With Earth Day just a few days away, we’re excited to share
a new way for children to explore the natural world and learn more about the
creatures that call Earth home. Independent game studio Sunbreak Games has
released Care for Our World, an interactive children’s book app based on our
award-winning illustrated title.
This fully animated story takes kids on a charming tour of
habitats from every corner of the world, naming the many plants and animals
that we share the planet with. This app also has several fun features: children can
create their own custom habitats by choosing animals and backgrounds, color
select pages from the book, and learn more through the Animal Encyclopedia.
We recently had the chance to talk with Jason Behr, the creative director and founder of Sunbreak Games, about how he turned Care for Our
World from a picture book into an animated adventure.
Q&A with Jason Behr, Creator of the Care for Our World
How did the Care for Our World App come about? What was your
I discovered Care for Our World while browsing a local
Seattle-area bookstore with my young son. With a positive environmental
message and exceptional artwork, it became an instant family favorite read
every night… so I approached Compendium about using our game development
background to bring it to life on iPads.
Do you have a favorite scene from the book?
One of my personal favorites is the safari scene. I love how
much movement we could bring to the page, with all the characters laughing and
dancing and swinging. It’s so happy and energetic, which really captures the
spirit of the book.
What is your favorite part of the app development process?
One of my favorite parts of designing an app like Care for
Our World is figuring out how to make a unique experience that goes beyond the
original material, and really justifies the leap to digital. In this case, it
was more than just adding animation, music, and sound to the book, it was also
building new coloring and playset modes that let readers create their own
What do you hope families learn from this app?
I hope this app helps families in the digital age reflect on
their relationship to the natural world, with its loving story. But I’m
particularly proud that we added a brand new encyclopedia feature that goes a
step further, and gives kids the opportunity to directly learn from real-world
facts, photos, and sounds.
Have your children
seen the app and what was their reaction? Did you incorporate their input in
My son was the inspiration for starting the project, so it
only made sense that he was also my tester! He’s mesmerized by how animals
react with animations and sounds, and tries to find every one on each page. I
think the biggest thing I learned from working with kids like my son is that
smaller children use their fingers and recognize iconography differently than adults, which led to lots of adjustments in our menus and coloring mode, for
What is your favorite
My favorite animal in the book is the blue whale. It’s
amazing to me to imagine that swimming out in our oceans right now is the
biggest animal that’s ever lived on the planet, even bigger than the dinosaurs!
The Care for Our World App ($2.99) is now available for iPad at
the iTunes store.
Since its release in 2014, our book What Do You Do With
an Idea? has inspired thousands of people—kids and adults, students and
educators, entrepreneurs, and creative minds all around the world. And we have
loved hearing about all of the different ways new ideas have been brought to
life because of this book.
This year, the students of Centennial Elementary in
Olympia, Washington, created an inspiring song based on our book!
In January, Centennial students read and discussed What
Do You Do With an Idea? in connection with Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and were
encouraged to think of the dreams and ideas they had that would make the world
a better place. Each class shared their ideas and talked about ways to make
them grow. The biggest idea they came up with was to write a song based on our
book and about their individual ideas. After writing the song, they created an
amazing music video to go along with it. With the help of music and P.E.
teacher Jana Gedde, the students wrote the verses, came up with their own
choreography and artwork, and recorded all of the singing. “These kids are so
inspirational!” said Jana. “I am constantly moved by their amazing creativity
and their passion for changing the world.”
Click below to watch the video and hear the wonderful
voices of these incredible students.
We were so inspired by these students that we visited
their school to congratulate them in person for their work. We joined them for
“Friday Sing,” a biweekly celebration where the entire school gathers together
to sing, dance, be silly, and recognize special achievements. Nearly 600
students and staff members welcomed us, each wearing gold crowns to represent
all of the creativity and unique ideas that each person brings to the world.
The hallways were decorated with beautiful artwork representing each student’s
ideas, and many colorful welcome signs made us feel special.
This particular “Friday Sing” was especially exciting, as
the school was celebrating the end of their Reading Month. “We just wrapped up
our reading month, and we had a goal of reading 200,000 minutes as a school,”
said Shannon Ritter, Centennial’s principal. “And we blew past that goal—we
read over 300,000 minutes, which is amazing!” It also happened to be Character
Day, so many students and teachers were dressed as their favorite book
character—and we even saw some Idea eggs come to life.
During the assembly, we were honored to hear a live
performance of their original song, and Kobi Yamada, author and Compendium
president, had the opportunity to do a Q&A with the students. “Thank you
all so much. That was such a beautiful song—you don’t know what it means to
me,” said Kobi. “It gives me hope to know there are kids like you in the world
working to make it a much, much better place.” To thank them for their song,
Kobi presented the school with signed copies of What Do You Do With an Idea? for
every student, teacher, and staff member.
