51FXc2r3QbLEarlier this summer, Silver Dolphin Books and Skyreader Media teamed-up to launch a new series of Apps based on the popular TOTALLY MONSTER and PRETEND AND PLAY series' of board books for children under 5. While the Apps are available now as e-Books for the Apple iPad, we haven't experienced those since I've been maintaining my Apple-less stance and use none of their products aside from iTunes. But, news of their existence made a prime time for my little ones and I to take a peek at a couple of the books (TOTALLY MONSTER: BEST FRIENDS, and PRETEND AND PLAY: ON THE FARM), sent to Rock Father HQ by the folks at Silver Dolphin. They were well-received by my girls (particularly TOTALLY MONSTER), and make for some fun reading...

PBS KIDS VIP (Very Involved Parent)Last month, while I was attending the PBS Annual Meeting in San Francisco, I, along with the rest of the PBS KIDS crew, took a little "field trip" across the Golden Gate Bridge and up to Corte Madera for a stop at Pottery Barn Kids. Now through July 17, Pottery Barn Kids in partnership with PBS KIDS are holding a Summer Reading Challenge that's designed to "inspire a love of learning and literacy for kids and families throughout the summer months." Children are invited to "take the challenge" by reading 8 books from a specially selected list of 20 children’s books - each chosen based on favorites identified by Pottery Barn Kids customers. To celebrate the Summer Reading Challenge, PBS KIDS, Pottery Barn Kids and THE ROCK FATHER are getting one (1) lucky reader hooked-up with a $25 Pottery Barn Gift Card! Details below...

Saturday, March 22 2014 10:13

Happy... HELLBOY Day? Yes, #HellboyDay

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Twenty years ago today, Dark Horse Comics released Mike Mignola's HELLBOY: SEED OF DESTRUCTION #1. The character, which first appeared in an eight-page story as part of a Dark Horse Comic-Con Special, would go on to become a true pop-culture icon celebrated by children and parents alike [Ed - perhaps a little stretch there!] spawning feature films, animation and toys. If you can make it out to a local comic shop today, you'll find that HELLBOY DAY is being celebrated with special merchandise and events (participating store list) and the release of the hardcover book, HELLBOY: THE FIRST 20 YEARS. Additionally, Sideshow Collectibles is releasing a HELLBOY Premium Format Figure this August, limited to just 1,500 pieces.

It's hard to believe, but THE ROCK FATHER (as a website) will enter it's fourth year of operation on Father's Day 2014, and today something landed in my inbox that has "Father's Day" written all over it... especially for Dads that are down with the Dark Side, just as I. I'm talking STAR WARS, and I'm talking Vader here... but as a Father - straight outta Jeffrey Brown's adorable books, DARTH VADER AND SON and VADER'S LITTLE PRINCESS. Just in-time for Father's Day 2014, Gentle Giant will bring these stories to life with a pair of limited edition maquette and book bundles, each limited to just 1,500 pieces. They'd make perfect gifts, and can be pre-ordered now via my friends at Entertainment Earth. Check 'em out below...

Tuesday, March 18 2014 10:59

Join Me for the #PBSKIDSWrite Twitter Party!

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PBS KIDS VIPHere's a Rock Father fact that most people don't know: In 1987, while in Fifth Grade, I became an award-winning author... a "Young Author," to be exact. After penning a short story called THE LITTLE CHAMP (which I'd later come to find out was a very technically-inaccurate portrayal of a race horse), I got to represent my school at the Illinois Reading Council's Annual Young Authors' Conference at Illinois State University. Fast-forward about 27 years, and I'm a parent, and through my relationship with PBS KIDS, am helping to spread the word about getting other kids writing for the annual PBS KIDS Writers Contest. TONIGHT (March 18, 2014), I will be co-hosting the #PBSKIDSWrite Twitter Party, and I'd love it if you could join!

By definition, KEITH RICHARDS is, indeed, a "Rock Father," but the type of excess that THE ROLLING STONES' guitarist is known for doesn't exactly line up with the title of "Children's Author." That changes today, with the announcement that a childhood experience detailed in Richards' memoir, LIFE, has been adapted by Barnaby Harris and Bill Shapiro for the new picture book, GUS & ME: THE STORY OF MY GRANDDAD AND MY FIRST GUITAR. Featuring illustrations by Richards' daughter, Theodora, the book will be released in hardcover and ebook on September 9, 2014 via Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. 

