Thursday, May 31, 2012

Second Bookshelf on the Right: Review: Luca Lashes The Brown Eyed Boy With the Ma...

Second Bookshelf on the Right: Review: Luca Lashes The Brown Eyed Boy With the Ma...: SUMMARY FROM NETGALLEY.COM: Discover the world with Luca Lashes! Read and interact with a children's story in four languages. Please ...

posted by Luca Lashes @ 9:23 PM  

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

What kind of music does your child like?

 The subject of music in a child’s life sometimes becomes a little secondary. Most parents use music as a stress reliever for children, singing lullabies to help them sleep, distracting children in a car or using rhyming songs to stimulate behavior in a positive direction. But what are some of the positive effects that music has on child as they develop?

 1. Calm yourself and your child!

Music tends to have a soothing effect on children, not to mention adults. Music has been shown to activate the relaxation effect in the brain, and also helps to stimulate creativity and promote optimism.  Try listening to calm music while breastfeeding your child! My wife had a special breastfeeding playlist that aided in let down.

2. Use music to set the mood!

Because music can help and sustain a positive mood, it can be very helpful to use music during different times to get your child in the mood you want them in. Playing classical music, smooth jazz, or nature sounds during mealtimes can help set the mood and aid digestion. Pop music with a driving beat can keep kids moving during clean up time. Play melodic rhyming children’s music during playtimes to keep your children bouncing and upbeat!

Research has shown that getting instruments and learning how to use them as young as possible develop math skills faster as they progress through skill. There is also statistically significant data that shows that children with the knowledge of musical instruments perform better on standardized tests, as they get older too. Beyond the measurable statistics, which show such a positive effect on learning how to play an instrument, it is also worthwhile for children to learn an instrument because the music appreciation and the discipline necessary to practice are also worthwhile skills to develop in children.

Creating a love affair with music for your children can be a difficult thing. Because music sometimes becomes so repetitive and silly, especially children’s music, children often get bored with music and start tuning it out. It is important for parents to not just play and sing the same old children’s music and rhymes, but to vary the music to find what your children truly enjoy. Developing appreciation for all forms of music helps a child acclimate to difficult situations easier, and helps a child appreciate and value differences.

Exercise is an important part of child development, and recognizing music’s positive effect on exercise is also important. Music has rhythm and melody, two aspects that make children want to dance and play! Promoting positive mental and physical health through the use of music is an attainable goal for any parent!

These are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the positive effects of music on a child’s development. Parental strategists have always consistently come down in favor of music education and instrument playing as positive methods of getting your children to be successful at whatever the want to do.

Happy Parenting!


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posted by Luca Lashes @ 1:31 PM   0 Comments

Friday, May 25, 2012

Why is organic/natural food healthier for infants?

 For the past several years, there has been a movement growing to get us, and our children, eating more natural and organic foods. Documentary films and books on our eating habits and what they are doing to the human race have been proliferating. Here are a number of reasons why choosing certified organic and natural food is the healthier choice for our kids:

1. There are no pesticides in certified organic and natural foods!

The use of pesticides, while it is caused great increases in the amount of crops produced by farms, has had some pretty serious side effects on humans if fruits and vegetables are not washed clean. In children, the consequences are quite severe, as pesticides actually block the ability to absorb nutrients from food, which can cause damage during a child’s developmental stages.

2. Try making your own baby food!

Making, storing and freezing your own baby food from certified organic and natural ingredients can be a great option for a lot of parents. There are scores of cookbooks for this practice on the market! Making your own infant super-food can give children a much high concentration of the nutrients necessary for healthy physical development. Plus, it is cheaper to buy the ingredients and make the food than buying certified organic from stores, which can get really expensive.

 3. Get them eating right quickly!

Children should start eating as healthy of a diet as a parent can provide as soon as possible in life. Healthy habits that are developed early and put in practice at a young age have a much better chance of continuing into adulthood. With the growing obesity epidemic, children with healthy habits will not fall prey as easily to becoming obese.

