By David Outten
Who would expect Hollywood to be the location for a company out to create Conservative children’s books for the iPad and the iPhone. A year ago a group of Hollywood writers, producers and actors did just that forming Cherry Tree Books, named after the story of George Washington’s youth that was once so popular.
Co-Founder Daniel Kessler writes, “We’ve been working on our stories for over a year. Using the same model we use to write television shows, we brainstorm fun and entertaining characters and develop plots as a group. Once these stories are completed, we share them with kids, our harshest critics, whose input helps us revise them again and again. These books reflect our values, our morals and the stories we grew up hearing.”
He continues, “Cherry Tree intends to revolutionize not only the type and tone of children’s stories, but also how children read those stories. All of our books are available on the free Cherry Tree iPad and iPhone app because we believe that American families shouldn’t be left behind by technology. Today’s kids want fun, interactive, digital content, and today’s parents want stories with traditional messages—Cherry Tree combines the two.”
This move comes early in the shift from paper to digital. As someone with young grandchildren often in my home, it is obvious today’s toddlers take to the iPad, iPods and iPhones with more excitement than they do books. Our shelves full of children’s books go untouched while three grandchildren under four years old fight over the opportunity to use an iPad.
While it’s good that children have access to Conservative material it should be noted that some studies indicate that a small percentage of children are adversely impacted by images that require constant screen refreshment (television, computers, iPads, etc.). It should also be noted Movieguide® has yet to review these books.
My 84-year-old mother in law and my 28-year-old daughter still buy and read books voraciously. I read the Bible every morning on my computer. I see it more clearly and have very convenient search tools. Books are a precious resource and I own many, but I spend far more time with digital text than ink on paper.
Apple recently announced free software for designing amazing digital textbooks. The presentation of the possibilities is stunning and certainly worth a look here.
In ten years book stores may go the way of record stores and a lot fewer trees will become paper. The trees used for newsprint have already greatly diminished. Mankind will continue to find use for trees. But the digital age is causing shifts in many industries. You can fear the change or embrace it. Cherry Tree Books is embracing the digital opportunity to provide Conservative parents books they can feel good about reading with their children.