The World’s First Pod-Books: Multi-Media Adventure In Words, Art & Music

Greg Wachs was inspired by his love of music, and by his daughter Anabelle Rae, to craft a brand new learning and entertainment experience for children and families.

Greg’s unique, first-of-their kind pod-books bring a multi-media experience to story-time that helps stimulate kids’ imaginations and develop reading and listening skills. Funky Dreamer Storytime’s pod-books combine richly illustrated children’s books filled with bright drawings and fun characters with a cloud-based pod-cast featuring word-for-word narration of the book plus captivating original songs and music.

What’s A Pod-Book? It’s A Kid’s Book With A Matching Podcast!

A pod-book is a kid’s book with a matching podcast, and these are the world’s first! Although there are several kids’ podcasts available on iTunes and elsewhere online, none is accompanied by a book. Greg Wachs has created podcasts where the characters narrate the story, matching each book word-for-word. Layered with an all-original soundtrack and memorable lyrics that complement the story’s optimistic message, the combination becomes a truly unique and moving multi-media experience.

“It’s important that storybooks for children not only keep them entertained, but also present a positive, empowering message,” says Greg. “All my books have cool characters who present an upbeat message, and the free matching podcast tells the story in an entertaining way, complete with a funky, original music soundtrack. The podcast and book work together to help children learn to read by listening to the story while following along in the colorful book.”

The pod-book concept expands on earlier books with accompanying audio versions by taking advantage of cloud technology. In the past, some children’s books came with a recorded version – first vinyl records, then cassettes, and eventually compact discs. This first-of-its-kind pod-book series uses the newest technology – there’s no cassette, CD or DVD that can get lost or broken, and no special equipment needed. The free podcasts can be accessed anytime, from anywhere, on any internet-connected device. No special apps are needed to listen via the Funky Dreamer Storytime website, and the podcasts also are available free on iTunes.

“Imagine the possibilities of a physical book with an accompanying cloud-based audio track – a visually impaired parent or grandparent can share the experience at naptime or bedtime by listening to the podcast as the child follows along in the book,” says Greg. ”Numerous studies show that reading aloud to young children provides a model of fluent, expressive reading, helps develop language and listening skills, stimulates their imagination, prepares them to understand the written word, and expands their vocabulary. Plus, it’s just plain fun!”

About The Author & Creator Greg Wachs

Music has been an integral part of Greg Wachs’ life since he was a youngster, so when he began creating children’s books for his own daughter a year ago, adding a musical element was second-nature. Each of Greg’s pod-books envelops readers within its unique world of imagery, story, rhyme, and song, helps young children learn to read as they follow along, and expands kids’ imaginations through an uplifting and empowering storyline.

Greg lives in West Hollywood, California, sharing a home full of imagination, creativity, music and laughter with his wife Shula and daughter Anabelle Rae. Ever since Anabelle was a baby, Greg and Shula have loved reading books to – and then with – her, so Greg decided to write some books of his own, and share them with the world in the form of podcasts for kids. He calls it Funky Dreamer Storytime because the stories are a bit dreamy, and the music is a bit funky. Each story features a brave and resourceful character who works to find solutions on their own – without the help of an adult – thus empowering kid readers, instilling confidence and out-of-the-box thinking.

About the Books

Milkshake Mermaid

A story of empowerment and handling conflict in a constructive way, Milkshake Mermaid chronicles the adventures of Kayla, a young mermaid who loves chocolate milkshakes and wants to make her undersea world a better place. She’s determined to confront the Glugs, bullies who pick fights and trash the neighborhood. With her friends Dava the dolphin and Wiki the whale, she sums up her courage to confront the Glug King. Standing up for herself and her friends, she convinces the Glugs to respect others and their environment, and they all share chocolate milkshakes.

Donut The Dragon

When Kyle’s parachute jump goes wrong, he encounters a flying, rhyming, rapping dragon. He’s bewildered when the dragon offers to save him in exchange for 12 donuts, and the arrival of a gorgeous blue lady dragon mystifies him further. He’s met two dragons while hurtling toward the ground with a parachute that won’t open. Dragons who love donuts? Will he crash to the ground, or is this all just a dream?

Anabelle & The Crumbs

A surprising encounter with bed crumbs that come to life has Anabelle and her family perplexed, but by opening up an honest dialogue, they learn to live together in harmony – literally: the crumbs and Anabelle form a singing group and win a trophy in the school talent contest! The fun illustrations and entertaining story convey the message that it’s possible to find common ground and friendship when you listen and respect one another’s points of view; everybody’s different, but we’re still the same.