4. Taste buds develop differently!

There is research that shows children’s taste buds develop differently when eating and exposed to certain foods and spices. They grow up having a more accepting habit of trying new things, rather than having to eat the same thing every meal. Going back to the earlier point of introducing natural foods into a child’s diet early in life, this can be quite important. If taste buds can be made to acclimate more towards healthier foods, children’s taste buds can develop an affinity for these foods that should last into adulthood. The nuance of food will only become more interesting, and the child should (again) keep these healthy choices throughout their lifetime.

It is important to note that when buying organic food in grocery stores, remember to look for the complete word “certified organic”, as this denotes actual organic food free of additives and pesticides. “Organic” alone is not enough!

Good luck and Happy Parenting! ~ Nicole

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posted by Luca Lashes @ 7:00 AM   0 Comments

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

What is the deal with Attachment Parenting?

 Attachment parenting has recently been getting a lot of scrutiny in the media, both in a positive and negative light. The central tenet of the attachment-parenting model is to develop a strong and positive bond between child and mother. This can mean a variety of things, and frankly, is the reason for all of the debate. The Dr. Sears model, which is articulated in the media, involves feeding with love and respect, always being sensitive to a child’s needs, using only positive discipline, and always using a nurturing touch. Parents have interpreted these central tenets in interesting ways, including natural childbirth, home birth, co-sleeping breast-feeding past 2 years old, and not circumcising male children at birth.

The main thing I would want to note is that this model, which is constantly debated in the media and in parenting circles, has truly affected the way children are raised in America. It is a natural outgrowth of the Dr. Spock method popular in the 1960’s, which involved teaching parents to see their children as individuals, and to not apply a “one-size fits all philosophy”. This concept has led to ideas such as the self-esteem movement, which is based on the idea to help children develop confidence and strong sense of self as early as possible in order to better handle the nuances of life as one progresses in age.

Basically, all of these ideas and theories deal with taking a more active role in parenting your children. Whatever your opinion on the matter, this can only be a good thing. Most parents you talk to these days use some form of attachment parenting, myself included, especially with regards to discipline. There is some fear that the attachment model may create adults who are not self-sufficient, but there is no data one way or another that shows this happening. Traditional models of parenting, which involve a lot of discipline and strict rules, do not always produce self-sufficient and empathic children either.

For me, what all this means is that the true “parent” in this day and age needs to create a strong bond with their child based on something positive, but still take enough of a backseat to let them discover the world on their own and at their own pace. I personally feel that attachment parenting’s good qualities far outweigh some of the negative stereotypes the media has criticized it for. Corporal punishment doesn’t work any better than positive talking to get children to follow rules. Eating healthy, natural food and respecting what you eat is a good quality that can establish healthy patterns for a lifetime. In the end, though, Dr. Sears’ attachment parenting is based on establishing a balance, so that the child understands that they are vital, important people, but they are also part of a family in which each member is important.

As far as parental goals, I think most parents hope to raise loving, self-sufficient children who are confident, goal-oriented, and happy. The ways to get there differ from parent to parent, and it takes a variety of factors. Like most things in life, no one has all the answers, and it is important for parents to take bits and pieces from a variety of styles and incorporate what’s best and appropriate to their lives.

Happy Parenting!


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posted by Luca Lashes @ 7:00 AM   0 Comments

Monday, May 21, 2012

New Issues in Parenting: Breastfeeding?

With a provocative recent cover story, Time Magazine has once again opened up a debate with a long history. New parents are constantly being questioned as to which method they will subscribe to, and the choice is always difficult to make. While there are lifestyle choices to consider, especially in light of the fact that many families have two parents that work and breastfeeding may not fit in the schedule, it is vital to remember that breast milk is the healthiest choice.

Let’s start with our personal experience. We decided to breastfed our son from birth to 11 months, after which he seemed to wean himself off of breast-milk and started eating real food. We made the choice because I was at home with our son, and because of the difficult pregnancy and a strong desire to give our son a healthy start in life. We had infant formula, given to us by the hospital as an option, waiting if there were any problems with breastfeeding, but we were lucky enough where our son always drank breast milk. When my husband was alone with him, he had pre-pumped frozen breast milk to work with, and we kept the freezer stocked. It was a difficult task, but in the end was the right choice for us.

