Thursday, December 18, 2014

Click to Watch the New Trailers for ONCEKids' Animated Books, "Green Hamster and the Quest For Fun" and "Red Penguin and the Missing Sushi"

Here at ONCEKids we could not be more excited following the release of the trailers for our first two animated books; Green Hamster and the Quest For Fun and Red Penguin and the Missing Sushi. Thanks to the very talented Ryan Mawhar, the previews for the two animated books are completed and ready to be viewed! Click the videos below to watch and be sure to visit our website to read more about our animated books as well as the rest of Eileen Wacker’s Fujimini Adventure Series collection. 

Click below to watch the trailer for Green Hamster and the Quest for Fun 


Click below to watch the trailer for Red Penguin and the Missing Sushi


Saturday, December 13, 2014

ONCEKids Gets Ready For Christmas By Donating Over 1000 Books To Children in Need

At First Book, a national nonprofit organization, they believe that one of the most important factors and issues affecting literacy is children’s access to books, which often times can be quite limited. Since their inception in 1992, First Book has distributed over 100 million books to children across the country and raised $32,000. 

The staff at ONCEKids wanted to help First Book work towards their goal of providing books and the gift of reading to kids in need, so for the holiday ONCEKids author Eileen Wacker generously donated 300 brand new children’s books. Six cases, one case for each book, was shipped to the organization December 4th. Six of the seven books that make up the Fujimini Adventure Series, made up the 300-book donation, including Green Hamster and the Quest For Fun, Pink Hamster and the Birthday Surprise, Rainbow Panda and the Firecracker Fiasco, Black Tortoise and the Dynasty Dragon, Red Penguin and the Missing Sushi, and Silent Samurai and the Magnificent Rescue. 

ONCEKids CEO Wacker also wanted to make sure all the children at Seattle Children’s Hospital have books to love and cherish in time for the holidays, so over 350 books were donated to the hospital. All of the books donated go directly to into the hospital to be used for the comfort and entertainment throughout the duration of their stay, or for the hospital to use any way it sees fit to comfort children, especially in the holiday season. Random acts of kindness can have a profound effect on others, and Wacker hopes that more organizations might feel inspired to give as much as they can. A gift of literacy is appreciated, a gift of kindness is unparalleled. 

ONCEKids also gave 300 books to Barrett Russell Kindergarten. Santa will be handing the books out to children as they exit school for winter break so that every kindergartener will have a book to read for the holidays. In this school, 84% of kids get free breakfast and lunch and most of the children have few or no books at home.

Reading is one of the most essential and enjoyable parts of childhood, and every child deserves to know the love and joy that can come from a book. Eileen Wacker and the other dedicated members of the ONCEKids staff wanted to help organizations like First Kids and Seattle Children’s Hospital as well as schools like Barrett Russell Kindergarten give children the gift of reading this holiday season.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Accomplished Composer and Musician Alexander Tovar Contributes His Talents For ONCEKids Animated Book Music

Alexander Tovar wears many hats. Besides being the amazing composer of our animated books, Mr. Tovar is an accomplished director, producer, screenwriter, musician, editor, AND actor. Wow, that is quite a list! 

The talented artist began his long and accomplished career when he wrote his first opera at the age of just ten years old. He continued exploring his love of writing and music through high school when he studied the trumpet, piano and the guitar. Following high school, Tovar moved to New York to study and work with Philip Glass. After returning to his roots in the West Coast, he studied philosophy and graduated from USC with a BM in music composition. 

His music has been played all over the country including on the public radio and in front of Disney Hall. He has worked with a variety of other talented artists including Van Dyke Parks and Roger Neil. His recent works include writing the book and music to the musical “Mr. Genius” and the production of his very first film, “Nothing in Los Angeles”

The film, “Nothing In Los Angeles”, describes an aspiring artist who becomes romantically involved with an older woman and soon finds himself falling in love with his best friend’s wife. It been the winner of several awards including “Best Narrative Feature”, “Best Filmed Screenplay”, “Best Actor”, and “Best Actress” as well as being the official selection of the Cinequest Film Festival and the Venice Film Festival. 

We could not be more proud and excited to have such a talented addition to our books and look forward to his many accomplishments to come! 

Turn Your Smartphone Into a Polaroid Camera With This New Case

Most phone cases are designed and purposed for protection or fashion, but small French startup company Prynt had something else in mind with their new phone case design. They have developed a case that instantly turns your smartphone into a polaroid camera after working on it for almost an entire year. The design works by sending the photo to the case via Bluetooth and then immediately printing it by heating paper filled with ink. 

Their current version takes only 50 seconds to turn the digital photo into a printed picture and holds one piece of paper at a time. But Prynt is not settling, they say they plan on developing a model that can hold 10-30 pieces of paper at one time and print the picture within 30 seconds! To make this possible, they will have to come up with a design that has better hardware integration and a direct physical connection between the phone and case.  

