Thursday, May 9, 2013

Our First Interactive Children's Book Author Visit From Eli Hooper Inspires Our First Graders With The Digital Books They Are Creating!

Today I was so excited to bring my awesome friend Eli Hooper into our library to meet Mrs. Bertman's first graders.  

There was something a little difference about this Skype visit. 

Eli is the very first interactive children's book author that we have had visit our library at Van Meter!  He is an indie art creator and author of the interactive children's book Where Is My Little Square Bear? and his new interactive book The Silly Whets In Look Here! 

When Eli shared his new book with me yesterday I was so excited and couldn't wait to get it on my iPad.  I also couldn't wait to share it with the little people in the library.  

And Eli's visit would be a perfect fit for our first graders as they are working on writing and creating their very own digital books with TuxPaint and Camtasia Relay (You can read about our project on the post Van Meter 1st Grade Writers and Illustrators...Turning Them From Paper To Digital!)
Eli was Skyping with us from California and he had a very special little guest with him too....His first grade daughter.  She is special to the eBook because it is her voice that we hear in the app.  
The first graders loved meeting and seeing them read the interactive eBook from Eli's iPad.  
The pages of The Silly Whets in Look Here! are so adorable and fun.  Within the book about the little Silly Whets (Get it!!?!? Silhouettes? I loved it when Eli told us how he got the title for the book.) the reader can touch the eyeballs of the characters to control a lot of what is happening within the pages.
One can also do a little creating within the book which is the part that I find so fascinating and encouraging to our youngest readers. 
When we finished the Skype, I tweeted Eli a picture and a message on how much we loved his visit.  He tweeted back and told the first graders they were "The BEST artists I know!"

And coming from an author and illustrator....This will mean the world to these little ones.
The last part of the first graders time in the library today they got with their partner and worked on their TuxPaint stories.  Our friend and teacher librarian Andy Plemmons, kindergarten teacher Kelly Hocking and their kindergarten students in Georgia taught us how to use TuxPaint a few weeks ago.  

Now our little ones are very good at drawing and writing their pages too.  Next week they will finish their digital eBooks on TuxPaint and then we will use Camtasia Relay to capture the screen and their voices.  Once they are recorded we will upload their eBooks into Van Meter's EduVision.  
Today after school at our "Technical Difficulties Library Club", two of our first graders wanted to create a little tutorial for using TuxPaint just like Andy and Kelly's students did.  These two used Camtasia Relay and EduVision for this project too.

They did such a great showing all of us how to use TuxPaint.  We will now share this along with other tutorials on our "Technical Difficulties Library Club....Lets Show You How" Edcanvas.  This will be a place that other students, teachers, parents, and others can learn from our students at Van Meter.  They will also be able to teach others around the world too.

Thank you Eli for visiting Van Meter today!  You inspired us and brought a lot of smiles to many faces today.  We look forward to sharing their stories with you in a few weeks too.


  1. Replies
    1. Thank you Bill....And thank you for creating such an awesome tool for the kids to use too. :)

  2. honored you guys! Your excitement made us feel like a million dollars! I was asked at a recent school reading "what's your favorite part of making children's ebooks?" (asked by a sweet kindergartner) ...and I told him "seeing kids like you enjoy it!" And I meant that! The BEST part for sure.

    It really lifts my own kids up as well. They feel like they have done something great (which they have) but especially doing that for others. You have helped them become even better people. Thank you so much! Love you all and can't wait to read for you again!!

    Eli, Canaan, Kaya and the Hooper family