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CTR May 2018
Vol. 29 No. 5 Issue 219

Download this issue as a PDF
Oh No! Nosy Crow is Giving Up on Apps!
"I am so ridiculously proud of those apps, and of our courage and persistence and avid learning while we made making them. But the market for children’s book apps that we hoped would develop - on the App Store supported strongly by Apple, and among our publisher competitors who had great content and great experience of storytelling- just didn’t happen to the extent we thought it would.” Kate Wilson, CEO, Nosy Crow

Dear CTR Subscribers --

Some bittersweet news this month. While we were thrilled to see a fresh new app from Nosy Crow (see the review of Hansel and Gretel, in this issue), we were sad to read an accompanying press release stating this would be among the last apps the respected publisher would make. We chalk this up to the growing “culture of free” that dominates the app stores. According to Nosy Crow’s top crow, Kate Wilson, “we’ll be closing our in-house app department and saying goodbye to three remarkable, brilliant, creative colleagues, Ed Bryan, Will Bryan and Andrew James. The cost of making apps like ours is high, and we have not seen the market for them develop in the way that we would have liked. It seems that many parents don’t choose to spend money on digital content for children and fewer children and their parents are reading on screen than we had hoped.

Nosy Crow also publishes regular books, and that market is up by 35% (per Nielsen). “It makes sense for us to focus our resources on the resilient children’s print market and on the area of the business where we are enjoying such success,” said Wilson. “We have learned so much from making apps in-house. It has enabled us to better understand what print can do that the screen cannot, making us better print publishers in the process.” So is there a viable business model for digital childen’s content? We’re reviewing more subscriptions, and AR books -- that require a physical book purchase -- might be worth exploring. See My Perfect Puppy by Carton Books, at for example. We don’t know. But we do know that Hansel and Gretel is well worth every cent of your $4.99.
Do you want more? Read about Kate Wilson’s pioneering work with screen reading, at “Lesson’s in App-Craft” at

LITTLECLICKERS: DRONES For about the cost of a good bicycle, you can purchase a powerful drone that can fly for up to 20 minutes, and land itself. See page three.

ILLUSTRATION MAGIC Celebrate the Illustration Art of Alice and Martin Provensen. Alice died this week at age 99. You may not know her name, but you know her images. Watch the tribute, at