We did, however, not get much support in our decision to breastfeed. At the hospital after Lucas was born, he was having trouble latching on to feed properly. While the lactation specialist came in to help, the other nurses encouraged us to not breastfeed and told us the bottle-feeding was much easier. Our own mother kept telling us what a chore the breastfeeding was turning into. She had never breastfed herself, and said I was always tied down. At family parties, we had to go to a separate room and breastfeed Lucas alone and removed from the party itself. Keep in mind, some of these get-togethers were only 2 hours long, and breastfeeding can take 45 minutes. There is, simply put, not a lot of support out there for mothers who are actually making the healthier choice by choosing to breastfeed instead of formula-feed.

It pays to look at the health benefits of breastfeeding. The Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children are breastfed for a minimum of six months, with a year being the optimal time period to try to get through. Children raised on breast milk have lower risk of sudden infant death syndrome, they develop fewer cases of diarrhea and earaches, and they fend off infections better because of the natural immunities that breastfeeding provides.  These children that are breastfed also are less likely to develop asthma and are far less likely to become fat later in childhood. Health benefits exist for the mother too, as moms decrease their risk for developing breast or ovarian cancer by breastfeeding.

So at the end of it, while it is a personal choice for every mother, people should remember that to make the choice of breast milk is to make the most natural and the most healthy choice. As parents, we are constantly on the look out for what is the healthiest food and beverage choice for our children, as they get older. There is even a current push in school cafeterias for healthier food choices for kids. Getting our children started in life with the healthiest food choice, breast milk can only help children become healthy adults. Maybe it could even help our obesity problem, who knows? The best part about the choice of breast milk is that it is FREE, where as one 23-ounce container of formula costs, on average, $23. I didn’t use formula, but this makes me wonder how long does a supply of formula last?

Happy Parenting!


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posted by Luca Lashes @ 7:00 AM   0 Comments

Friday, May 18, 2012

Visiting a Loved One in the Hospital

We all have had that moment where a loved one is in the hospital for a procedure, however minor, and they need to spend some time there for healing. Well, what does one do when one has a child? What do you tell your child before the event occurs, or during, or after? How much does the child need to know? Should that child come to visit?

In our opinion, depending on the age of the child, honesty is typically the best policy. Telling a child that something serious enough for a hospital visit is nothing to worry about is not going to solve anything. In fact, the child may even figure something out and get even more worried that the truth is not being told.

If your child is old enough to have a conversation, it is now important to start answering any questions that the child may have before the parent goes to the hospital. If the hospital visit will take multiple days, let the child know. Tell the child where the pain is, and what they can expect if they come to visit. Just because Mommy has wires attached to her does not mean that she isn’t getting better soon! Answer all questions as honestly as possible and be prepared to calm your child.

In the occurrence of a hospital visit, you need to prepare your child for the visit by letting them know the sights, sounds and smells of the hospital. Let them know about nurses, doctors, wires, potential roommates, and above all, remind them that Mommy or Daddy came to fix a problem. A child can relate to something broken needing fixing.

Activities to prepare for the visit are also helpful. Having the child prepare a card, or do some other craft can give the child something to do so that the event is not so traumatic, and can lift the spirits of the parent in the hospital. It also makes the child feel they are doing something to help. Buying flowers and having the child bring them can teach valuable lessons, plus, who does not love flowers? Be aware that the ICU does not allow flowers and should be avoided for anyone with allergies or sensitive to smells.

Many hospitals now offer counselors to help parents deal with a child’s first hospital visit to see a sick parent, and these counseling services should be utilized if you can. Any small bit of information that can help to assuage potential fears and pitfalls for your child and yourself can help you get through a traumatic situation in a far easier way.

Good luck and Happy Parenting!


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posted by Luca Lashes @ 7:00 AM   0 Comments

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

EBooks and Book Apps – The Environmentally Friendly Choice

 In light of Earth Day happening recently and looking forward to a paradigm shift in literature, we wanted to look at the implications for the environment. As parents and as writers and developers, we have a unique perspective on this issue. Looking at why we decided to write and publish our ideas for “Luca Lashes” electronically instead of pursuing the more traditional children’s book route, it is safe to say that we took the issue of paper books quite seriously.

