In 2015 in collaboration with my mother and son I launched a new series of personalized children's books Apps.
Project Website: www.theflyingsquid.com
Three Generations of Spanish Artists Collaborate to Create Personalized Bilingual Children’s Apps
Adventure Story Apps for Children that Allow Children to Personalize the Story’s Hero!
New York, NY – September 25th, 2015 – Award-winning video artist Iván Cortázar, in collaboration with his mother Sol Frías (a fine art painter), and his five-year-old son Yuri Cortázar launch their first series of apps for kids. Yuri and The Flying Squid will be available for iPad™, iPhone® and iPod touch® on October 15th, 2015.
Inspired by vibrant charcoal-and-pencil illustrations by Sol Frías, parents and children will be able to select the hero’s skin tone, eye color, clothes, hairstyle, and name. They can also listen to the narrated story (currently in English and Spanish), or record their own voice narration. The app features original music composed by Dutch musician Martijn de Man, and sophisticated animations that adjust to the characteristics of each customization.
The first app of the series is Yuri and The Flying Squid on Turtle Island. Yuri, the little pirate hero, discovers to his dismay that his favorite beach is covered with trash. He cleans the beach with a number of new friends, discovers fellow pirate Chopito (the titular Flying Squid) buried under a garbage pile, and saves him from a trashy death. In the course of their adventure, Yuri and Chopito form a friendship around their concern for the environment, and their mutual desire for high adventure!
Turtle Island entertains, and also imbues values: ocean ecology, friendship, respect, and spontaneous ingenuity. The app also includes educational tips for parents, along with a learning game for children. As a bonus, there are pirate songs to learn, and riddles to answer… “What is stranger than a moon-shaped star fish?”
“I’m a father of two children who got frustrated with many of my children’s book apps; the apps ended up as interactive games that distracted my kids from the story,” says Iván Cortázar, creator of ‘Yuri and The Flying Squid.’ “As a filmmaker, I’ve always paid a lot of attention to story and narrative. I wanted to create apps with new technologies that overcame some of the limitations of printed books while maximizing the experience of reading children’s stories without a host of distracting features. I’d like to give parents and children a unique experience that they can both delight in. Our stories are a bit like short immersive films, with beautiful original music and sounds. The customization allows children from anywhere in the world to immediately connect with the story, dive into the adventure, and learn the lessons.”
App Availability and Pricing.
Yuri and The Flying Squid on Turtle Island for iPad™, iPhone® and iPod Touch® is available on the App Store for $3.99, beginning October 15th, 2015. The next three apps of the series (Mystery Island, Ambiguous Island, and Why Island) will be released in Winter 2015.
Visit us at http://www.theflyingsquid.com for more information, character customization, and exciting videos!
About the Artists.
The Yuri and The Flying Squid series begins with family history. One son (Iván) got inspired by his son (Yuri), and invited his mother (Sol) to create a series of children’s books. This tongue-twisting history was the start of an innovative adventure, and a small family business.
(Mama) Sol Frías obtained a 2001 Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts from Basque Country University (Spain). After many years in administration, she decided to quit and open her own art gallery. Since its opening, Xanon Art Gallery has exhibited dozens of international contemporary artists. Yuri and The Flying Squid is Sol’s first foray into the world of children’s book illustrations - she loves it!
Like his mother, Iván Cortázar also graduated from Basque Country University (in Business Administration), and then quit his job (accounting) to study arts. He moved to New York City to pursue an MFA in photography and film from the School of Visual Arts. He still lives in NYC, working as a filmmaker and video artist. His short films and video art projects have won numerous international awards, including the New York Foundations for the Arts Fellowship, and have screened all over the world. After the birth of his first son, he discovered a previously untapped talent: telling children’s stories.
The Flying Squid FAQ.
What is “Yuri and The Flying Squid?”
It’s a children’s picture book, app, short animated story, educational game, and tool for parents and children to engage and learn from each other. It’s a rollicking adventure story in English or Spanish.
How many episodes will there be?
Currently we have 4 episodes slated for release. But we have many more in the works Yuri and his friend Chopito, The Flying Squid, sail from island to island in search of adventure; therefore there can be as many islands as there are drops of water in the sea...
Are you a big team?
We are a small family business, not a business of families. We have just started our own and we love it. We do not have a big marketing team, therefore it is critical that if you like our apps, please share, like, tweet or review them. It will help us enormously, and you will instantly become a loving flying squid member.
I love your app. How can I help?
This is how you can help us:
- Share our project on your social media or with parents and teachers you think might like it.
- Rate and review the apps on the app store.
- If you know people that can write reviews in blogs, magazines etc... please share our apps or put them in contact with us.
I don’t like your app. How can I help?
This is all new to us, and mistakes and improvements are all part of the process. Please let us know how you think we can improve our app, what you like, what you don’t like. This way, we can keep making the apps better.