We are always thrilled to hear about how our products are
inspiring others, and it was such an honor to be a part of this special day.
Centennial Elementary’s music video is an amazing example of how a single idea
can turn into something much bigger. Thank you, Centennial Elementary, for
making the world a better place, one idea at a time!
Words can lift us up, comfort us, make us smile; they
have the power to show us how much we’re loved and appreciated by others. And
at Compendium, we know that finding the right words to share at the right time
is important. That’s why we’re excited to introduce you to In Other Words…
We’ve only recently released these cards and they’re
already a big hit! Here’s just one of the reactions we’ve received:
“When I started reading through the In Other Words…
cards, I felt like, ‘Yes, I finally found the cards I’ve been looking for!’
…I’m in love with these cards. Reading through the In Other Words… catalog, for
me, was like finding out the next book to your favorite story is coming out.” –
Laura, Seattle, WA
And the inspiration for the line? It all started with an
idea by Compendium’s CEO and president, Kobi Yamada. “We wanted to showcase
creative storytelling in a way that was portable and fun to give,” says Kobi.
“Our goal was to create cards that didn’t just surprise, delight, and
entertain, but cards that also connected, encouraged, and inspired.”
Here are just a few of the special things that go into
the making of our In Other Words… cards:
Wit with Big Heart
Our talented writers have crafted inspiring sentiments
with smart, unexpected humor for a wonderful blend of playfulness, sincerity,
and spirit. Every card has a warm, unique voice and is filled with a love of
the written word.
“We didn’t just want to highlight great writing, we
wanted to celebrate it,” says Kobi. The cards are printed on quality textured
papers for a handcrafted feel, while the bright colors and simple, clean
designs perfectly highlight the wit and whimsy of the words.
A percentage of every card’s purchase goes to
organizations that promote literacy and support readers of the future. And,
like all of our greeting cards, In Other Words… is printed responsibly in the
United States on FSC®-certified recycled paper.
We’re thrilled that these cards are getting such a
positive response, and we look forward to hearing what you think. “In other
words,” says Kobi, “we hope you are going to love these new cards as much as we
The holidays are here! And now is the time to find the
perfect gifts for your loved ones. From keepsake journals to illustrated
children’s books, we’ve come up with a wonderful collection of items that will
bring joy and inspiration to everyone on your list.
HOLIDAY BOOKS Record and reflect on the magic of the
holidays with these seasonal favorites.
Discover our entire collection of winter holiday gifts
FAMILY KEEPSAKES Celebrate family with thoughtful gifts that will be
cherished for years to come.
It’s been a wonderful year at Compendium, and we have some exciting news we’d love to share with you! Our children’s books What Do You Do With an Idea? and What Do You Do With a Problem? have made the New York Times best seller list! We are honored and delighted to see both of these books reaching, encouraging, and inspiring so many people. And there are even more incredible things happening—read on to discover more!
EXCITEMENT BUILDS FOR WHAT DO YOU DO WITH A PROBLEM?
Released in summer 2016, What Do You Do With a Problem? has already hit the New York Times best seller list and is receiving rave reviews! This inspiring book is the follow-up to What Do You Do With an Idea?—and tells the story of a persistent problem and the child who isn’t sure what to make of it. Created by award-winning author Kobi Yamada and illustrator by Mae Besom, Problem has also hit the Publisher’s Weekly best seller list and received a gold Mom’s Choice Award!
“We all have problems. I know I certainly do. And maybe we don’t always deal with our problems in the best way. We tend to avoid them and hope they just go away,” said Yamada. “I wrote What Do You Do With a Problem? because I wanted to encourage children to face their problems and to look for the good in them. I believe that every problem brings gifts, and these gifts can help us to learn about ourselves and to grow as people.”
WHAT DO YOU DO WITH AN IDEA? MAKES AN IMPACT
Since What Do You Do With an Idea? was published in 2014, it has not only inspired children to embrace their bright ideas but it has also motivated educators, entrepreneurs, and creative minds to share its message with the world.
From Idea to Movie
What Do You Do With an Idea? will soon inspire even more people across the country. We are pleased to announce that the book is being turned into a movie! The talented team at Film Roman, in cooperation with Compendium, is adapting the book into an animated short film! We will provide updates about this project as details are confirmed—stay tuned!
