Auryn celebrates National Reading Month

February 29, 2012 § 4 Comments

Media Alert: Auryn, Inc. Supports National Reading Month by Offering a Different Free iPad Storybook App to Children around the World Every Day During the Month of March

Los Angeles, Calif. − February 29, 2012 – Auryn, Inc., the most award-winning digital publisher and creator of  unprecedented children storybook apps for  iPad and tablet devices, announced today that several of the notable and award-winning apps from the company’s popular collection will be offered free, throughout the month of March.

In recognition of National Reading Month, Auryn is giving away one free storybook app each day of the month to promote reading among children on digital devices. Among the titles available for free download during March will include:

March is recognized throughout the U.S. as National Reading Month; designated as such by the National Education Association. The organization will celebrate its 15th Annual Read Across America Day this year, a nationwide program that helps children discover the joy of reading and is expected to draw more than 45 million participants on Friday, March 2.

“Supporting National Reading Month with free storybook apps to inspire kids to read in a decade of all things video is a natural extension of our overall mission to encourage reading in the new age of technology,” said Umesh Shukla, Founder and CEO of Auryn. “We are thrilled to bring a renewed enthusiasm for reading to our youth by bringing illustrations to life through animation and interactivity.”

Recently published on, an exploratory survey by the Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop revealed that most of the children in the study preferred reading an e-book to a print book and the comprehension between the two formats was the same.

About Auryn, Inc.

Founded by Academy award-winning visual effects experts from Hollywood’s top movie studios, Auryn Inc. is the most award-winning digital publisher of storybook and creative apps for the iPad, iPhone, Android and other tablet devices. Uniting leading technologists and creative artists, Auryn’s patented technology enables the company to produce ground-breaking interactive content for the new emerging tablet medium.  Recognized by the Producers Guild of America and Variety magazine as the Digital 25 top innovator in Emerging Media and winner of more app awards than any other digital publisher, Auryn is paving the way in digital publishing and fast-becoming the leader in children’s storybook apps. For more on Auryn, visit and follow on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest at: and and


Miko Goes on Vacation

February 29, 2012 § Leave a comment

Miko Goes on Vacation available on iPad and iPhone

A story strip made specifically for Pinterest. Do you like it? If you do, don’t forget to pin it!

Inspiring kids to read by Lisa Dunn Dern

February 14, 2012 § 1 Comment

When my daughter was in elementary school, I volunteered at the school book fair. About two minutes into my shift, an irate father marched up and demanded to know why we were selling the book “Captain Underpants“? He said his son purchased it the day before and would not put the potty humor book down. This father felt the story featuring the underwear sporting hero, was teaching students bathroom humor and to disrespect their principal. When I told him the principal in the book actually hated children and our principal didn’t, he was not amused.  As I looked around the gym I saw a cluster of 4th grade boys in an impromptu book club hysterically laughing and the pages. I thought, how could this be a bad thing. Kids finding a topic that thrills them, having a pleasant experience with a book in their hand oppose to feeling like reading was a job. Kids reading a book written for kids! Would Scholastic Book Club approve something that would damage young minds? No they would not!

Was it the fact the hero wore tidy whitties with his cape? I bet many men make life changing decision’s or even acts of heroism in their under ware. What I know for sure is any way you can inspire a child to love books is worth it. Some kids fall in love with books because they see their parents’ passion for reading, others by the guidance of an intuitive school librarian, some because they see the movie first. Who cares why they love to read, as long as they read, because nothing matches the feeling you have as a parent when you see your child curled up reading for pure enjoyment.

5 tips to inspire kids to read

  1. Model for your children that reading is enjoyable and is something you do often and with gusto.
  2. Read aloud to your children every day.
  3. Label everything in your child’s room on a flashcards like bed, bookcase, closet. This makes the connection that learning to read simple words leads to learning to read books.
  4. Show children how useful reading is in their everyday life. For example, when children discover that reading is necessary to understanding directions for putting a toy together, playing games, or following a recipe, they will be more excited about it.
  5. Figure out what they are interested in a find books that support it

About the author: Children’s Lifestyle Expert and Author Lisa Dunn-Dern is a multi-faceted talent whose skill and expertise shines over many different areas of arts and education. Her second children’s book, “Dr. Duncan Dog On Duty!” published in 2007, features a family and their therapy dog that visits children in the hospital every week. This book received accolades from Yolanda King, daughter of Dr. Martin Luther King and Coretta Scott King.

That Thing Called Inspiration by Sue Shanahan

February 7, 2012 § Leave a comment

A favorite quote comes from jazz and blues great Duke Ellington. “Every time God’s children have thrown away fear in pursuit of honesty — trying to communicate themselves, understood or not — miracles have happened.” I have it hanging by my drawing table as a reminder to honor the still, small voice within.
As an artist, I’ve based my work on sharing what is real and important to me. My inspiration comes from dozens of ordinary children who have crossed my path at one time or another. Although every illustration I do is based on an actual child, my art is not exactly realistic. I do magical realism. A child once told me I “take real kids and make them magic.” I like that. Now more than ever, the world needs magic. I have always believed that it is our uniqueness that makes us beautiful. There was a time, however, when my perspective was not well received. When I began my career, art directors informed me that my subjects were not marketable. There was no political correctness at the time, no inclusiveness. The powers that be in the art industry believed, ironically, that for everyone to relate to my images of children, those children must be “stylized.” That meant no children of color, no children with disabilities, no children who were not rail thin. That did not sit well with me, so I found my career as an illustrator at a standstill.
Fast forward 25 years, and my perspective is being embraced the world over. Honoring the whisper within is finally paying off.
The most common question I am asked about my art is, “Where do you get your ideas?” I love the written word and quite often quotations inspire me. I can read or hear something that strikes a chord and images begin popping up in my brain. I illustrated such words quite literally in this illustration below from my book app, Love You to the Moon & Back.
However, my artistic process does not always work that way. I am currently working on the illustrations for my next book app for Auryn. It is the story of a little girl who finds a fairy in her garden. After I completed the illustration below, it struck me that the image was also autobiographicalI had unwittingly illustrated a quote by Maya V. Patel that my sister Ann had given me. “She takes my hand and leads me along paths I would not dared have explored alone.” That describes our relationship perfectly. Ann and I always felt we were traveling companions through life. I feel the painting is a metaphor for my life, where I am the fairy following my sister, the bluebird. Together we are moving on to the next great adventure. I lost my dear sister suddenly a few years back. I miss her everyday. Inspiration is a wondrous and mysterious thing.
About the author: Chicago-based artist Sue Shanahan is best known for creating portraits and illustrations that capture the essence of her subjects on canvas. In addition to illustrating children’s books and digital apps, she has been commissioned by such clients as Walt Disney World, the state of Illinois and Cricket Magazine. Oprah Winfrey purchased Sue’s art for her private collection and featured her as a guest on her “Favorite Things” show. Sue’s work also found its way into the  White House, where her portrait of Chelsea Clinton hung in the former first lady’s private study. Visit Sue’s website at:

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