 

 

What Do Giraffes Eat? / ʕQue Comén Las Jirafas?

What Do Giraffes Eat? – available in Spanish under the directly translated title ʕQue Comén Las Jirafas? –  is an early reading and counting book for children ages 1 to 3 filled with illustrations of kids, parents, colorful animals and the foods they eat. Children are encouraged to sound out the words – giraffes, monkeys, rabbits, eagles, and more – count the animals and learn about the foods they eat, like leaves, bananas, carrots and fish. This is Wachs’ first book for younger children, and features illustrations by artists Rituparna and Pratyush Chatterjee, a talented husband-and-wife team from India.

Cute Kitty In The Big Pizza City

For children ages 5 to 10 and written in clever rhyme, Cute Kitty In The Big Pizza City is the story of a little yellow kitty and a superhero tomcat who battle a wicked witch and make a city-sized pizza. The witch turns up the heat and casts a spell to make cheese fall from the sky, but Cute Kitty and her boyfriend Danny win the day when they add tomato sauce, sausage and mushrooms and invite all the cats in town to share a giant pizza.  Wachs tapped Romanian illustrator Andrei Petrea to create the colorful, intricate geometric designs of the city, and bring life to the friendly animal characters and the dastardly snaggletooth witch. A matching pocdcast is coming soon.

About The Artists

Evid Day

Milkshake Mermaid is filled with original, colorful illustrations by Russian artist Evid Day. Created through a unique method of pouring watercolor paint onto paper, then manipulating the images with computer software, the deep blues of the water complement the colorful seascapes and characters, including Kayla the Mermaid, her father and mother, her friends Dava the Dolphin and Wiki the Whale, and an imaginary group of confrontational sea creatures called Glugs.

Evid is a self-taught freelance artist who began creating graffiti at the age of 14. Today he has evolved into a digital artist, obsessed with vector illustration and graphic design. Inspired by Avantgarde art and Futurism, Evid makes his home in Dubna, Russia, where he also enjoys reading books and exploring cinematography.

Eugene Blissful

The original watercolor illustrations for Donut The Dragon were created by Eugene Blissful. Eugene’s art brings to life our hero Kyle, his friend, Jason, oodles of donuts, bright landscapes, and two magnificent flying dragons: the coal-black Dragor – whose nickname is “Donut” because of his insatiable love of the tasty pastries – and a gorgeous sky-blue lady dragon.

Eugene is a freelance artist with many interests who lives in St. Petersburg, Russia, and Milan, Italy. He has studied art at the St. Petersburg State University and currently is a student at the St. Petersburg Institute of Theology and Philosophy. He enjoys traveling, playing his viola de gamba, and reading books on history and cultural studies.

Rituparna & Pratyush Chatterjee

Anabelle & The Crumbs is illustrated by Indian artists Rituparna and Pratyush Chatterjee, a talented husband-and-wife team. Characters include Anabelle, her father, the family dog Mac, the bright, flaming Crumbs, plus colorful outdoor and indoor landscapes.

The Chatterjees also created the illustrations for What Do Giraffes Eat? and its Spanish edition, ʕQue Comén Las Jirafas?  This volume is an early reading and counting book for children ages 1 to 3 filled with illustrations of kids, parents, colorful animals and the foods they eat.

The Chatterjees have created a niche as illustrators and cartoonists in the world of arts and entertainment. They both have commercial art degrees and are well known for their expertise in print publications and digital media. The couple makes their home in India with their 4-year-old daughter.

Andrei Petrea

The colorful, intricate geometric designs of the city, the friendly animal characters and the dastardly snaggletooth witch that bring Cute Kitty In The Big Pizza City to life were created by Andrei Petrea. Andre started drawing when he was a kid and never looked back. His style was influenced by many of his favorite artists and is both complex and playful. Andrei lives in Romania where he works as a graphic artist and loves the traditional Romanian cornmeal dish “Mamaliga.”

Recent Media Coverage

“Funky Dreamer Storytime Expands Into Latino Children’s Book Market with Two Titles Just Released in Spanish, Available Now on Amazon and Barnes & Noble”

https://www.pr.com/press-release/750023

“Funky Dreamer Storytime Enters Latino Children’s Book Market with Two New Spanish Editions”

https://www.prlog.org/12698139-funky-dreamer-storytime-enters-latino-childrens-book-market-with-two-new-spanish-editions.html