give children the best chance to fulfill their potential – a healthy start in life, nutritious food, the opportunity learn and protection from harm. They save children’s lives. Follow them on Twitter and Facebook.


About Capstone

Capstone is a leading publisher of children’s books in nonfiction and fiction, digital products and services and literacy programs. Capstone publishes content in a variety of print and digital formats including board books, picture books, interactive books, apps, audio and databases. Imprints under Capstone include Capstone Young Readers, Capstone Press, Compass Point Books, Heinemann Raintree, Picture Window Books, Stone Arch Books, Capstone Classroom and Maupin House. For more information, visitwww.CapstonePub.com. Connect with them at http://Connect.CapstonePub.com.


Creator of Spider-Man and Avengers heads up new slate of books and games for youngsters February 8, 2013

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From: http://1821comics.com/stan-lees-kids-universe.html


With his all-new Kids Universe entertainment imprint, Stan Lee is looking out for today’s generation — that is, when the comic-book icon’s not engrossed in playing his app game featuring pirates and little fuzzballs.

“The whole games thing was a bad idea to do because we’ve got Stan now not working in his office and playing all day long,” jokes 1821 Comics’ Terry Dougas, who’s partnering with Lee’s POW! Entertainment for Stan Lee Kids Universe.

Launching today, the imprint aims to create family-friendly books, games and characters on a variety of platforms for young children ages 1 to 10.

“There really is no group of books for kids who are very young and have the excitement, the color, the originality that kids are really looking for and will hold and grab them,” says Lee, the longtime Marvel Comics editor and co-creator of Spider-Man, Fantastic Four, X-Men and the Avengers.

Stan Lee’s Kid’s Universe projects will be available starting on Monday, beginning with Dani Jones’ Monsters vs. Kittens. The children’s tome featuring a variety of cute cats and creatures will be available in e-book, hardcover and softcover editions, with a game to follow.

Also, the A Story Before Bed version features Lee himself reading the book that kids can view on their iPads, or mom and dad can record it themselves if they’re away from home and their children want to enjoy it before bedtime, Dougas says. “We try in every way to help parents be closer with their kids.”

Part of the Kids Universe mandate is to support young artists and storytellers from around the world like Jones.

“We want to open the door where if a 10-year-old kid comes up with a great story and sends it to us, we will publish it,” Dougas says.

Lee and Dougas are also trying to hit the Angry Birds crowd with Goobeez: Pirate Adventure, a game for smartphones and tablets available Monday where players swipe their finger back and forth to get little characters to jump off a pirate ship and onto land.

“We’re building cute stuff that we want to give to our kids, and then give it to the rest of the kids,” Dougas says.

That’s been the modus operandi for Lee for decades, he adds. “Even when I was writing comics, I just wrote the kind of comics I would like to read. Now Terry and I are doing the kind of books and games that we would like to read and play. I find that’s a good formula.”

Lee’s already figured out that Goobeez is habit-forming. “There’s also a little humor to it also, like everything we do,” he says, adding that he’s “not as good as I’d like to be. I don’t have enough time to practice, but I swear I’m going to get better.”

If anyone deserves to lose himself in a game, it’s Lee, 90. He’s responsible for some of pop culture’s most indelible superheroes, but doing stuff for kids has also been a hallmark of his long career. Before Thor and Iron Man came along, Lee used to write for Paul Terry cartoons such as Mighty Mouse and Heckle and Jeckle.

“Now it’s almost the same thing,” he says. “It’s just the characters are different and the platforms are different. It all boils down to simple, understandable fun stories for young people.”

Lee aims to stay on top of and utilize new technology as Kids Universe spawns more projects this year and in the future, with new characters like the canine police of The Fuzz Posse and Reggie the Veggie Crocodile as well as books such as Jones’ Once Upon a Time featuring a pig and his animal pals.

Anything that Kids Universes publishes will combine the essential elements of education and entertainment, Lee says.

“Whatever he or she has read or played with, we want that youngster to leave happy and entertained but also perhaps a little bit smarter and a little bit more educated than when they started.”


Book Review – Where’s My Shoggoth September 23, 2012

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If you’re wondering what a Shoggoth is, you’ve never ready any books by H.P. Lovecraft. This new book bu Ian Thomas and Adam Bolton, is about a young boy that’s lost his pet Shoggoth. The story is inspired by the writing of Lovecraft and does it justice. There is also a hint of Suess in the rhyming that takes place through the story.

Despite what it sounds like, this is not really a scary story or horror tale. It pays tribute to elements of Lovecraft while not really touching more then a little on the true meaning of the creatures mentioned. The boys wanders through the night looking for his Shoggoth and meets up with other creatures of the night.

The real gem of this book is the illustations. They are really beautful and creative.
So is it Right for Kids? I would say it is. My 7 daughter says “It’s a good book and I really like the pictures. The monsters are cool. It’s a really, really good book. It’s not scary.”

Graphic Novel – Pearl of Pandaria September 23, 2012

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For those parents and kids that play World of Warcraft, they will no doubt be familiar with the Pandaren, a mysterious race of beings that are loosely based on the Panda Bear. The Pandaren are very much based on Chinese myth and legend. The expansion to World of Warcrat, Mists of Pandaria, is due to be released on Sept 25th. This book ties directly into the game and introduces a few new characters, the Pandaren history and some background.

The story is about Li Li Stormstout, a young student who comes from a line of adventurers who left their homeland long ago to explore the world…and she wants nothing more than to chase that dream. But when Li Li runs away to find her famous uncle Chen, how will she survive? The story meanders through many of the locations that are familiar to players of the Warcraft game or any that read the novels or comics. It is a story of adventure, excitement, with mystery and intrigue tossed in. Li Li is trying to find her unce and sees oblivious to the dangers, instead enjoying the journey. Meanwhile, the guardian that was sent to protect her and bring her home, Bo, is so focused on the possible dangers that he fails to see the beauty around him.

It a well written story and touches on many elements of the game and other media. The art is beautiful and colorful. It captures the various areas of the game world and evokes the feel of being there.

Is it right fr kids? I think it’s great for kids of just about any age that like adventure stories. Older kids will get more out of it and if they have played World of Warcraft, that will be even better for them. Much younger kids, say under 5, won’t get much of the story and there are some parts that would be a little scary.