IFBooks

We’re down to the last stretch of our Kickstarter campaign journey. Only four days left, 231 backers and almost 80% funded, yet we’re still not quite ready to celebrate. We’re getting a bit closer every day… but we still need your help!

Have a look at what some of our friends have been saying about us recently:

15secTech Wk1506c: Suspend Chrome Tabs, Imaginary Friends, Twitter Lightning, Mac Tips & More!
by Amber Mac, Lara Killian, Jeff MacArthur, 15secTech
The days of seeing a kid get lost in a book sometimes seem far away when gadgets and screens are ubiquitous. This awesome transmedia Kickstarter called Imaginary Friends plans to integrate the fun of digital with the magic of storytelling. The adventure kits have packs of chapter books with activities that you can plan into your kids routines to weave the stories into their lives in a unique way.  MORE…

Interactive books for kids that let you play alternate reality games at home
by Mark Frauenfelder, boingboing
Imaginary Friends is a series of interactive books for kids that involves online and real-world puzzles that parents set up. I just got a sample from the creator, and the art and stories looks excellent. I am looking forward to trying it out. Check out the video for the Kickstarter.  MORE…

Imaginary Friends: Taking reading to a new level!
by Lara Wellman, Kids in the Capital
My son is an avid reader, sometimes it’s hard to get him out of his room. The pause between each chapter for an activity had him up and running around and excited to take on another task. (I haven’t seen him this enthusiastic about anything other than Minecraft in a long time!)  MORE…

See what others have been saying too!

PRE-ORDER NOW!
It’s not too late to be a part of our community and get in on the action early. Pre-order your Imaginary Friends Books today by backing us on Kickstarter now!

Have any questions about Imaginary Friends you’d like Evan to answer? Please leave it in the comments.

 


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Remie Geoffroi, illustrator of Capes in the Family

1) When and why did you start illustrating children’s stories?

I began illustrating my own stories at a very early age. I’d take a few sheets of paper, fold them in half, staple it, and then set about filling my book with a story and drawings. My own kids now do the same.

2) What was your inspiration for “Capes in the Family”?

As I read through the story, I was reminded of many stories and characters, such as the movie Spy Kids, with all the gadgets and inventions. I also took inspiration from the many comic books I’ve read over the years, superhero and science fiction movies (the Incredibles, Batman, Star Wars), etc. You could say I drew inspiration from many, many sources.

Capes in the Family Chapter 8

3) What was your favourite book as a kid and why?

My favourite book was “Where the Wild Things Are” by Maurice Sendak. I really loved the story, drawings, and the idea that this kid, Max, could be transported to this mythical land and command all of these beastly monsters. It is still such a joy to read.

A close second would be “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” by Roald Dahl. As a kid who loved candy and fantastical ideas, it was such an engaging read. The version with illustrations by Joseph Schindelman is the edition that I loved.

Neither of these authors hid the grim nature of their characters, which made it all the more enthralling.

4) What’s your favourite childhood memory?

So tough to choose one – but I really enjoyed my summers spent all day on the beach at Lake Huron with my family. We’d build sandcastles, bury each other in the sand, swim, collect smooth stones, driftwood and “sea glass”, and then have big bonfires at night roasting marshmallows.

5) If you could have lunch with any your three favourite children’s book characters who would you choose and why?

I’d probably choose Willy Wonka because he can make the impossible possible. I’d also choose Calvin, from Calvin and Hobbes, because he has such a wild imagination and warped sense of humour. He’s not technically a children’s book character, but certainly one of the most influential fictional characters from my youth. I’ll throw Max in there, too – just to see what he and Calvin could get up to together.

Try a FREE sample of “Capes in the Family”! 

Remie Geoffroi has been an active freelance illustrator for over 15 years, maintaining a wide client base of US and Canadian clients. He has been involved in children’s publishing for much of that time, working with publishers such as Scholastic, Canadian History Society, Formac, and illustrating the joke pages for chickaDEE magazine, published by Owl Kids for over 10 years. During that time, Remie reimagined the characters of Mish, Mash and Mush and co-developed a joke book featuring them.

