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AppSherpa Limited, of Castle Camps, near Haverhill, launches illumiBook app to help more children enjoy reading





A software developer has released an app to help children with learning difficulties overcome a fear of reading and develop a love of real books.

illumiBook Publishing, a not-for-profit platform, is the creation of AppSherpas Limited, based in Castle Camps, near Haverhill.

The publisher has also helped two Haverhill authors realise long-held dreams, by publishing books they have had in development for many years.

Graeme Gibson, the founder and CEO of AppSherpa, has created the new app, illumiBook, to help attract more children into reading books. Submitted picture
Graeme Gibson, the founder and CEO of AppSherpa, has created the new app, illumiBook, to help attract more children into reading books. Submitted picture

A free mobile app, illumiBook provides the user with a personal reading assistant who narrates the story page by page so the child may listen to the words being read as they follow the printed words themselves, helping them to develop reading skills and the love of reading.

Graeme Gibson, founder and CEO at AppSherpas Limited, said: “As part of AppSherpas’ 25th anniversary, we have released this unique platform to help children, especially those with reading difficulties, improve literacy and overcome their fear of books.”

The father of three’s own experiences with his dyslexic son helped him to shape the new app.

Maggie’s Sixth Birthday by Amelia Ike, one of he books published by illumiBook.Submitted picture
Maggie’s Sixth Birthday by Amelia Ike, one of he books published by illumiBook.Submitted picture

He said: “Experiencing the difficulties children with learning difficulties encounter in school from within my own family, I understand the importance of helping them to overcome the fear of reading at an early age.

“Launching a free app which narrates each page of a story while the child reads along in the physical book helps them better participate with their peers in the classroom and enhance the experience of enjoying books at home.

“illumiBook also provides additional revenue opportunities for the authors, encouraging the creation of more content for the education and entertainment of all.”

Graeme, 69, said: ”Our biggest priority at the moment is getting the app into the hands of people for children to start using and importantly a request for authors and publishers to let us include their publications in the library to give more choice.

”The app is free, including in the library. Creating a narration audio is also free.

”The only thing someone needs to purchase is a book from the normal bookstore or online retailers.”

Graeme has also published Emotions, Mirian Wiseman’s short, illustrated anthology of poems from her life and Cockney Roach by Tracy Jessop, which features a new comic character and his cockney insect family and friends.

illumiBook is available for download from Apple’s Appstore, with an Android version scheduled for development.