Obviously many factors influenced our decision to stay electronic and not have physical paper inventory. But think of the implication of this large amount of paper and energy that would need to be expended to produce even 1,000 copies of our first book!  With our first book having 12 pages, which would have made 12,000 pieces of paper for distribution. Then think of all the cardboard boxes used to box up individual orders? Using the car to drive to children’s bookstores throughout the state of Illinois just for a chance of getting the store to carry our book? How would our foreign language titles be distributed and how much more energy would that take?

Just the thought of all of this energy being expended for a hard copy our book seems silly. We are typically very traditional in nature, but when we formulated the concept for our book series, this was a serious issue for us. The way we looked at it was, if we write these books, what is going to be the best way to distribute them. The more we thought and researched, the more efficient, cost-effective, and energy-saving way was eBooks.

The best thing for us was not having to stock physical inventory. If we have several thousand people paying for eBooks and apps, we don’t have keep thousands of books to ship out, we just have to make sure that our data is in a safe place that people can access and download.

In a world where we need to conserve as many natural resources as possible, it only seems the more responsible method of content delivery to see the paradigm completely shift from mass-producing paper products to electronic data transfer. It is said that every one can play a part, well, for those who do have the inclination to help the environment, you should definitely consider expanding your eBook library. Save the planet and read all the books you possibly can online! Don’t we have enough stuff being “stored” in factories, storage units, and eventually, garbage fills?

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posted by Luca Lashes @ 11:48 AM  

Monday, May 14, 2012

Multilingualism and Child Development

We determined early on that we wanted to produce our children’s book idea in multiple languages for simple reasons, one of which is the fact that my husband grew up speaking three languages! Another was the fact that children do just get so much more out of life being able to speak another language. The world becomes so much more interesting when you are being raised with the ability to see the world in multiple ways (multiple languages)! It used to be that experts believed that only one language should be introduced to babies and toddlers, and that introducing more than one language could cause “language confusion.” Today’s experts are starting to see this a little differently, as research is continually showing that children are far more intellectually capable than previously thought. Researchers at the University of Washington are showing that toddlers just starting to speak and being given exposure to two languages show greater perceptual development than toddlers raised in a mono-linguistic environment, meaning they are more astute at perceiving changes. Research done in British Columbia has found that babies and toddlers introduced to different languages at early stages are able to discern differences in language as young as 4 months. Still more research out of the University of Toronto has shown that bilingual children are developing crucial critical thinking skills far more rapidly than children who are only speaking one language. There have even been studies that show an expanded average life span! Now, obviously, this type of bilingualism is far easier for parents to expose their children to if one of the parents (or both) speaks another language. But it is not impossible for parents to expose their children to different languages even if they don’t speak multiple languages. For those parents that can afford to pay for lessons, there are schools all over the country with toddler and preschool classes in different languages. If you use a caregiver or daycare, you could find someone that speaks a foreign language. In other cases, simple exposure to different languages is highly recommended by almost all the research in this field. Hearing that there are different languages can help all children see that there is more than one way to see the world, which can mean that there is more than one way to understand any problem. The good news is that the more parents you talk to these days, the more often you hear the they either have their kids trying to learn another language or they wish they could do more to expose their kids to different languages or cultural experiences. This is a far different attitude than what existed prior, where immigrant parents did not even teach their children their native language and only conversed with their children in English in order to ensure acclimation to the environment around them. Our hope is that parents try to expose their children to as much as can be considered safe, and to help them experience the world with all of the joy and wonder that it can have, and knowing more than one language can only help spread this joy and wonder! ~ Nicole

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posted by Luca Lashes @ 1:18 PM   1 Comments

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Inspired by Savannah: Guest Post: Helpful Parenting Tips For New Experiences by Nicole and Damir Fonovich