 


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IFBooks

If you’re like many people, you may not have heard much about Kickstarter before discovering Imaginary Friends Books. Right now, you may even be deciding whether or not to back our campaign and just what that means. So, we thought it would be helpful if we answered* some of the most frequently asked questions.

How do I back Imaginary Friends on Kickstarter?

Go to our Kickstarter campaign page, look for a green button that says “Back This Project”. Click on the button and follow the prompts.

How do I pledge?

Once you’ve selected “Back this Project” and are on the next page (or screen) scroll down to review the pledge amounts, accompanying rewards and delivery dates. Choose your pledge amount and select a reward by clicking on the appropriate radio button. Then, enter your payment information to complete the checkout process.

When is my card charged?

If this project is successfully funded, your card will be charged on Saturday, June 27, 2015 at 8:48 a.m. EDT, along with all the other backers of this project.

So I’m only charged if funding succeeds?

Yes! That’s part of what makes Kickstarter special. If a project isn’t successfully funded, no one pays anything.

What can others see about my pledge?

The project will be added to the list of backings on your profile page, but the amount you pledge and the reward you choose, will not be made public. So, other than Evan Jones and Stitch Media, your pledge and reward are private. They need to receive your pledge and reward information so that they can contact you for shipping details.

What if I want to change my pledge?

You can change or cancel your pledge anytime before Saturday, June 27, 2015 at 8:48 a.m. EDT.

Assuming Imaginary Friends is funded, how do I get my reward?

When your Imaginary Friends reward is ready, Evan Jones and Stitch Media will send you a survey by email requesting any information needed to deliver your reward (e.g. mailing address, T-shirt size, etc.).

When will I receive my reward?

When you select your pledge and reward amount, you will also see an estimated delivery date. That’s the date we expect to ship your reward.

Where do you ship?

If you back us, will send your Imaginary Friends reward anywhere in the world.

MORE?
If you have a question about our Kickstarter campaign that we haven’t answered, please ask it in the comments and we’ll be sure to answer.

*Some answers adapted from Kickstarter.


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Gregg Taylor, author Capes in the Family

Audio Extra:  Gregg Taylor reads from “Capes in the Family”

1) When and why did you start writing children’s stories?

I know it sounds odd for someone writing children’s books to say that they don’t actually exist, but I’m not sure that they do. Stories are stories, and if you are true to yourself and your characters, and mindful of the wants and needs of your audience, that’s all you need. The classifications are a marketing device. I think that the “I’m going to write a children’s book” is the sort of thing at you think immediately before you write a terrible one. If you break it down into Bookstore Sections I’ve written mysteries, adventure novels, science fiction, plays, radio dramas and comic books, and for all of their differences, the creative process is very much the same.

2) What was your inspiration “Capes in the Family”?

With “Capes in the Family”, I set out to tell an adventure story, an engaging mystery, and a story about two brothers who care about each other deep down. (Sometimes very, very, very deep down). I grew up with superhero stories, old and new, and they continue to inspire me. To me, they are a vision of the kind of people we can all become – not because they have extraordinary powers and abilities, but because of what they choose to do with those abilities. Imagine learning that the secret family business of your very boring relations is and always has been wrapped up in that kind of wonder. That’s the journey of discover I want to take readers on.

3) What was your favourite book as a kid and why?

If I had to pick only one, I would say it was Treasure Island. I spent hours reading that book under the covers with a flashlight, and every minute of that time was well spent. Jim was the kind of avatar for a young reader that really carries you away with the story.

4) What’s your favourite childhood memory?

Okay, so this one time my parents packed up all of the kids and took us to the Ontario Science Centre for the day, which is a great thing in itself. But totally unbeknownst to them there was a whole exhibit on about the Muppets, because the Henson company was in Toronto filing Fraggle Rock, which had not started airing yet. We saw all of the Fraggles and Doozers and things before we ever knew what they were, and all of the actual Muppets, and all of the Sesame Street puppets we had grown up with and all of the original Sam and Friends puppets from the 60s. There were Muppet performers doing live demos, and everyone in the place was wandering around with the same gobsmacked, astonished expression on their faces like they couldn’t believe that any of this was happening. I remember more details about that single day than I do of being ages eleven to thirty-two, inclusive. Magic.

