Surf Legend Shaun Tomson releases Surf Creatures iPhone and iPad App for Kids

Santa Barbara, California – World champion surfer Shaun Tomson today is pleased to announce the release of “Surf Creatures 1.0.1, an iPhone storybook application of rhymes for children about the ocean and its fascinating sea life. Tomson’s countless trips to the beach have led to many close encounters with some of the sea’s most interesting creatures, including killer whales, sea lions, turtles and great white sharks. While reminiscing about one particularly special trip to the beach, Tomson decided to write and record Surf Creatures.

Though Tomson has won many prestigious surfing events, no beach trip has been more memorable for him than a quiet one he took with his late son Mathew in 2000. Mathew built a large circle of smooth rocks on the beach, which he called the “Sacred Story Circle.” For the rest of the morning, Tomson and his son sat in the Circle and traded stories back and forth.

“It was incredibly painful for my wife and I to lose Mathew when he was only 15,” Tomson says. “But I’ll always cherish the memory of that morning when we told each other stories in our own private world of fantasy inside his story circle. I hardly remember what stories we told, but what we did and what it symbolized – the pair of us totally connected to each other though our stories with the sound of surf in the background – will always be with me.”

In developing Surf Creatures, Tomson’s experience with Mathew and the Sacred Story Circle inspired him to create an application that would bring families together through story telling. Not only can users hear Tomson read the tale, but through the app’s unique Storytalk(TM) feature, they have the option of recording their own voices for their children. Thus, a parent away on business will be able to record their own reading of the rhymes, so their child can listen to and be comforted by their parent’s voice before going to bed.

“I never thought I’d be writing rhymes at 55 years old,” says Tomson. “Life has given my wife and I a second chance at happiness with the recent birth of Luke and I love writing for him. Storytelling is so important to all parents and children, and now new mobile technology can add to a tradition that is thousands of years old.”

In addition to Storytalk(TM), Surf Creatures contains beautifully illustrated graphics along with sound effects and music that educate and entertain children and parents about creatures that live in the surf zone.

Recommendations for Surf Creatures:

“Surf Creatures makes me feel like I am 6 years old again – and then I could look forward to 60 more years of surfing. I love it!” – Ricky Grigg, Professor of Oceanography, University of Hawaii

“One of the most important things the Surfrider Foundation feels a child can do is connect with our oceans, and we love Surf Creatures for that reason. It is wonderful that this application strives to build that relationship at a young age and make it personal by allowing a familiar voice to tell a story from the sea animal’s perspective.” – Jim Moriarty, CEO, Surfrider Foundation

“Excellent and entertaining way for children to learn about the fascinating creatures beneath the surface of the sea – very, very cool. I love it!” – Hillary Hauser, Executive Director, Heal the Ocean

“Shaun is a surfing icon and knows a lot about the surf zone. This app is an excellent and amusing way for kids and parents to learn about creatures that underneath his surfboard.” – Jack O’Neill – inventor of the wetsuit, entrepreneur and environmentalist

Surf Creatures’ Features:

  • 26 rhymes about the fierce and friendly creatures that live in the surf zone – all written by world champion surfer Shaun Tomson
  • Over 80 pages of stunning, hand-drawn images of the aquatic inhabitants
  • Wacky sound effects and catchy music to enhance the user’s audio experience
  • Helps to improve reading and listening comprehension skills
  • Promotes reading in young children as words are highlighted when spoken
  • Teaches children all about the creatures that live in the surf zone, making them more environmentally aware
  • Mom, Dad, Grandpa and Grandma can all record their own voices to be able to read to the child even when they are not present

Device Requirements:

  • iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad
  • Requires iOS 3.2 or later
  • 139 MB

Pricing and Availability:

Surf Creatures 1.0.1 is $3.99 USD (or equivalent amount in other currencies) and available worldwide exclusively through the App Store in the Books category.

