Bella Goes Bump in the Night

Description of Bella Goes Bump in the Night as posted on iTunes:

Apple Pick: Staff Favorite 
Apple Pick: New and Noteworthy
Apple Pick: What’s Hot Feature
#2 book during Summer 2010

Read the instant children’s classic Bella Goes Bump in the Night, part one of the Bella the Great series. 

In this first story, as Bella tries desperately to fall asleep, her imagination takes her into the world of creepies and crawlies. Be not afraid for our heroine, she learns to befriend all of the ghoulies and teaches us the lesson not to judge any book by its cover!

Beautiful hand drawn illustrations show the journey that Bella takes, all in her imagination. Includes a reading by the Author. 

This is a story your child is going to love reading with you.

This app features Animated Text in Listen and Auto View, Coloring Book Features and Pages, Coloring Book for iPhone

“A perfect bedtime or campfire story…” “The whimsical verse will have readers laughing out loud; and the creature factor may also appeal to a slightly older age group than would typically be drawn to picture books.” “The whole family will want to gather around with blankets and flashlights to read this book together”
(Kristine Daniels, Author/Illustrator/Educator)

“Bella the Great throughout the story holds a nice rhythm that the children will soon be able to join in…” “This is one children’s book, that I will be recommending to family and friends. A fun and interactive picture book to add to your collection.”
(Paula Phillips, Book Reviewer/Librarian)

“Most of us have imagined the nightly shadows in our bedrooms to be ‘things that go bump in the night, giving my poor soul a fright.’ Bella Goes Bump in the Night invites us to pretend that the ‘creepies and crawlies that make your toes curl,’ can become friends we play hide-and-seek with or invite to tea. This bedtime or anytime tale can give courage and comfort to those who are afraid of the dark or the unknown.”
(Ann Marie Solch, Librarian)

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Bella Goes Bump In The Night Review

Source: Kirkus Reviews

So intensely illustrated that it may be a miss for younger readers, the first book in a series about “Bella the Great,” the daughter of the authors, a pair of New York actors, is certainly dramatic. As she cowers in bed with her stuffed rabbit, Bella imagines adventuring among “Creepies and Crawlies that make your toes curl” and “Three-headed Snivelers that scream out in plural … / Scarier even than scary Aunt Pearl.” But she also finds good witches, unicorns and jazz-playing ghosts. Ashley’s ornate, whimsically imagined drawings evoke the stylings of Tony DiTerlizzi in his retro moments and wouldn’t be out of place on the covers of fantasy or science-fiction novels. They give Bella’s dreams a great deal of visual heft, but Bella is such a sturdy soul, dressed in a happy hodgepodge of skirt, leggings and red sneakers (and with her belly button often visible), older preschoolers won’t fear for her. The unobtrusive navigation—a “Back to Menu” icon on the bottom right and a page indicator at the bottom—stays out of the way, and there is no poke or tilt interactivity. As you’d expect from a family of actors, the English-language narration is top-notch. The app also has German narration and text, as well as five coloring pages in a menu item outside the main story. By the end, Bella has made friends with cuddly creatures and beasties alike. (iPad storybook app. 4-10)

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Bella Goes Bump In The Night – Interview with Derek Roché

Source: Children’s Books Heal

Derek and Gina Roché,  Authors

Jonathan Ashley, Illustrator

Suitable for: Preschool to 8 yrs

Themes:  Imagination, Night Frights, Courage, Conquering Fear

Opening: “Things that go bump in the night, Giving my poor soul a fright.  Like Zombies and Warlocks, or cold witches brew, Ghoulies and Goblins who’d have me for stew.  Leprechaun, Minotaur, Cyclops — oh my!  Werewoves and Gremlins and Dragons who fly. Things that go bump in the night, giving a poor soul a fright…” 

Bella lays in bed, covers pulled tightly to her chin and tries to fall asleep.  But, her overactive imagination carries her into a world of goblins and dragons. It is there where Bella faces her demons and ends up befriending each one.  Bella is the spunky hero in this charming and witty book.  It is written in verse by the Derek and Gina Roché, and is the first book published in the “Bella the Great” series.  Jonathan Ashley’s illustrations are gorgeous, whimsical, detailed and beautifully capture Bella’s adventures.

Author Interview

Derek and Gina Roché  are the authors of Bella Goes Bump in the Night, under the  logo of “Bella the Great.”   They began writing children’s books to chronicle the daily lives of their two daughters, Isabella (Bella) and Angelia (Gia).  They are classically trained actors, who have studied at Circle in the Square’s Theatre School.  Derek and Gina have been writing for their own enjoyment for some time.  They have used the start in children’s literature to get them motivated to take their writing  in other mediums and genres more seriously.  My interview today is with Derek, as Gina is working on a film in the middle of a jungle in Sri Lanka for three months.

