Cricket Media Releases Digital App Featuring Library of Congress Rare Books

Free new edition of Story Bug App enables adults and children to
read the digital editions together, even when they’re apart

WASHINGTON, DC – January 27, 2016 – Cricket Media, an education media company and global learning network, announced today a collaboration with the Library of Congress to make freely available four rare 19th and early 20th century children’s books in an all-new electronic format.

The collection – The Slant Book (1910), The Rocket Book (1912), Gobolinks or Shadow Pictures for You and Old (1896) and The Song of Sixpence Picture Book (1909) – are available on Cricket Media’s Story Bug app. The iOS app combines video chat with a shared reader so two people can enjoy virtual story time anywhere, anytime. It is available at

“It is a privilege to have the opportunity to bring these rare and historic children’s books into the digital age,” said Katya Andresen, CEO of Cricket Media. “We are very excited about our partnership with The Library of Congress and are looking forward to making more of these classic books available to young readers through our Story Bug app.”

Two of the books are by the American humorist and illustrator Peter Newell. The Slant Book is a rhymed, fully-illustrated novelty book. The text, illustrations and the book itself were produced on a slant, and it follows the sequence of disasters caused by gleefully-naughty Bobby in his run-away baby carriage. The Rocket Book is a rhymed nonsense tale of a rocket fired by naughty Fritz in the basement of his apartment building, and the story follows the rocket’s raucous flight through a series of slapstick situations.

Gobolinks or Shadow Pictures for Young and Old, created by Ruth McEnery Stuart and Albert Bigelow Paine, is a collection of shadow images of goblins, elves and other “eccentric creatures” that were produced by placing ink blots between sheets of folded paper. Each image is accompanied by limerick-style verses.

The Song of Sixpence Picture Book contains “The Song of Sixpence,” the well-known nursery rhyme, “Princess Belle Etoile,” a fairy tale and “An Alphabet of Old Friends,” a collection of alphabetically–arranged nursery rhymes. It was illustrated in full color by Walter Crane, a leading British picture book illustrator of his day.

All four books appear in the Story Bug library. Users of the Story Bug app see and hear each other while viewing the books. They also share controls for turning pages and interacting with the content. So when a page is turned on one device, the page simultaneously turns for the user of the other device. In addition, a digital “shadow hand” shows where each person is pointing, so grown-ups can challenge their young readers to point to illustrations on the page or sound out specific words. In addition to enabling real-time story time, the App also allows users to record themselves reading for later viewing.

In addition to making the titles available in Story Bug, the books can be viewed at the Library of Congress’s website at Founded in 1800, the Library of Congress is the nation’s first federal cultural institution. The Library seeks to spark imagination and creativity and to further human understanding and wisdom by providing access to knowledge through its magnificent collections, programs, publications and exhibitions.


Cricket Media is an education media company that provides award-winning content on a safe and secure learning network for children, families and teachers across the world. Cricket Media’s popular media brands for toddlers to teens include Babybug, Ladybug, Cricket® and Cobblestone® and digital apps in English and Chinese. The Company’s innovative web-based K12 tools, for school and home, include the ePals virtual classroom for global collaboration as well as In2Books®, a Common Core eMentoring program that builds reading, writing and critical thinking skills. Cricket Media serves millions of teachers, students and parents in over 200 countries and territories through its platform and NeuPals, its joint venture with China’s leading IT services company Neusoft. Cricket Media also licenses its content and platform to top publishing and educational companies worldwide. For more information, please visit


Katya Andresen


Cricket Media