Brighton Dad Makes Bedtime Reading Cool With Six New Novelty Pop Songs
JONATHAN Beacher was like most other dads.
Two years ago, he was reading nursery rhymes to his young daughter Lotte when he got bored with the repetition.
He wanted something that bit different to encourage both himself and Lotte.
The 41-year-old designer from Elm Grove, Brighton, thought it would be cool to create something which involved lyrics from famous songs.
And that is exactly what he has just launched in Pop Reads.
Jonathan said: “I felt that there was a gap in the market and decided the time was right to exploit it.
“I felt: ‘Wouldn’t it be fun if we read or sang our favourite pop song lyrics together?’
“It’s all about sharing songs that you like.
“I got in touch with Sony/ATV who I’d worked with before and pitched them the idea.
“They loved it and agreed to give me the official song licence to create children’s books.”
He chose six songs:
ABC by The Jackson 5
Can I kick it? by Tribe Called Quest
Girls Just Want to Have Fun made famous by Cyndi Lauper
I Wish it Could be Christmas Everyday by Wizzard
Perfect Day by Lou Reed
Race for the Prize by The Flaming Lips.
Jonathan said: “I’ve chosen songs I think young people will love but also songs I love too and will enjoy sharing.
“Can I Kick It? is a classic from my younger days and Race For the Prize is by one of my favourite bands.”
He has now designed and created six books, one for each songs.
Now he needs funding to publish them before Christmas.
He said: “I’m looking to raise enough funds to be able to get this first set of books printed and the records pressed.
“Each book uses the exact lyrics from the song, which I’ve bought to life with fun characters.
“For example, ABC by the Jackson 5 has been turned into a pirate themed adventure that follows the five Jackson pirates as they hunt for buried treasure.
“I’ve already illustrated each book and I’ve sourced all the printing and production partners I need to be able to produce these books and get them delivered in time for Christmas.
“Creating this set has been real fun and road testing them on the little one has been even more fun.
“You know a character or style isn’t going to meet the toddler seal of approval when she screws up her nose and just flatly says ‘No Daddy!’
“With such insightful creative feedback, I’ve been able to play with a whole range of styles to bring the songs to life, and take them in a direction that makes it fun for both grown ups and kids alike.
“We’ve re-recorded each of these tracks to be pressed to seven inch vinyl to create your child’s very first record.
“Working with some excellent professional musicians, we’ve created the tracks to be fun.
“Now you can pop the record on, have a little dance or read along with the book.”
Jonathan said the children’s book industry is growing.
He said: “I carried out a lot of research and found there wasn’t one dominant book.
“Harry Potter and Hungry Caterpillar and The Gruffalo are, of course, popular.
“Mums are the biggest influence to young children followed by teachers and then dad.
“The number of parents reading bedtime stories to their children has gone down by one fifth in five years.”
The books cost £6.99 and are aimed at children aged between two and seven.
He said: “I firmly believe in the idea.”
Go to www.popreadsbooks.com
You can search on Kickstarter for Pop Reads.