Inspired by Savannah: Guest Post: Helpful Parenting Tips For New Experiences by Nicole and Damir Fonovich

posted by Luca Lashes @ 12:44 PM  

Friday, May 11, 2012

Your Child’s First Haircut

Children’s hair can be a very important subject for a lot of parents. In fact, between hairstyles and how fast kid’s hair actually starts coming in, the age at which children’s hair gets cut can vary from age 1 to age 4! In our case, Lucas started getting longer hair in the back and it was starting to get hard to manage by his first birthday. We were really lucky that Lucas seemed to get a kick out of getting his haircut and seeing his first locks fall to the ground, as it is easy to see how a hair salon can be an intimidating place for a child. Different lighting, a new person trying to do something new to them, clippers, scissors, blow-dryers, etc. At least we had a boy! We can’t imagine how much more difficult it is with a little girl, who (sadly) is going to be a judged more harshly because most parents want little girls to have long hair. Being obsessive parents with a need to know, we researched what best to do to help kids get ready for their first haircut. If you are not going to cut your own children’s hair yourself (something a lot of parents do), find a hair salon that caters to children. After looking at all the advice you’ll get from magazines, websites, other parents…this is the most important thing to consider. The chances of finding a competent hair stylist that knows how to cut children’s hair without freaking them out are going to be exponentially greater than the average local $8 hair salon! Also, these types of hair salons typically have a room designated for children’s haircuts with fun, kid-friendly chairs and waiting rooms with toys. The toys can be a real lifesaver while you wait! You can also make an appointment and avoid this potential hazard all together. We do think that getting there early is helpful since it might help reduce anxiety before the appointment. As with most new, “firsts”, for children, the earlier you do this, the easier it gets. If your child needs a haircut before age 1, and they have a good experience at the hair salon, think of how much fear you have eliminated for all future haircuts. Look for “Luca Lashes and his First Haircut” as an app and an eBook, coming soon! For parents, we also have a list of suggestions at the end of the book that go hand in hand with getting your child through their first haircut! Happy Parenting! Nicole


posted by Luca Lashes @ 9:39 AM   0 Comments

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Dental Hygiene

My wife and I have been very tooth-conscious with our son, Lucas, since he was born. We both place a high value on oral hygiene in our own lives, and it came naturally to use gummy brushes and water and start cleaning his teeth from infancy forward.  We also researched the Internet regularly to get some idea as to how to develop good, healthy lifelong habits. Finding out that so many toddlers are growing up with poor dental habits and even having to have root canals before all permanent teeth even come in reinforced our beliefs and got us to take Lucas to a pediatric dentist as soon as he had enough teeth come in! Two of first three stories deal with this topic because of how vital oral hygiene is to overall health.

One issue I am having with this entire topic is that I feel very alone in my family’s commitment to positive oral hygiene. Have you ever tried talking to other parents about brushing their toddler’s teeth? So many parents respond with the thought that toddler teeth are not real teeth, and thus do not need as much attention as their permanent teeth. It can get very frustrating. But if this world has taught us anything, it is that our children need as many good examples and practice with good behavior as possible. Establishing healthy habits as a toddler should carry on healthy habits for a lifetime.

All parents should experiment with this and ask other parents what they do about their baby’s teeth. How many parents brush teeth as soon as they break through the gum line? How many parents take toddlers to a pediatric dentist?  Ask what age they brought their child to the dentist for the first time?
~ Damir


posted by Luca Lashes @ 10:45 AM   0 Comments

Monday, May 7, 2012

Parenting Styles and Fads

After all of the controversy over parenting styles with the Tiger Mom techniques popularized last year, 2011’s overbearing parent trend has been replaced with a far more laissez faire approach to parenting in 2012; the French way.  Pamela Druckerman’s “Bringing up Bebe: One American Mother discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting,” is the book at the center of this new look at parenting.

The book alleges that French children are raised in a more disciplined environment, where a number of personal freedoms are allowed for toddlers within trusted structure. French parents speak more authoritatively and appear more “in charge”, despite a lack of severe punishment. From the author’s perspective, French children appear more self-assured, less picky, and far calmer than their American counterparts. The French children observed by the author had seemed to internalize the concept of “patience”, whereas the American children were generalized as being far more independent and almost seemed to be in charge of the parents.

