With BB and Sam jet setting the world, I thought it would be an appropriate time to check in with the creative minds behinds the series. Take a look at this quick interview with Co-Founders, Anna and Chris Batchelder as they share their outlook on the importance of global awareness and eBooks for kids reading.
What inspired you to create The Adventures of BB and Sam series?
The answer is simple. We are passionate about reading and promoting global awareness amongst children (and adults) around the world! We also have a travel bug. But we have a different philosophy on travel. A lot of people visit a country and try to see as much of it as possible. We prefer to park ourselves in one or two cities for a period of 2-3 weeks and absorb the vibe of the place: the food, culture, people. The best way to get to know a place is to live there. It’s tough when there are so many countries in the world.
What is your process for creating e-books for kids and families?
First we select the country we want to focus on in each story. We spend a significant amount of time in that country learning about the culture, taking photos, capturing original video footage and imagining possible storylines.
Then a tremendous amount of time is spent working with the Bon Education team to write the story, edit it and make sure it is exciting and age-appropriate. We have children, parents and teachers in different countries read the story drafts along the way, to make sure we are on the right track.
We work with our amazing illustrator Richard Peter David to create character and scene sketches, full color illustrations and interactive diagrams.
Finally we put everything together—text, illustrations, videos, interactive diagrams, end-of-chapter trivia questions, mood music and more.
What made you select Thailand as the first destination for BB and Sam?
When we went to Thailand for the first time, we feel in love with the country immediately—the energy, the food, the culture… After spending several weeks touring Bangkok, zip lining through the jungles of Chiang Mai, caring for elephants and eating more noodles than our bellies could hold, we wanted to find a way to share our experiences with kids and families that would be entertaining and that would peak their interest in a country that is near and dear to our hearts.
What countries will be featured in upcoming e-books?
The exact countries are a secret, but if you wanted to guess, at least two are located between the Bay of Bengal and the Mediterranean Sea.
What made you create a Parent Pack to accompany the series?
Research shows again and again the importance of parents being involved in their children’s education and in influencing their children’s reading outlook and habits.
We created a Parent Pack for the series to help parents get ideas about discussion topics and activities that will enhance their children’s understanding and enjoyment of the stories. The Parent Pack gives tips on how parents can help their children build reading comprehension and vocabulary skills, while at the same time expanding their interest and curiosity in other countries. Hopefully the ideas in the pack will lead to lots of interesting family conversations around the dinner table.
What do you want young readers to learn from BB and Sam?
We hope young readers will cultivate cultural understanding, global curiosity, compassion and love for reading about and going on their own adventures.
Curious to find out more about the Adventures of BB and Sam, don’t shy away. Delve into our new Global Books for Kids site for the full interview and other global goodies.
Keep Calm and Learn On,