5) If you could have lunch with any your three favourite children’s book characters who would you choose and why?

If I could have lunch with three children’s book characters, it would be Winnie-the Pooh, Paddington Bear and the Mad Hatter. Those three cats can really throw it down. I’m thinking all-you-can-eat sushi.

Try a FREE sample of “Capes in the Family”! 

Gregg Taylor has been writing adventure and mystery stories for as long as he can remember. He created the radio adventures of the Red Panda, masked protector of 1930s Toronto for Decoder Ring Theatre, and has expanded that universe with four Tales of the Red Panda adventure novels, and the comic series The Red Panda, published digitally by Monkeybrain Comics via Comixology, and in trade paperback from IDW. He is also the creator of the radio detective Jack Justice, and is the author of the novels Black Jack Justice, Black Jack Justice: Dead Men Run and Finn’s Golem.


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IFBooks

Are you still looking for the perfect Father’s Day card for your child to give their amazing dad this Father’s Day? Well, you don’t need to look any further because we’re offering five fabulous Father’s Day cards that you can download for free!

Simply select one or more of the following Father’s Day cards below, featuring some of our favourite Imaginary Friends Books characters. Click the card you want to view and a PDF version will open, print it and fold it. Voilà, you’re latest mission is complete.

Imaginary Friends Father’s Day Card 1

Imaginary Friends Father’s Day Card 2

Imaginary Friends Father’s Day Card 3

Imaginary Friends Father’s Day Card 4

Imaginary Friends Father’s Day Card 5

For more information on Imaginary Friends Books and how you can become a part of our community, please visit Kickstarter or download a FREE sample kit.

What’s your favourite story time memory with your dad? Share it with us in the comments.


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Capes in the Family cover

We have TEN days left in our campaign and we’re going to hit 200 backers any day now.

To boost awareness and understanding, we’ve been working overtime to create a FREE sample of our first book, Capes in the Family by Gregg Taylor and Remie Geoffroi. The sample kit includes the first two chapters with a scavenger hunt in between, we hope you – and the children in your life – agree it’s lots of fun!

Download the free sample!

Remember this is still in beta (or alpha, as the Imaginary Friends team likes to say) so it may not be perfect just yet – it’s impossible to test on 200 different computers/tablets/phones without a lot of help – and we want to make sure it’s perfect for the official release in the fall.

Please, please, please get in touch with us with your questions, thoughts and/or reactions by leaving a comment. We truly value your opinion and will reply.

We hope you’ll enjoy a little taste of Capes in the Family and join our community on Kickstarter!


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 Characters from Capes in the Family Celebrating
We’re over the hump! Halfway there, yay!

The past few days have been huge.

Last Thursday morning Evan was featured on CBC Radio’s Ontario Morning with Wei Chen. Have a listen at the 42:35 minute mark. Along with some new published reviews and your help, we’re halfway to our goal. It’s cause for celebration and we couldn’t have done it without you. Thank you!

We’ve got 12 days left to make our goal and we’ve got to keep pushing ahead, so we could really use your help. Do you realize that if you talked to ONE person about Imaginary Friends this week, we’d get there in no time?!

If you have any questions about Imaginary Friends books or you’ve spoken with friends or family and they have questions, please ask them in the comment section or check the FAQs on the bottom of our Kickstarter campaign page where they’re constantly being updated.


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Imaginary Friends group hug from Hairball Heroics

We’re getting near the halfway point on our Kickstarter campaign. We’re 14 days in, now have 157 backers supporting us and at almost 50% funded, we’re not quite ready to do our happy dance but we’re getting a bit closer every day… thanks to help from our friends.