As the child of immigrant parents who did not acclimate to American society and constantly defended their more European style of parenting, I feel a unique association with this concept. My parents never understood where all the other children in my school were constantly going. It seemed like my classmates and friends always had events, team sports, Cub Scouts, etc. I was usually at home at night, finishing homework, reading a book, and going to sleep. My parents did not (and still don’t) understand this need all the other parents had to make their children the center of their universe. My parents were wonderful people who were definitely used to trusting the systems that were put in place in Eastern Europe to manage children both at school and through extracurricular activities. 

I believe this is what this “French Parenting” trend is truly about. In Europe, as in a lot of the developed world, parents trust the institutions that have been put in place and have followed a tried and tested approach to parenting and education. In America, for whatever reason, it seems that there is a lack of faith in institutions put in place for this reason, and therefore parents take on more of the burden of entertaining and educating their children outside of a school setting.

With the media attention being paid to this new “trend” in parenting, I feel something is being lost in this attention. Is there actually anything wrong with “American” parenting? If so, what is wrong and why do these passing trends always have American parents believing that there is something they should be doing different?

posted by Luca Lashes @ 1:00 PM  

Friday, May 4, 2012

E-Books vs. Traditional Books

The current climate in the world of publishing is creating a line in the sand in between the technology and independence offered by eBooks and apps versus the tried and true rules that apply to creating, marketing and publishing hard and soft cover books. As a writer, producer, and publisher of eBooks and apps, I have found myself drawn to both sides of the argument in different ways.  

From my perspective, it is important to not see competition between these two paradigms, but to accept the fact that the Internet has changed everything about how humans communicate with each other. In this new world, it is content that rules, not the method of delivery of that content. A good book is a good book, regardless of how you choose to read it. If you are a more visual and active learner, an enhanced eBook or app can open you up to new ways of understanding content, while the traditional book format can still help those with more linear modes of thinking.  One is not better than the other, although it is important to note that eBooks and apps, although costly to develop, do not require much effort to publish and distribute, and are typically far less expensive than the written word.

One aspect of this argument that cannot be overlooked is that all of this content is an additional tool to help our children compete in a global economy. EBooks and apps can help children gain faster access to information, and offer new and interesting ways to help children grasp this content in a meaningful way. In a future world where information is constantly at one’s fingertips, the faster that a child accesses information, the easier it will be for them to remain competitive globally. If a teacher or parent chooses to focus too highly on the printed word, those students are not being served in the most efficient way, and the reverse is also true.

In truth, I do see the value in the traditional book, and feel that it needs to remain available as an option to all. Children’s books, in particular, will always be a value in a child’s hands. The look on my son’s face as he reads through some of his favorite books is priceless, and sometimes cannot be recreated on a screen. However, these same books take on entirely new dimension in graphic form, whereas the artwork can come to life and interact with the children in meaningful ways. It is amazing to see that interplay at work, as children can gain vital reading skills from a traditional book, and yet can learn and interact in such different and creative ways with that same book as an app on a Tablet. 

posted by Luca Lashes @ 9:12 AM  

Thursday, May 3, 2012

How to Download eBooks, Apps, etc.

After doing some informal research, we have learned that a majority of people do not fully understand how to download eBooks or apps onto the numerous devices that are capable of these downloads. So, just for an easy primer, we will give some free advice on the most popular devices. In general, a direct connection to the Internet or WiFi is preferred, as 3G and 4G networks don’t work as fast and may have more blips. Also, wherever you get your content from (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple, Android), you will have to have an account with that content provider set up and a credit card on file to make purchases (even if the eBooks or apps are free). Make sure to write your username and password down, as not knowing one of these is a common problem. From there, each major content provider is the source for the things you want to find.

On an Amazon Kindle or Kindle Fire, the easiest way to find what you are looking for is to search for the app or eBook by title. Once you find what the eBook you want to purchase, you click on purchase and the title should start downloading onto your device. The eBook should appear in your library and you can start reading your content. With the Kindle Fire and apps specifically, you would have to search for the type of app you want to download in the Amazon App Store. Once you find the app, click on it and then click the “Install” button. This will download the content onto your device. After the app is installed, an icon will open in your background that you can click to start enjoying the app you just purchased!

