In a world run by technology, it is no longer surprising to see once-dominant industries slowly falling, succumbing to the efficiency that ever-evolving technology brings to the table. The slowly diminishing publishing industry is what motivated Sigbjorn Dugal to start Pickatale, a digital publisher of an interactive multilingual storytelling app seeking to educate children aged 0-8 through the use of modern tools.
Pickatale is an interactive app that aims to teach children new languages and expand their native tongue vocabulary while listening to their favorite stories, ranging from original tales to public domain tales, all with a modern spin. The stories, which can be accessed through the purchase of a monthly subscription, introduce children to an interactive world of knowledge, allowing them to tap away at the screen, identify objects and activate speaking illustrations, simultaneously exposing them to competent levels of grammar and promoting vocabulary expansion. The storytelling app is very user friendly, offering different modes of use including Autoplay, Read to Me and Read Myself, depending on user preference and age. It currently offers 200+ stories in English and Norwegian, slightly fewer in Chinese and Swedish, but is looking to expand into other languages, including Danish and Spanish. According to COO Josh Chaim, the goal of the company is to “create an ecosystem with stories, games, spelling-related content, augmented reality concepts, and other exciting content and features for young minds.”
Interestingly enough, the company is not only international in content, but also in spirit. The company is a Norwegian- registered startup based in Beijing, China. Dugal says China was the ideal location for this startup due to the country becoming one of the world’s fastest growing consumer markets and attracting talent from around the globe, as well as China’s undeniable cost effectiveness. Pickatale’s staff hails from all over the world, including Norway, Canada, Denmark, Holland, Israel, Brazil and China.
Pickatale’s catchy slogan “Bright Illustrations that talk when tapped are sure to excited little fingers and minds” has clearly caught the attention of young readers worldwide, and is now being called the “Netflix” or “Spotify” for children’s books”, with educational institutions and airlines looking to partner with the company. We at CSOFT International believe in the power that language holds and are proud supporters of any company that successfully combines language, culture and technology into one revolutionary storytelling app.