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Personalized stories by Mumablue
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December 29, 2015  |  Written by M. Rodrigo Brao

Our Wishmaker this month is Mumablue, a publishing house dedicated to create personalized stories for children. The idea was born as a way to motivate children to read. Cristina Rodríguez Blanco, founding partner of this magical initiative realized that digital media put storybooks at risk. She was also aware of the numerous studies on the importance of reading as a means to develop intellectually, expand horizons and encourage empathy and culture. So she decided to partner up with computer engineer, Manuel Córdoba, and create Mumablue. Later, designer Julio Morales and communications director Ro Venegas joined the team and together they sought to create a reading habit in children through personalized stories, as a way of cultivating future great readers. Because “what child wouldn’t want to travel on a unicorn, speak with gnomes or create magic?,” says Cristina.

What makes your stories different?

Mumablue is based on the idea that the child really becomes the main character of his own adventure. That is why we integrate him or her in the story. We don´t just personalize each story by simply adding his or her name or showing their picture. Through an online configurator for parents, family members or the child can have fun creating his or her own character. First you must write the name, choose the hair colour and style, skin and eye colour as well as add glasses, freckles or a hearing aid, if applicable. Then, you write a dedication so the child remembers who gave him the story.

Your website says that your first story titled “The Kingdom of Miriñán” was an educational one. Could you please expand?

Stories were conceived as an educational tool, to help transmit values and teach children how to manage certain situations. For example, Little Red Riding Hood, cautioned us to not trust strangers.

The Kingdom of Miriñán (El Reino de Miriñán, in Spanish) talks about friendship and how a child´s kindness encourages him or her to help a unicorn and live a wonderful adventure together. It also speaks of how being different gives us the power to manage adverse situations and be able to defeat an underwater monster for example. Finally, it talks about respecting others so the Kingdom becomes a better place in which to be happy.

The Kingdom of Miriñán is an adventure, which can be adapted to a girl or a boy reader and it also talks about the family but not just mom and dad because there are many different types of families.

We´ve also included a dictionary where some concepts that appear in the story are explained. The part of the dedication on behalf of the adults, is what makes them feel overjoyed, as children will be able to keep it with them forever.

cuentos-personalizados-con-mumablue.interior

In your opinion, what should a good story include?

A children’s storybook should teach something. Ideally, it should include a conflict that the main character must solve. This is what will help the young reader learn how to manage similar situations. That´s why, our stories are personalized because it makes learning easier. No longer is it Peter Pan trying to solve the conflict but the child himself.

What do your Facebook and Twitter campaigns consist in and what are your goals?

With “A book in your head”, we intend to motivate people to upload a picture of themselves with a book on their heads (any book) to their social media networks with the following hashtag #ApoyoLaLecturaInfantil (Support Children Reading, in English) because books aren’t bought as much as before. It´s a way to get people to remember how important  reading is.

What can we do to encourage our children to read more?

One of the main reasons why kids adore stories is because their parents read to them. And what child doesn’t want to spend time with his or her parents?  For parents, it´s a wonderful way to spend quality time with your children. Sharing this activity with them will motivate them to read, to see it as fun and pleasurable.

Imagination plays an important role in childhood. What activities do you recommend parents or caregivers do with their children on a daily basis?

Reading is magical. Even when we are looking at the drawing, we are imagining the scene. That is why reading is such a powerful tool. Something I do with my children is ask them to provide the information the story isn’t giving them, so they have to imagine it. Aside from being fun, you´ll be surprised by their answers.

If life were a story, which one would it be?

Alice in Wonderland, where everything is logical and illogical.

Photo Credits: Mumablue

 

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