Prynt CEO Clement Perrot says the case will only cost $99 when it is made available early next year and will be able to support all phones with a $4.x inch screens. So if you are looking for a Christmas present or birthday present for someone who loves taking and printing pictures than this is the perfect gift for them! Preorder it for a Christmas surprise and it will be available for use in early 2015. 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Celebrate #WalmartWednesday With ONCEkids and Receive a Free Book Signed By the Author

Every week ONCEkids celebrates #WalmartWednesday with amazing deals on books and related products that make the perfect gifts for the holiday season. This Wednesday only, buy one book and receive a second book free! All you have to do is visit the website, send us your receipt and you’ll receive your second free book, even autographed by the author. 

Click on the link to view and purchase one of our 
family-friendly books at an unbeatable price:

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

How These 3 Entrepreneurs Changed Their lives Through YouTube

Over the last few years, YouTube has changed the game for countless aspiring musicians, bloggers, entrepreneurs, actors, comedians and more. Providing a platform for advertising your products or skills for millions of people all around the world to view creates a powerful tool for young dreamers trying to get their names out there.

Although it started mostly with musicians, including Justin Bieber, it has since become popular for entrepreneurs just starting out- and many of them have found great success thanks to this social network. Ordinary people start by simply posting videos online of themselves doing what they love to do, such as Jenna Marbles, who now has over 13 million subscribers doing comedic skits and humorous rants. 

Thanks to YouTube, thousands of young people have gotten attention they never would have been able to get before. For three entrepreneurs in particular, YouTube has completely transformed their lives in a way they never thought possible.

The first, Rob Chapman, transformed his life from a struggling musician to a UK rock star through his YouTube channel. His channel has 198,000 subscribers and is growing at a rate of 10,000 a month and his videos receive millions of views. In addition to his online success, the once unheard of musician sings and plays his guitar for packed venues, endorses products, and owns his own guitar company. Often when enough YouTube success has been achieved, it is not longer just about the attention. Chapman says if he wanted to he could live off of what he earns from his YouTube career. When speaking about his success, Chapman says he considers himself just “a dude who plays guitar in his flat” and had no idea that it could be like this, but couldn’t be happier. On advice for aspiring YouTube stars he says the title, description, and tags are extremely important in getting people to notice you. 
The second, Leonardo Pereznieto, was also a struggling artists before creating his YouTube channel. In 2009 the full time artist was struggling to make ends meet. Despite receiving international awards and showing his work throughout Europe and the United States, times were tough for the 45 year old artist. So he created a YouTube channel in hopes of getting more views of his artwork. He found this method to be relatively unsuccessful so then Pereznieto decided to record himself demonstrating how to properly sketchy and see if that generated any responses- and it did. He then began giving art lessons via YouTube and the views were piling up. By 2013, his YouTube channel, called Fine Art-Tips, was enough to live off of. Now with 763,000 subscribers and 2 million monthly visits, Pereznieto lead a life free from financial worries, thanks to ad revenue. 

Betty Givan began her YouTube career with the mission of keeping traditional southern cooking alive. In January 2009 she created a channel, called Betty’s Kitchen, featuring recipe demonstrations and even trips to local grocery stores. Since then her videos have generated over 36 million views and more than 110,000 channel subscribers! Her online popularity even allowed her to create two mobile apps and publish two successful cookbooks. Givan said when she first started making the videos she did not think of it as a business endeavor, but rather a fun way to share her family recipes and keep her mother’s cooking alive. She says social media is the smartest way to grow viewers and it is always important to be consistent when trying to develop a following. 

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Researchers Create an Adorable Chick Rover to Observe Emperor Penguins in Their Natural Habitat

Emperor penguins are notoriously shy creatures, which poses a problem to the scientists trying to research the health and behavior of these birds. Whenever any of the researchers would come near the penguins they would become quite fearful and back away, causing rapid heart rates and other fear-induced responses. This makes it very difficult for any person trying to record resting heart rates and other “penguin parameters.” Another fear of many researchers is that penguins’ wariness of people causes them to change their behaviors when being observed, thus preventing researchers from being able to record normal penguin behaviors in their natural settings, affecting the accuracy of the studies. So how can researchers observe the penguin behaviors without being present?
Yyvon Le Maho of the University of Strasbourg in France came up with a solution to create a small rover disguised as a penguin.
The initial rover; made up of fiberglass, scared the penguins and proved to be unsuccessful. After five tries, researchers have come up with a rover that successfully interacts with and observes the penguins without scaring them or causing changes in their typical behavior. And I must say, resembling a real baby chick with gray fur, black arms and a little black beak, this rover is pretty cute!
Not only did the penguins not react fearfully to the little rover, they actually interacted with it like a real penguin, singing it special songs and including the rover in their huddles. After observing disappointment in the penguins when the rover did not sing back, Le Maho says they plan to create the next rover with the ability to sing songs.