Here’s a taste of what some of them have been saying about us:

Imaginary Friends Come to Life
by Sonja Davidson, Canadian Reviewer
Reading just got cooler for kids with the launch of new book series that blends print, online and real life. Imagine reading a storybook and suddenly was able to launch into the world online. Even as adults we’ve sometimes wished we could be living the moment from the pages we read. That would be pretty amazing! MORE…

Imaginary Friends
by Caroline Fernandez, Parent Club
As a Mom and author – I am a big fan of reading. However, I’m finding with the digital age my kids look for engagement beyond the printed page. Especially with my son – who wants engagement – and Mommy – both together at reading time. Imaginary Friends is for families – like mine – who like to use reading time as family time… MORE…

Imaginary Friends: Kickstarting The Imagination And Reading Skills Of Kids!
by Sandy, Canadian Blog House
…Combining two important aspects of childhood, imagination and reading, Imaginary Friends was created from the imagination of two-time Emmy Award Winner, Evan Jones. Evan and his team of writers and illustrators have come up with this 21st century collection of cool, interactive books designed to attract the attention of all kids – even those heavily into video games and electronics, and not so heavily into reading. So how exactly does Imaginary Friends work? MORE…

Is creating a wonderful memory for your child important enough for 20 minutes of your time? Read what Evan has to say and share your thoughts in the comments?

It’s not too late to be a part of our community and get in on the action early. Pre-order your Imaginary Friends now!


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Thanks to each of our backers, we’ve reached a major milestone – Over 250 books in Rewards!

This is incredible to know so many families are going to share Adventures together. Even more incredibly, Kickstarter tells us that 10% of all people who play the video end up as backers! That’s an unbelievable rate of support and one of the major reasons we were selected as their Staff Pick. All we need to do now is to spread the message to families who want to join in the fun!

We wanted to share some images from our prototype Adventures to get you excited about what’s in store. Here’s a first glimpse at some of the characters you’ll be meeting soon!

Circus of Mirrors

magical circusOur heroes – Sofia & Max listen to the magical circus on the other side of the mirror

IFBooksTwo of the delightful characters at the Circus of Mirrors – The Strong Woman & The Bearded Man

IFBooksAn interactive activity to explore the Magician’s tent and find a way to unlock its secrets!

Capes in the Family

Imaginary Friends ExposionOne of our heroes Nick panics as the supercomputer Unimind goes haywire…

Imaginary Friends SupervilliansThe Home for Retired Superheroes (and Supervillians) – they are retired after all!

Imaginary Friends
Sample images from… well we don’t want to spoil the surprise!

IFBooks

 Flying robots – what else?

Another book I love…

Anyone living in the Northeast might remember the Blackout of 2003 – I’m very fortunate that my memories are fond ones of a life that slowed down on hot summer evenings. If you’d like to reminisce about how kids can play together in unexpected moments, I can’t recommend this book enough:

Another Book I Love
i
n the tree house by Andrew Larson & Dušan Petričić

Looking forward to sharing more soon! What other sneak peeks would you like to see?


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Imaginary Friends Adventure Kit

When getting ready to share Imaginary Friends with the world, the team got together and tried anticipating every question someone might ask. The FAQ list was prepared and between our website and Kickstarter page, the team thought all bases were covered. But like any new product, it’s a learning curve and there are questions we didn’t anticipate.

For those of you wondering if Imaginary Friends books and activities can be played more than once, “Yes, they can!”

Each activity between book chapters can be replayed. The first time the child ‘wins’ it will trigger the next part of the storyline but if he/she wants to play it again, it will work for repeated play. Some of the activities require setup like the ‘Hot/Cold Game’ but you can go back and edit locations or data to add variety to replay.

Several more questions came up during week one. Perhaps you’ve been wondering some of the same things yourself. Evan provides answers for you in these brief videos:

How much work is Imaginary Friends for parents?

What’s the perfect age for a child using Imaginary Friends?

How will Imaginary Friends work EXACTLY?

How long is one Adventure Kit experience?

Have any burning questions about Imaginary Friends or our Kickstarter Campaign? Please ask them in the comments.

 


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Imaginary Friends - Bring Stories to Life for Your Kids!

Imaginary Friends is a collection of interactive books that come to life with a little help from grownups. The child becomes part of the story as you help create the treasure hunts, digital clues, and cute coincidences that bring the story to life.