Before I start the interview, I’ve asked Derek to share his efforts to help a boy who has mitochondrial disease.  Zach needs to travel from Pasadena, CA, to Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, OH, to see a doctor who specializes in this specific genetic disorder.

Gina and I are trying to help raise the necessary travel funds to get Zach to Columbus for a potentially life-saving consultation with Dr. Carlo Di Lorenzo.   We are donating 100 percent of the net profits of our book sales for Bella Goes Bump in the Night, to help raise funds for Zach.  If you go to our website Bella the Greatwe have given people multiple options.  You can make a direct donation that will go directly to Zach without making a purchase.  You also can use the button that allows you to donate $15 or more and receive the book as a gift.  Visit 17-year-old Zach on his Facebook pageBig Zach’s Villageto learn more about this remarkable teenager.

What is the inspiration behind ”Bella Goes Bump in the Night?”

Our oldest daughter Bella (5 1/2 yrs.) is and continues to be our inspiration for the series.  We’ve now added Gia (2 1/2 yrs.) to our inspiration as well.  Bella Goes Bump in the Night came to us quickly after a talk about monsters with her.  She’s always had an incredibly active imagination (in the best way) and it’s something that we’ve marveled at and continually try to nurture in both our girls.  And, Bella has  contributed to some of the later stories.  She wants to be a knight for Christmas.  She doesn’t want to dress up as a knight.  No, Bella wants to actually receive knighthood.  We’re working on it!  Her current wish to be a knight definitely puts the idea of “Bella the Great” being knighted in the forefront of our minds for an upcoming story.

How has Bella responded to being featured in books?  What is Gia like?

Bella has had positive experiences from the book.  She definitely “gets it.”  The other day I overheard her asking the parent of another small child at the park, if she had “her” book?  I believe it has helped her self-confidence.  There have been times when she’s used it as a tool to ease me into the idea that she’s more capable of doing something than I might have given her credit for.   She has uttered on more than one occasion, “Don’t worry Papa, I’m Bella the Great!”  I am in awe of both girls every day.  Gia is the perfect complement to Bella and our family.  Gia is the one who is going to challenge me and give me gray hair.   Gina and I are truly blessed and excited to see the women they will grow up to be.  They show us true greatness every day.

Why did you decide to self-publish?  Did you find it challenging?

We self-published the first book.  That was the plan from the start.  We didn’t think we had enough time to go the traditional route.  We had some very specific goals and needs.  We felt that doing it ourselves would streamline the process.  As with everything, it had both its pros and cons.  Promotion was a foot to pavement scenario (finger to keyboard more so).  Then through friends we became connected to a variety of outlets.  It was very challenging and disheartening at times.   After the fact, we found a great agent, Mollie Glick with Foundry Literary Media.

How did you get your big break with Apple and publishing  on iTunes, iPhones and iPad? 

It was something we looked into in the early stages, but assumed it would take a good deal of time and capital   As it turned out, Gina had reconnected with a high school classmate who was developing apps with a new focus on children’s content.   He loved our book and approached us about developing it as an app, which he then submitted to Apple.  It’s definitely been our best market.  Apple and iTunes have been amazing and have loved Bella the Great.  We were picked as ”New and Noteworthy right out of the gate.  We were featured in the banner on the front page of iTunes when we were simultaneously selected as “What’s Hot.”  We were the number two book, second only to Green Eggs and Ham.   They also honored us with a “Staff Favorite” pick.  It’s been a great run and we’re hoping to get another book out on the platform soon.  We love Apple.  We have sold more digital copies than books.  People have given us such positive feedback, but they don’t follow-up and buy the book.

Your sales and reviews took off like wildfire.  How did you feel about receiving the coveted Kirkus Review?

We owe a great thanks to Apple for recognizing a great children’s book.  We’ve never been in touch with anyone at Apple.  Our developer doesn’t talk to anybody.  He made it clear that they are very protective against the possibility of anyone accusing them of favoritism.   The app is doing well when you consider that we were “nobodies.”  We have a German translation included now with Italian, Hebrew and Chinese ready to be integrated.

We didn’t realize what a great honor it was to be noticed and reviewed by Kirkus.  That was exciting!   It definitely helped us to stay on track with this idea that we were on to something.

What are your thoughts about the future of traditional children’s books and apps?

I am very old-fashioned and don’t believe digital media will do away with real books.  I see the impact first hand.  When the girls and I go to the library or book store, it’s like hunting for buried treasures when we search for books.  We take them home, find our favorites, and read them again and again.  It’s personal and intimate.  I don’t get that with book/apps.  Not even our own.  They’d rather read the real book.  I do see apps as an opportunity for writers who are self-publishing or are with smaller imprints.  It can give them that extra little push to get them on board.

What’s next for Derek and Gina?

We have 10 Bella books written with several more story lines in the works, and a stable of non-Bella books too, both written and in their infancy.  We definitely plan on putting more Bella books on iTunes.   We’re working on the second of two new Bella books that our agent will submit to publishers based on earlier feedback.


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