Encouraging the Arts
The Inlet Dance Theater in Cleveland, Ohio, is adapting the book into a beautiful dance performance, set to premiere live in late 2017. Inlet hopes to enrich the lives of both their dancers and audiences through all of their performances, and we can’t wait to see this story come to life off the pages!
Across the country, teachers from elementary schools to universities are not only embracing What Do You Do With an Idea?, but they are also using it as a learning tool in the classroom. Brigadoon Elementary in Federal Way, Washington, has used the book to encourage and empower students to share their ideas and help them grow into something tangible. They use an “idea egg” during circle time; whoever holds the egg has an opportunity to speak freely, while everyone else listens. This practice has encouraged both the teachers and students to be more intentional in listening and valuing each other’s thoughts and ideas.
The book is also resonating well with adults—businesses such as GE and Google are offering it to encourage employees, and friends are sharing it to encourage loved ones to believe in their dreams. Many people are also giving the book as a graduation gift, comparing it to classic titles such as The Giving Tree and Oh, the Places You’ll Go!
What Do You Do With an Idea? has won several gold awards, including the Independent Publishers Book Award, the Washington State Book Award, and the Moonbeam Children’s Book Award, among several others.
We are honored that these books have been recognized with such wonderful accolades, but we are even more pleased that they have resonated with so many people—and continue to inspire new ideas every day. We can’t wait to see what happens next! And if you are interested in learning more from the author, click this link to hear about his inspiration behind these stories and how they came to be!
Have these books inspired or encouraged you? We’d love to know! Share your stories with us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org!
This past May, the Tanner Dance Program of the University of
Utah performed our nationally best-selling children's book What Do You Do With an Idea? as a dance routine with an entirely
original score. What Do You Do With an
Idea? is the story of one brilliant idea and the child who helps bring it
into the world. Tanner Dance adapted the book for its biggest event of the year,
and we are so honored to have been a part of it.
Tanner Dance put on three inspiring performances in just one
day. More than 500 dancers used ballet and modern dance to show how ideas come
to life. Each dance had different choreography, and what made the performances
especially incredible was that every dancer had the freedom to improvise parts
of their routine and integrate their own ideas into the performance.
"Throughout this whole process, the children have been
delighted with discovering their own ideas, creating their own ideas and
dancing their own ideas," said Joni Wilson, program director of Tanner Dance. Built
into the program’s foundation is the dedication toward creating imaginative
humans—one dancer at a time. By offering classes to people of all ages and
abilities, Tanner Dance gives its students the skills to take their dance ideas
and grow them into beautiful, impactful works of art.
Kobi Yamada, the book’s author, was thrilled to attend the
event and witness the amazing production. Kobi signed books after each
performance, and even went backstage for a peek behind the scenes. "It was a
lifetime highlight to be invited into the circle of hundreds of dancers backstage,"
said Kobi. "It was humbling to see these young talents in costume so earnest
about their roles."
Nothing makes us happier than to see how our products are
inspiring other people. Tanner Dance's production of What Do You Do With an Idea? is a wonderful example of how anyone
can take an idea and turn it into something incredible. The performance has
resonated with us here at Compendium, and we thank Tanner Dance for such an inspiring
This season marks a wonderful first for Compendium—our first children’s book based on an award-winning film. The story is about a young woman with a dream to fly, and the challenges she faces in reaching her goal. Both the film and the book adaptation are inspired by the real-life person Miss E. Lilian Todd, the first woman in the world to design and build an airplane.
Miss Todd is relatively unknown in the world of aviation, which is
what drew the film’s director Kristina Yee to the story. While doing
research for another project on aviation, Kristina came across a
November 28, 1909 New York Times article noting Miss Todd’s
accomplishment. But after the successful flight of her first plane, she
disappeared into history.
“I wondered why I’d never heard of her, and the more I read, the more her story smacked of injustice. I thought it was amazing that she accomplished so much, and yet is so forgotten by the history books,” says Kristina.
The significance of her plane and its flight should not be understated.
Though the Wright Brothers had made history with Kitty Hawk in 1900,
very few others at the time were successful in getting a “flying
machine” off the ground—much less staying in the air for more than
“The mystery of what happened to her after her
plane flew also drew me to her,” says Kristina. “I wanted to believe
that, as we’ve portrayed in the story, her disappearance wasn’t a
tragedy, but an adventure.”
Miss Todd took a full year to create. The twelve-minute musical short
was worked on by a dedicated group of passionate students at the
National Film and Television School in the UK, and went on to win the
Student Academy Award in 2013 as well as the Royal Television Society
Award in 2014 and dozens of other awards.