I really need to get back into comics... not just reading them, but as a creator and writer. My personal foray into that realm was brief (as was the existence for the publisher I worked for), but the couple of books I did create have been made available on Amazon as Kindle Editions (they're FREE!) and oddly enough, they still hit the charts (DEATH WALKS THE STREETS #1 is currently number #13 in horror - tonight). I miss regular reads, and often times, catching up via Trade Paperback is the way to go (I still like to hold a real book), and tonight I spotted some upcoming releases that I'd like to highlight here on THE ROCK FATHER. Actually, I think we'll make this a regular feature. 

Is it too early to think about Christmas 2014? Nah... never too early! 2014 is the 50th Anniversary of the animated classic RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER (first aired back in 1964), and to celebrate this milestone of Rudolph's travels to the North Pole and the Island of Misfit Toys, the folks at Silver Dolphin have announced a special pop-up book using actual images from the iconic TV special.

Friday, January 03 2014 23:11

STAR WARS Comic Books head to MARVEL in 2015...

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Two STAR WARS related stories in one day? That's a bit different here on The Rock Father, but I can't complain (here's the first one), as The Force is strong here at Rock Father HQ, and has been since the release of STAR WARS back in 1977. If you haven't heard, Disney announced today that the STAR WARS Comic Books will be returning to MARVEL Comics in 2015 after being handled by the folks at Dark Horse for more than two decades. It was the MARVEL books that I first experienced as a kid in the late 70s and early 80s, but it was the great treatment by Dark Horse that really helped place STAR WARS back on the map in the 1990s. But, with MARVEL being owned by Disney, a lot of people have seen this move coming since it was announced that Disney bought Lucasfilm back in 2012.

Little PimIf you're not familiar with Little Pim and are interested in working with your children to learn a foreign language, you definitely should be. I've mentioned the multi-platform language learning system here on The Rock Father before, and I've been dabbling with their French and Spanish sets here at Rock Father HQ. I say "dabble" because I've yet to be able to devote the time I really need to into it, but I'm getting there. I want my girls to learn early, and Little Pim has a fantastic program to do it, complete with music (DAN ZANES and MILKSHAKE appear on the Spanish disc we have), books, DVDs, flashcards, Apps and more, all geared toward kids from birth-six. But now they have an additional project in the mix that they could use a little help funding a Holiday e-Book for Kids called AROUND THE WORLD WITH LITTLE PIM. They're looking for $12K and are about halfway there on Kickstarter* with just 11 days to go. If you're inclined to help, you'll get some pretty cool products in return. Let's take a look.

For Day 12 of 31 Days of Halloween 2013 here on The Rock Father, I'm doing something different... I'm shining the spotlight on something that I created long before becoming a parent... years before becoming "The Rock Father": DEATH WALKS THE STREETS. A multi-genre horror/crime hybrid, DWTS was initially conceived as a screenplay in 2004 - the ultimate mashup between monsters and the mob. I'd completed the screenplay with my friend, Ben Brezinski, and then the project took on a nearly-legendary "life of it's own," in 2005 as we entered into a production deal for a movie... which was then touted as "A Trilogy." I ended up penning the sequel, DEATH WALKS THE STREETS II: THE LONG DECEMBER, and a line of prequel comic books was announced. Problem is, despite scoring a Spike Scream Award Nomination for "Most Anticipated Film," being featured in countless media outlets, getting well into pre-production to the point of soundtrack demos, set/prop/costume design, storyboarding, location scouting, FX tests completed, and a preliminary cast in-place with merchandise already being sold, the movies never happened. Hollywood horror story? Sort of, but some comic books were made...

It's a great month for JESSICA FLEISCHER. After releasing FROM THE START, her debut album under the LOTS OF LOVE moniker just two weeks ago, the Los Angeles-based performer has announced the September 24th release of her first-ever Children's Book, LITTLE LUNA AND THE UNIVERSE. Written and Illustrated by Fleischer, full details on the book can be found below...

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