By Ganesa Robinson, IMCOM Public AffairsJune 10, 2014
(JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO, TX) In celebration of the Army's 239th birthday, the Army announced today the release of a children's electronic book titled, "Happy Birthday U.S. Army!" which is now available online.
Child, Youth and School Services, a division of the U.S. Army Installation Management Command, first developed the book in 2008 as a result of a directive from the Secretary of the Army to involve children in the Child Development Centers with the Army's Birthday.
Edward Griffin, acting Division Chief, Marketing, IMCOM, believes the new design will resonate with children and leveraging technology by creating the eBook will make a greater impact.
"We're excited about the new design and taking the Army birthday book to a digital platform," said Griffin. "We serve Army Families around the world, our intent was to find a cost-effective way to provide our geographically-dispersed Families access. We accomplished this through the development of the eBook."
Griffin added that, "Army children are some of the most tech-savvy children in the world. It's our vision to be able to connect with them in new and exciting ways in the future, as well."
The "Happy Birthday U.S. Army!" book is the fourth children's book written by Mary Ellen Pratt and co-written by Donna M. McGrath, both employees of Army Child, Youth and School Services. Pratt explains that their intent was to develop a book to help children better understand the importance of what their parents do in the Army and what it means to be a part of the Army Family.
The newly designed book includes all new bright, colorful illustrations that bring the characters to life and tells the Army history through the eyes of a child.
"We're really excited that we can now reach more children, especially those located outside of a garrison. They'll be able to access the eBook and learn about the Army's rich history," said Pratt. "We live in a visual society. We knew that if we wanted children to pick up the book and keep their attention, then we'd have to create pictures that children can connect with."
Cara Embry, the illustrator of the eBook said that her goal was to make the illustrations fun, contemporary and fresh, similar to what you might see in a television show for kids.
"The idea was to create a children's book that made the characters appear to be stickers, because children love that they are bright and whimsical," she explained.
During the week leading up to the Army's 239th birthday, and throughout the month of June, Child Development Centers will host readings where Army leaders and community public figures will read the "Happy Birthday U.S. Army!" book to children across the Army.
While the books are aimed primarily for children, the intent is for the entire family to get involved and use the book as an opportunity to learn and talk about their parent's role in the Army community. Both Pratt and McGrath believe that it is important to recognize that our Soldiers are moms and dads, and hope that Army Fmilies will take advantage of the online version to read it to their children.
The "Happy Birthday U.S. Army!" book is free and available now online for download at the Army MWR website, http://www.armymwr.com/birthday-book, and on the Army OneSource website, under the Child, Youth, and School Services section, https://www.myarmyonesource.com/ChildYouthandSchoolServices/ArmyBirthday/default.aspx.
To participate in Army Birthday events at a garrison near you, contact your local ArmyMWR - http://www.armymwr.com/armybirthday-events.aspx.