Making Leo Digital Versions of His Favorite Books -- on the iPad, of Course

I put Leo on the bus this morning, and Seymour and I drove Mali to school. Iz and I leave for Ghana in less than an hour. I think Mali will be fine -- she'll have Daddy, she'll have Grandma -- but I am worried about Leo, because we're tight, we two. So I've done as much as I can to guarantee I'll "be" there for him even while I'm away.

How? I've used the iPad app Kid in Story to make Leo digital versions of his favorite books, with my voiceover. That way I can "read" him his favorite books even if I'm not present. (I also used Kid in Story to make a "Mommy & Izzy Went to Ghana" social story -- that's a given.)

Making the books was easy-peasy, because with Kid in Story you can take and insert photos from within each photo page (though you could also use stored iPad Photos, if you like). Even a thirty-page book only took about 20 minutes to make.

Even better, I could then upload the customized books to the cloud storage service DropBox, and keep copies of them there -- so I have backups if Leo decides to delete the resident versions (deleting and/or duplicating media is a favorite iPad pastime of his). And with the free Kid in Story Reader, I can even import and Leo can read the stories on my iPhone, even though the primary app is iPad-only.

Of course, one should respect
copyrighted material. Ahem.
These custom digital favorite books make Leo so happy. He uses them to keep himself calm when we're at medical appointments (there have been a lot of those lately). He can page through them at whatever pace he likes. And there's no danger of him loving the digital books to pieces, which he has done on occasion with their board-and-paper versions.

The ability to make Leo these custom digital favorite books is as thrilling to me as when Oceanhouse Media came out with the ability for users to add their own voiceovers to their Dr. Seuss OmBook iPad apps -- I believe that ability to control repeated readings contributed to Leo's performance yesterday, in which he read/recited the paper version of Dr. Seuss's I Can Read With My Eyes Shut to me in its entirety (!!). It is so great to have so many options to  support his reading.

While I hope there will be sufficient wifi for me to FaceTime with Leo (and Mali, and Seymour, and my Mom) while Iz & I are in Africa, there's no guarantee of that. But I can guarantee that Leo will hear my voice while I'm away. I really hope that will help make it less hard for him that I'm away.

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