Who says iPhone apps for kids have to be a mindless waste of time?
I recently had a chance to interview Sister Suzanne, the founder of Allah made World App and Over the Moon Stories. A teacher and children’s author, she’s taken her creativity, skills and knowledge to create educational apps for Muslim children. Officially on her halal hustle and filling a gap that’s needed in a niche Muslim market.
Anyways, peep the interview below.
Salam Sr. Suzanne, Let me start off by asking you a little bit about your background and why you started Over the Moon stories?
I am an elementary school teacher in a public school board in Burlington Ontario Canada. My current role is as the Equity and Inclusive Education Coordinator.
For many years I was also a teacher-librarian and I always wanted Muslim children to have entertaining and quality stories to read that showed positive representations of themselves, their faith and diverse cultures.
I started writing about 15 years ago and have published over 15 children’s titles in the mainstream education sector. My books can be found on Amazon.
“The Magic Tile” is one graphic reader that is about Muslim history during the Golden Age of Islam. “Maysa and the Missing Shoe” is another graphic reader about a little girl whose shoes go missing at the mosque one Friday. I find that writing for children is a passion and writing for Muslim children is the icing on the cake.
What exactly is “Allah Made the World” and what makes the application different than the rest of the Muslim children apps in the marketplace?
“Allah Made The World” is the first fully animated interactive story book for Muslim children. It has audio narration, sound effected and animated features that children can touch to activate on each page. For example you can help the little girl character to water the garden, you can help the whale shoot water from his spout, and you can make the night stars twinkle while you listen to a version of “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”. The illustrations are professionally created to be attractive to children and parents.
The story itself is a gentle reminder that we are part of a beautiful earth and we share it with so many other living creatures and people that we should appreciate and respect.
What will Muslim parents love about over the moon stories and what have you priced it at?
Muslim parents will love that their children can read Islamic stories that are fun, engaging and reflect Muslim kids lives globally. They will love that the stories are so easy to access via iphone/ipad and that they can visit our website for free down-loadable activity and colouring pages. Right now our stories are in English but we plan to add other language options in the future such as Arabic, Urdu, Somali, Farsi etc..oh the best part, it only costs $0.99!
Can we expect more applications from you in the near future?
Yes we are currently creating our next book “One Perfect Eid Day!” which is a rhyming and counting to 10 book about Eid-Ul-Fitr. It chronicles the perfect night before Eid and Eid day. It’s going to be a colourful and joyful book that really celebrates both Ramadan and Eid!
Children in general are becoming more attached to devices, especially the iphone, since this is a niche blog, what other kind of apps can we expect in the future designed for Muslim children?
I think that there are so many wonderful apps that can be developed for Muslim children. Currently there are apps to help children learn their Arabic alphabet, recite the Quran, learn their duas and of course read Islamic stories or stories that have Muslim characters and play games with Islamic content. I think that there will be a huge creative surge of new app ideas to help Muslim children develop their iman and deen.
If you can say one thing to my readers, what would it be?