Through Video, Teens Are Turning Into Readers

Using their immense influence, several YouTube stars are filming and posting book reviews, book hauls, publicizing new releases, discussing book-to-film adaptationsand garnering hundreds of thousands of views in the process. Dubbed BookTubers, these individuals are having a wildly positive impact on their mostly younger followers: they’re getting them to read. Erica Barmash (marketing director for Bloomsbury’s children’s imprint) says this kind of marketing works because …

France to Ban Smartphones at Schools

It began in 2017: French officials imposed a law that limited how frequently and in what manner employers may contact employees outside of office hours. Now, the French government is setting their sights on schools. Smartphone-less students, they believe, will improve classroom efficiency, effectiveness and, on a broader level, preserve the “sanctity” of the classroom and learning experience. This new law will, however, make “exceptions …

Make Beats by Bouncing the Oddball Drum Machine

Funding on Kickstarter now, a product that's part musical toy and part tech device

Currently crowdfunding on Kickstarter, the Oddball is many clever entities, crammed into a palm-sized sphere. Part toy, part musical instrument and part tech device, this invention is a drum machine that can be bounced to make different sounds. Almost any surface can be usedsimply bounce the Oddball (the lighter you bounce, the more delicate the sound) and sensors inside translate noise via Bluetooth to a …

Jason + Allison Flom’s Charming, Impactful “Lulu is a Rhinoceros” Book

A real-life bulldog addresses self-identity in a world imagined by her family and artist Sophie Corrigan

Flipping the final page of “Lulu is a Rhinoceros” affirms one thing: truly impactful storytelling marries an important character with a thoughtful plotall through a resonant message. Music industry icon Jason Flom, his daughter Allison Flom and illustrator Sophie Corrigan carefully craft all of the above with some rhyme to pepper the playfulness. It’s no ordinary children’s adventure, as identity and acceptance are tackled along …

Sustainable LEGO Blocks from Plant-Based Plastic

New LEGO blocks made from polyethylene (which is based on and sourced from sugarcane) are to be released this year, beginning a new sustainable direction for the iconic company. While the material is flexible and soft, the new blocks will be identical to those made with conventional plastic, meaning LEGO can continue to keep their promise that any of their blocks made over the past …