The film was made using
stop-motion animation with handmade sets and puppets and incorporating
paper cut-outs, felt, and other custom-built props including several
miniature models. The book adaptation, Miss Todd and Her Wonderful
Flying Machine, was created using stills from the short film to bring
Miss Todd to life in a whole new way. Alongside Kristina, the book was
written by Frances Poletti who also wrote for the film.
We would like to say a special thank you to Kristina and Fran. We’re thrilled to have worked with such a talented team to create this unique children’s book. We look forward to encouraging young readers to pursue their dreams, no matter who may tell you no.
We are excited to announce our 30th anniversary! Over the past three decades, much has changed—but the core of our mission to live inspired has stayed the same. We are proud of what we have achieved and eager to see what the future holds.
To honor the occasion, we’d thought it would be fun to share a little sneak peek with you—into our history, our people, and our hopes for the future. We hope you enjoy getting to know us a little better and we look forward to sharing the next 30 with you!
Compendium started in a 700-square-foot apartment, making small pop-open window cards. Our team relied on a simple dream: to inspire millions. Our window cards, originally made only for corporate clients, soon expanded their reach. Their magic was undeniable. “Can somebody, somewhere, anywhere, pick up a window card, and, even though it’s just a little piece of paper with a message in it, open it up and have that touch them in a way that is affirming and exciting for them?” asked Compendium founder Dan Zadra. “And, if so, can you replicate that by a hundred, a thousand, ten thousand, and a million?” The power behind the cards surprised and delighted us—and led us to expand our focus to gifts and books for everyone and all of life's occasions.
WIDENING OUR REACH
From a small apartment to an industrial park to several places in between, Compendium kept growing. We made gift books and saw the power they held. We made desk accessories and saw the beauty they added to people’s lived. So we looked even further, making journals, children’s products, greeting cards—and many other formats.
Each step of the way, we held tight to our dream. And, like us, it grew. We knew we wanted more and we created the tagline “live inspired.” We wanted to not only reach millions of people, but to inspire their everyday—to live abundantly, richly, more fully. “I’d like Compendium to be a resource for other people, for inspiration,
and connection,” says Compendium CEO and President Kobi Yamada. “That’s
at the heart of it.”
Now, reaching our 30th anniversary, we’re excited to see what the future holds. Because we know that no matter where we go, what products we explore, or what dreams we discover, we will still keep to our mission—to make a positive difference in the world. “Ultimately," says Dan Zadra, "living an inspired life means giving back.”
"The only people who truly know your story are the ones that helped you write it."
With our newest I Love You Momand I Love You Dad gift books, we aimed to create meaningful, keepsake titles that offer connection, personalization, and a hand-crafted feel—creating a gift that is not only beautiful, but meaningful as well.
Author M.H. Clark says she hopes these books offer a framework for capturing a story that’s as unique as the giver—with room for all different types of stories and all different types of families. Each book is filled with heartfelt statements on the special connection between a parent and child, as well as written prompts for the reader to fill in with their own memories, anecdotes, and reflections:
• These words make me think of you… • I've always admired how gifted you are at… • If I could give you anything in the word, it would be…
Answer each prompt however you like—with a sketch or illustration, a list, a big sentence or a whole paragraph. No matter how you fill it out, whether in one afternoon or over the course of many days, you’ll create a completely unique record of your relationship.
For the design, designer Heidi Rodriguez wanted to offer a classic, open look that appealed to wide range of aesthetics. She drew on inspiration from family photo albums, particularly with the framing of each prompt. In addition, Heidi added warmth and a personal feel by incorporating hand-drawn geometric textures as well as hand-traced type.
The end result is a set of titles that will inspire and spark special moments between family members—a beautiful keepsake that, as M.H. says, “…will create a beautiful picture of your relationship.”
The Life by the Numbers series
began with the bold, best-selling 5
book—and asked the question “Where will you be five years from today?” It was a
new kind of book—filled with quotes, stories, and prompts meant to act as a
guide to help you find what truly inspires you, to identify your biggest
dreams, and to chart a course to make them come true.
The 5 book, and the others that
followed, have become internationally known and award-winning. With tens of
thousands of copies printed, they’ve touched the lives of thousands of
people—with each book offering a new way to discover and realize what really
matters to you.
1: How Many People Does it Take to Make a Difference?
2: How Will You Create Something Beautiful Together?
5: Where Will You be Five Years from Today?
7: How Many Days of the Week Can be Extraordinary?
10: What's on Your Top 10 List?
Now we’re taking it a step
further. To complement the best-selling book series—and due to popular demand—we’re
introducing Life by the Numbers journals. Each journal features even more
inspiring statements, new questions for you to consider, and plenty of space to
write down every life-altering idea.