Press information about apps for iPad, iPhone & iPod touch from The Story Mouse

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Q&A with The Story Mouse

What is The Story Mouse?

The Story Mouse is a collection of the world's best-loved stories and fairytales, all brought together in a range of apps for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch. In the main, the titles we publish are those we all grew up with from Goldilocks & the Three Bears to The Tale of Peter Rabbit; from The Gingerbread Man to The Three Little Pigs. These stories have stood the test of time simply because they're great tales which children love.

The Story Mouse app comes with two free stories, so you can try what we have to offer without spending a single penny. Additionally, we licence our stories to third parties so if you fly long-haul on most British Airways routes you'll find The Story Mouse in the in-flight entertainment selection (you see, mice can fly too!).

All our books operate in a choice of modes: "Read it to me" (where the pages turn automatically and the voice reads the story), or "Read it myself' (where the voice is turned off and the child advances the pages at their own pace, effectively turning the app into a normal book). The feedback we've had from parents suggests this choice of modes is very popular. The former familiarises the child with the story and the latter enables them to read it for themselves, giving tremendous confidence to a young reader.

How did the idea for The Story Mouse come about?

It all started with one story, told with fun and character to the children of our friends. The story went down so well that we were asked for more and more so we decided to develop our storytelling skills to engage children in the process of reading as much as possible. The result is a collection of stories which parents love because it gives their children confidence when starting out in the world of books.

Who are The Story Mouse people?

The people who run The Story Mouse have extensive experience in the creative media and technology fields. They share a passion too: great storytelling! 

The Story Mouse works in partnership with illustrators and authors who are often mothers and fathers working from home. How does this work?

The Story Mouse wouldn't exist without our authors and illustrators. They all work remotely, sending their material via the internet to be compiled into the finished apps.

It works like this: We contact our illustrators to tell them about the next two or three titles we're looking to publish. They then decide which story they're most drawn to (this really brings out the fun in the illustrations because our illustrators come to love the characters they create!). For a ten minute story we'd normally ask for around twenty illustrations. When these are done they're sent to Story Mouse Towers where they are compiled into the app, matching the audio with the pictures. The finished app is then submitted to Apple for their approval and a few days later it appears around the world on the App Store!

The illustrators and authors receive a monthly share of the sales based on a percentage of the revenue earned from each story. All the contributors have access to the sales figures on a daily basis so they can see how many of their stories have been sold and in which countries.

The advantages of working in this way are numerous. First it means the illustrators can work at their own pace. Working from home fits in with their lifestyles too - several of our illustrators are busy parents and being creative when it suits them gives maximum flexibility. Also, it's great that The Story Mouse is helping their talents which might otherwise go unnoticed find an audience.

One of our authors, Helen J. Aitken has a five year old daughter. Helen came to us with an idea for a completely new character, Bertie the Guinea Pig. It would be very unlikely for an established paper-and-ink publisher to take a risk on a set of stories which are completely untested, but we saw the potential in Helen's work so we commissioned an illustrator to work with her and now there are twelve Bertie stories available in just about every country in the world! 

How do you communicate with Story Mouse fans?

We have an active Facebook page and Twitter feed ( and @thestorymouse) which keeps us in touch with people. Also, we have been delighted to be featured in Apple's "New and Noteworthy" section in the App Store several times - this gives us Apple's "stamp of approval" which customers like. We also have our own website which has lots of information about our apps, including videos which show how they work. You'll find us here:

What would your advice be to aspiring app developers and authors?

If you have a good idea, give it a go! Make sure you test the idea thoroughly on friends and family who you can be sure will give you an honest answer. Although the barriers to entry in online publishing are low compared with traditional paper-and-ink publishing, there are still costs involved. We are lucky at The Story Mouse in that the two people who run the business possess the skills necessary to get the idea off the ground - technical development and content are the biggest cost areas.

What has been the biggest challenge in establishing The Story Mouse?

The sheer amount of hard work that's gone into creating the stories! When we look back nearly 5 years to the day we decided to make our first books, an enormous amount of work has taken place. Since then we've expanded the catalogue, added animation to some titles and introduced a character unique to us, Bertie the Guinea Pig.

Looking forward, we'll be adding many new stories and we are developing a series of educational apps too. The first one, Bertie’s ABC is available now and it’s a great way of introducing young learners to the alphabet.

Press information

On this page you’ll find text and images which you are welcome to use in the context of a review. We can send you higher resolution pictures too, so feel free to drop us a line and we’ll be happy to help. Send us an email using this address:

Want to know more?

Getting in touch with us is easy. Drop us a line at this address and we’ll get back to you straight away:

Links to our illustrators and authors

Liz Lewis:

Helen J Aitken:

Ian Billings:

Gareth Bennett:

Mark Beech:

Some images

Below is a small selection of images from our stories together with screen shots from the iPad and iPhone applications. As with the text, you are free to use these images in the context of a review.

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