‘I’ve got another story mummy, write it down!’
Miss Four races over to me with a sense of urgency, her big brown eyes wide with excitement.
‘Hurry, mummy,’ she says as I drop everything and scramble to find a pen and paper to capture her words as they tumble out of her mouth.
‘There once was a girl, who loved coconuts …’ she starts.
Her words flow thick and fast as she tells me her tale with great animation.
‘Read it, mummy,’ she orders me once she’s done.
Once I’ve read it to her, she takes the piece of paper and folds it carefully into a small square that fits snugly in her hand.
She carries her story with her for the rest of the day, occasionally asking me to read it back to her. Before bed, she takes her stool and balances on top of it as she places her story high up on her bookcase with the rest of her creations, out of reach from her little sister.
She’s been creating stories for the better part of this year now and has quite the collection of tales. It all started when I did a children’s picture book writing course with the Australian Writers Centre in January.
Miss Four loved watching me write stories and test them out on her. Sometimes I would turn my story into a little paper book for her to illustrate.
We have this in common, my little love and I, we love to tell stories, share, and see the reaction on people’s faces when they read our words. There’s something special about it, something that fills our hearts.
We’ve been working on a very special project together lately, that weaves together images and words.
It’s a photo book that we’ve created with the free iPhone app Photolane.
Photolane contacted me recently asking me to review their new app. When they talked about their belief in the magic of storytelling, I knew that I had to test it out.
Photolane allows you to create a photo book; a story; a keepsake of your memories; with your phone in a matter of minutes.
All of the photos I take these days are on my iPhone as my camera broke a couple of years ago and I never replaced it. Being able to take the photos from my phone and turn them into a keepsake sounded too good to be true.
It seemed like the perfect opportunity to take the happy snaps from our first ever visit to a zoo (Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary) and turn them into a special book, which the girls could treasure forever.
As far as the average Joe goes, I’m pretty darn technologically challenged, but I found the Photolane app super easy to use and intuitive.
When you open the app, all you need to do is click on ‘Create Now’ to get started. The camera roll from you phone appears and you’re required to select a minimum of 32 photos. (The photo books are 32 pages long, so you can have a photo on each page or a couple on some of the pages).
Once you have selected your images, you can focus on the layout of your images and pages.
On each page you can choose between a number of different layouts and you can also add text to each page. (Please note the themes mentioned on the Photolane website are not yet available and the text is currently offered in black only and a standard font and size.)
I decided to turn our photo book into a mini storybook using the words out of one of the girls’ favourite books, We’re going on a bear hunt, to help tell the tale of our visit to the koala sanctuary.
Within half an hour, I had created and ordered a beautiful photo book. (I think the next one I create will be much quicker as I was um and ahhing about which photos to choose.) I didn’t have to wait long for my masterpiece to arrive. It was with us in just a few days’ time. Miss Four can’t wait to take it to show and tell.
The Photolane photo books are beautifully crafted 8 x 8 inch lay-flat books available in hard or soft cover.
They are valued at $20 for soft cover and $50 for hard cover. Standard shipping is free.
Photolane is kindly offering Mummy, Wife, Me readers a special discount offer.
Use the code QBFPU to receive a whopping big 50 per cent off your first order.
This offer is available until midnight on 31 July 2014.
Disclosure: Mummy, Wife, Me will receive a percentage of sales for each book sold. As always, all opinions are my own.
Do you believe in the magic of storytelling? Have you created a photo book before? Do you have a creative child? Do you like telling a good yarn?
Linking up today with Essentially Jess for IBOT.