Thursday, Oct. 17, 2013 | 1:02 a.m.
For five years, artist and author Christine Mangall-Schwarz labored away, turning her two daughters’ bath time into a new, multimedia publishing concept, and now the Henderson mom’s project, Bubble Tubbie, is winning awards and is poised to become the next Barbie, Elmo and Leap Frog.
Conversations have begun for animated children’s TV programming and movies. Under the name of Epiphany Schwarz, she has created a three-part experience to entertain children, capturing their whimsy, wonder and magic in the bubbles at bath time.
Christine, who wrote all the actions and movements in the multimedia releases, directed her two daughters, Isabelle and Zoe, while recording narration on the app as they added natural bath-time playtime sounds. I’m no expert when it comes to the multibillion-dollar children’s industry, but I sent one to my 4-year-old granddaughter Gianna, and she hasn’t stopped playing with it ever since.
She’s reveling in the stories and is able to easily maneuver the colors, photos, paintings and poetry into sublime stories and eclectic patterns. She even discovered the hidden navigation bar of bubbles at the top of each page with the sounds of splash, pop, giggle and bloop. Gianna is proving that the bubble bath is the most cherished of childhood rituals.
Christine’s website, bubbletubbie.com, shows the gorgeous hardcover version, a plastic bathtub edition that sticks to the wall, the LED Light Bubble Ball and the extraordinary iPad app. The 3-D artwork, design, graphics and sound effects are remarkable, and the publishing industry has just acknowledged her creativity. A Certificate of Merit was presented to her at the Printing Industries of America’s annual awards, and from the 2013 Best Book Marketing, where she competed among 5,240 entries, she won a bronze medal IPPY Award.
Over dinner at Nobu Caesars Palace, she told me: “There were many times over the five years I became concerned if it would happen. However, I never lost faith, and, as it turned out, it was even more magical than any bubble I chased as a child. It became even more powerful than the fear and doubt that seeped in.
“This really became a case of realizing your potential and running with it fearlessly. The faster you run, the more you believe — and the more you trust yourself — the better.”
This trifecta of a coffee-table-style children’s book, a waterproof bathtub version with lights and accessories, and an interactive iPad app is noteworthy in publishing history.
Christine says she has several more books in the pipeline and is off this week to Hong Kong for the first overseas edition in Mandarin.
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
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