Maverick backs bedtime story app

Maverick backs bedtime story app

A new story reading app will launch later this month with nine picture books from publisher Maverick.

Ben Mallett, m.d. and co-founder of Caribu, describes the app as “an e-book reader with video calling”, for parents or grandparents who are away from their children but still want to be involved with bedtime stories.

Once logged into the Caribu app, the user can access their contacts and a bookshop, which will initially launch with nine Maverick titles: The Black and White Club by Alice Hemming; The Four Little Pigs by Kimara Nye; Tabitha Posy was Ever So Nosy by Julie Fulton; Grandma Bendy by Izy Penguin; Lost in London by Fin and Zoa; The Jelly That Wouldn’t Wobble and The Bunny That Couldn’t Be Found, both by Angela Mitchell; and Princess Stay Awake and The Fearsome Beastie, both by Giles Paley-Phillips.

Steve Bicknell, m.d. of Maverick, said he decided to get involved with Caribu because the app has the potential to be of “great benefit” to absent parents. The books chosen for the launch are ideal bedtime stories because of their great illustrations and humour, he added.  

The app, which will be launched in mid-January, is aimed at children aged seven and under, and will initially be exclusive to the iPad. It is free to download but users pay £1.99 for each book, with revenues split between Caribu and the publisher.

Mallett and his team started developing the app at Imperial College Business School. “We realised when we were there that the current methods for long-distance communication aren’t tailored to kids at all,” Mallett said. “So we set about trying to figure something out and we looked into doing all kinds of things, such as games, but then we realised the real value for parents is reading. The bedtime story is where the bonding happens.”