The Barnes & Noble Nook product line is very similar to Amazon. After you have your account set up and payment information all lined up, eBooks can be found with a simple search, and that title downloaded with one click of the “Download button.” Apps are found in the Nook App Store (only for NookColor and NookTablet), and are just as easy to search for. Once you find the app you want, simply download it, which will install the app on your screen background. Once this done, click on the app and enjoy your new content.

The Google Play, or Android Marketplace, is just an App Store and only has apps in its menus. The download process here is the same as described for the Kindle Fire and the NookTablet, and is very user friendly.

Apps on the wide range of product lines from Apple are also just as simple. Whether you have an iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad, you have the App Store as an app on these devices, which gives you the ability to search for and install your content. Where the Apple products differ is eBooks. To find eBooks on Apple devices, you first have to download the iBookstore as an app, and from there you can begin searching the available library for eBooks to download to your device. All of your eBook reading would be done in this app, so to read your eBooks, you have to open the iBookstore app first and then look at your eBook library.

There are other ways to download eBooks other than through devices, namely, finding the content online and then sideloading this content onto your device manually. Those who are more technologically proficient tend to use this method because there are a variety of websites on the Internet that offer eBook content that may not be necessarily available on the other major content providers.  Here is where it gets to be important to watch out for what kind of files you are downloading. For eBooks, in general, every device other than the Kindle can read what is known as the .epub format, whereas Kindle books are proprietary to Amazon itself and can only be found at or on the device itself. You use your computer to download files into a folder, which you then have to synch to your device using a USB connection.

Apps are different, in so far as there are no off-market providers of app content that even the technologically proficient could benefit from. To manually side-load apps to Apple devices, you have to have the iTunes program downloaded onto your computer. After setting up an account with them, you can find the App Store in iTunes and purchase whatever apps you want and they will save in your iTunes folders. Make sure to save your password for future use. The next time you connect your Apple device to your computer to synch the data between the device and the computer, any apps, eBooks, movies, etc, would be saved to your device automatically without having to re-download any content to your device.  Again, you could do the same with Amazon App Store, Nook App Store, or Google Play App Store.

These are just some basic guidelines for downloading eBooks and apps, and hopefully this information can help resolve some of the confusion. Happy downloading and don’t forget to download our Luca Lashes apps and eBooks!

posted by Luca Lashes @ 10:39 AM  

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Luca Lashes Turns 1 Tomorrow!

It's hard to believe that a year has passed since we began our venture into the world of online children’s literature. We've come a long way! After a long period of writing, editing and research, we officially began selling our apps and eBooks in December of 2011. Since then, we have sold over 400 eBooks and apps in over 30 countries. Our YouTube channel has reached over 5000 unique views, we have over 2,000 “Likes” on Facebook, and have more than 400 Twitter followers!  Our third book went on sale on March 27, 2012, and we are looking forward to our fourth book, “Luca Lashes and his First Haircut,” coming soon!

Tomorrow, May 3rd, Luca Lashes will have a  "Friends &Family Day." Celebrate the 1-year anniversary with a free app, “Luca Lashes, the Brown-Eyed Boy with Magic Eyelashes" and share your feedback with a review.

Here's how:

1. On Thursday, May 3rd, simply download the free “Luca Lashes, the Brown-Eyed Boy with Magig Eyelashes” app (available on Amazon, iTunes, Barnes & Noble or Google Play).

2. Spread the word by posting a product review on Amazon, iTunes, Barnes & Noble or Google Play.

3. Mention this special offer to your Facebook friends, on Twitter and on your blog (if you have one)!

4.  And forward this email to your friends so they can take advantage of the free offer, and learn about "Luca Lashes," too.
5. Enjoy!

Remember that our first book is simply an introduction to the character and his special power that he uses to help him overcome fear. Our apps offer narration in 4 languages, are 3-dimensional, have sound effects, and include some animation to help enhance each experience targeted for 0-4 year olds. Download other apps in our series to see Luca in action!

Thank you for all the support as we embark into our 2nd year of the era described in Forbes Magazine as being at the “dawn of the tablet!”

Happy Parenting,

Nicole &Damir Fonovich

posted by Luca Lashes @ 2:34 PM   0 Comments