Shaun Tomson has been listed as one of the 25 most influential surfers of the century and as one of the 16 greatest surfers of all time. He is a business finance graduate of the University of Natal, in Durban, South Africa. He is the author of the best-selling book Surfer’s Code- 12 Simple Lessons for Riding Through Life and the producer of the award-winning documentary film Bustin’ Down the Door. Tomson is a businessman and environmentalist who resides in Santa Barbara, California, with his wife Carla and young son Luke. He is an inspirational speaker for corporations, schools and universities and is working on new book, film and apparel projects. He is a board member and ambassador for Surfrider Foundation, the world’s largest environmental group dedicated to protecting the world’s ocean, waves and beaches. He still spends time searching for the perfect wave, while doing his best to avoid Tiger Sharks and Zambezis. Copyright (C) 2010 Shaun Tomson. All Rights Reserved. Apple, the Apple logo, iPhone, iPod and iPad are registered trademarks of Apple Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries.

Press Contacts:

Grace Roberto

Appency for Surf Creatures


Nickelodeon’s Dora the Explorer Celebrates Christmas in New Interactive Storybook Application for iPhone and iPad

Montreal, Canada and New York, N.Y. – Dec. 2, 2010 – Nickelodeon’s Dora the Explorer is starring in a new interactive storybook application for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad, giving kids a fun way to celebrate the spirit of the holidays.  Dora’s Christmas Carol Adventure is an intuitive app that features elements of mobile gaming and offers interactive storytelling interspersed with fun mini-games.

Based on the Dora’s Christmas Carol Adventure TV special, the app follows the Latina heroine as she travels through time to teach the mischievous fox Swiper all about the spirit of Christmas.  Even though Swiper has given Dora trouble on her past adventures, Dora believes everyone deserves a second chance, especially during the holidays.

“In terms of interactive storytelling, I think Dora is the best possible property to work with,” says Michael Elman, Creative Director at Budge Studios. “The television show is already extremely interactive, often calling on children to answer questions, or sing and dance along. Our apps take that experience and bring the interactions to life. It’s the perfect fit.”

“This app allows kids to continue enjoying Dora’s Christmas Carol Adventure in a fun and exciting way that gives them control over the action,” said Tanya Van Court, SVP and GM of Nick Jr. and ParentsConnect.  “Kids are able to interact with Dora by playing an app that features state-of-the-art technology on three of their favorite portable devices.”

Children and parents can follow along as Dora narrates the tale, or they can choose to read the story for themselves. Along their Christmas journey, they will interact with the environment to help Swiper in when he encounters challenges. The app features wonderful animations, all-original songs and several enjoyable in-game activities.

Dora’s Christmas Carol Adventure at a glance:

  • Features several activities and mini-games
  • Offers wonderful lessons on sharing and the spirit of Christmas
  • Users can listen to Dora’ narration of the story, read it on their own, or have it read to them
  • Features Dora singing a special Christmas song
  • The iPad version features HD graphics and remarkably smooth animations
  • The iPhone and iPod touch versions feature special motion control in a “time traveling” mini-game
  • Watch Trailer:

Pricing and Availability

Dora’s Christmas Carol Adventure is $2.99 for the iPhone and iPod touch and $4.99 for the iPad and available exclusively on the App Store in the Games – Kids section. At launch, the apps will have a Special Discount for a limited time: $1.99 for the iPhone and iPod touch and $3.99 for the iPad.

About Nickelodeon

Nickelodeon, now in its 31st year, is the number-one entertainment brand for kids. It has built a diverse, global business by putting kids first in everything it does. The company includes television programming and production in the United States and around the world, plus consumer products, online, recreation, books, and feature films. Nickelodeon’s U.S. television network is seen in almost 100 million households and has been the number-one-rated basic cable network for 16 consecutive years. For more information or artwork, visit Nickelodeon and all related titles, characters and logos are trademarks of Viacom Inc. (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B).

About Budge Studios

Budge Studios is a leading publisher and developer of interactive children’s books, games, and digital toys for multiple platforms including touch devices and tablet computers. Located in Montreal, Budge creates dynamic and engaging products that are both entertaining and educational for millions of children all over the world. Focused specifically on producing content for kids, Budge Studios is working together with the industry’s top licensors and toy companies.

Press Contacts

Aaron Watkins

Appency for BUDGE Studios

California (916) 692-5117

Montreal (514) 289-9537 ex: 203

Nicole Bradley

Nickelodeon Kids and Family Group

(212) 846-5939