Archive for the 'News' Category

And The Award Goes To…

Thursday, November 7th, 2013


We’re very excited to announce that Creative Child Magazine has named ‘Twas the Mouse Who Saved Christmas a 2013 Book Of The Year! We are grateful for this award!

This personalized book for Christmas spins the classic Christmas poem around your child’s name. When a daring mouse accidentally rips your child’s name from Santa’s list, she must avoid Santa’s cat, Fritz, and fix things before Christmas!

Christmas is right around the corner! Order a copy now so you can read it with your favorite kiddo throughout the month of December!

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New Personalized Book: ‘Twas The Mouse Who Saved Christmas

Monday, October 15th, 2012


We’re stoked to introduce you to our new personalized book, ‘Twas The Mouse Who Saved Christmas!

Meet Pipp Squeak, the adorable but mischievous mouse who lives in Santa’s wall.


‘It’s the night before Christmas and Pipp goes looking for a cookie…


But she finds St. Nick’s cat, Fritz, instead — and accidentally rips Santa’s list!


Gasp! Look whose name got ripped from this list…your child’s!


Pipp tries to fix the list… but she does more harm than good!


And she’s not done yet! Can Pipp avoid getting eaten and fix her mess in time to save your child’s Christmas? Create your personalized book now to find out!

Personalize This Book

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First Birthday Gift Ideas

Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

Following Featherbottom made an appearance on the The 10! Show, a daily lifestyle and entertainment show in Philadelphia. Shannon Choe of Premier Baby Concierge went on the show to talk about her favorite gift ideas for a one-year old’s birthday. Skip ahead to about the 4:10 mark to see our quick segment. Spoiler alert, it includes the words “…a really neat keepsake…the illustrations are awesome.”

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Project OpenBook In The News

Thursday, March 18th, 2010


Project OpenBook made the nightly news last night. Lance Schwartz features special interest stories in a series called “Lance’s Journal” for 10/11 News in Lincoln, Nebraska. His stories are uplifting and inspiring, a truly welcome break from many of the stories that violently force their way into the nightly news.

Lance did a terrific 2 minute video on Project OpenBook. He somehow found a few soundbites to make me sound halfway intelligent (not an easy task). This news piece also gave me a great excuse to meet Jaime Kubik and her sons. A huge thank-you to Jaime for contacting Lance (among others) and spreading the good word. It’s through the generous work and contribution from folks like Jaime that Project OpenBook will continue to grow toward its full potential.  We’re just waiting for Oprah to call back…

My only regret is that the footage of my son reciting Magic Tricks got clipped in the editing room. Thanks to Lance for creating such a terrific piece.

You can watch Lance’s Journal here or by clicking the image above.

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Friday, January 1st, 2010

Thank You

2009 snuck out the side-exit before I had a chance to thank a few people who deserve it. A huge thank you goes out to:

My family and friends, especially my lovely wife. For their love and support. For enduring through four years of hearing about this far-off idea. For sticking with me through it all.

Ken Wiebke. For building this shockingly amazing website in his spare time. For staying sane through 3+ years of changes and speed-bumps. For sacrificing his free time. For his sense of humor through it all. For his understanding family. For his friendship.

Brad Sneed. For shaking hands three years ago on little more than an idea and a single meeting over breakfast. In an age of contracts and litigation, that kind of my-word-is-bond trustworthiness is rare and refreshing. For two years of painstaking work — the artwork of Following Featherbottom is simply breathtaking. For continuing this wild ride with Project OpenBook and beyond. For his understanding family. For his friendship.

The dudes at Oxide Design. For the concepts for this website and blog. For transforming my crummy logo ideas into something awesome. For help in naming our first book. For being generally awesome dudes.

Phil Belin. For his advice and counsel. For making MarbleSpark official. For embracing a pay-for-results model and bucking the tired old legal practice of hourly billing.

Adrian Hanft. For making this blog look and work terrifically. For working around the deficiencies of various browsers (if you’re reading this in Internet Explorer, please consider switching). For putting up with me.

For you. If you’re reading this, thank you. You’re here at take-off, before we’ve really proven ourselves. Thank you for riding along. With your help, I hope we can do amazing things in 2010.

image by psd

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Maiden voyage

Friday, January 1st, 2010


We’re pulling up anchor.  Raising the mast.  Leaving port.  Setting sail.  Pointing our bow toward the edge of the earth and hoping it’s round after all.

After four years of hard work, of highs and lows, of faith and doubt, we’re finally ready.

I could write a book about what it’s taken to get to this point.  About the friendships made, the relationships strained, all the monumental effort, joy and pain that went into this idea called MarbleSpark.  But there will be time for looking back later.

Right now I want to look ahead.  Right now I want to talk about what this is.  And what we believe it can become.

First, the name.  Why MarbleSpark?  It speaks to our goal of igniting minds.  Marble is meant figuratively, as in brain, noggin’, noodle – like, “Have you lost your marbles?”.  And Spark suggests ignition, explosion, combustion.   We want to spark creativity, spark curiosity, spark imagination.  For you and for the kids in your life.  MarbleSpark isn’t just a name, it’s a mission.

So what is MarbleSpark?  We’re a publisher of amazing books.  For now, that’s Following Featherbottom, a personalized storybook that tells the story of your child’s name.  But we hope there will be many, many more amazing books to come.

But our dreams don’t stop with selling a ton of books.  We started MarbleSpark with the dream of making an impact.  We’ve got a plan to give away a boatload of books to kids that need them most.  We’ll tell you more about that plan over the coming months.

And that’s where this blog comes in. We don’t know exactly where this journey will take us.  But it will be an adventure.

And we’re hoping you’ll ride along.  We’re hoping you’ll participate – through your comments and input.  We’re hoping you’ll share this with everyone you know.  We’re hoping you’ll be a part of it.

So climb aboard.  Bookmark this site.  Add it to your RSS feed.  Or follow along on Facebook or Twitter. Anchors aweigh!

Photo by Holy7th.

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My favorite gift

Sunday, December 27th, 2009

Storybook Thank You

A fan shared this thank-you note from her granddaughter Hanna (age 6 and in Kindergarten):

Grandma Jodi ~ Thank you so much for the book.  I can’t believe it is all about me!  We’ve read it lots of times!  thanks     ~Love Hanna

…and from Hanna’s mom:

OMG!  That book is amazing!  You should have seen how big her eyes got when she realized it was about her!  Amazing.  Definitely her most favorite book ever!

That’s easily my favorite Christmas gift of 2009 (with no offense to the giver of my 2nd favorite gift: socks and underwear).  I’m blown away by how thoughtful and smart (and prompt!) young Hanna is.  She’s obviously destined for big things!

Thank you, Jodi, for sharing it!  We’re honored to have been a small part of your Christmas.

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