Recently we published our new interactive book “Thumbelina” on AppStore and Google Play. This app is really great and features wonderful graphics and awesome music. Fairy tale characters respond to touch with sound and movement.
That’s why we want  to share with you a video that’ll tell you about all marvellous features of this interactive book.

Version on AppStore:

Version on Google Play:

In 1948, two professors at Harvard University published a study of thirty-three hundred men who had recently graduated, looking at whether their names had any bearing on their academic performance. The men with unusual names, the study found, were more likely to have flunked out or to have exhibited symptoms of psychological neurosis than those with more common names. The Mikes were doing just fine, but the Berriens were having trouble. A rare name, the professors surmised, had a negative psychological effect on its bearer.

Some recent research suggests that names can influence choice of profession, where we live, whom we marry, the grades we earn, the stocks we invest in, whether we’re accepted to a school or are hired for a particular job, and the quality of our work in a group setting. Our names can even determine whether we give money to disaster victims: if we share an initial with the name of a hurricane, according to one study, we are far more likely to donate to relief funds after it hits.

Much of the apparent influence of names on behavior has been attributed to what’s known as the implicit-egotism effect: we are generally drawn to the things and people that most resemble us. Because we value and identify with our own names, and initials, the logic goes, we prefer things that have something in common with them.
That view, however, may not withstand closer scrutiny. The psychologist Uri Simonsohn, from the University of Pennsylvania, has questioned many of the studies that purport to demonstrate the implicit-egotism effect, arguing that the findings are statistical flukes that arise from poor methodology. A problem that he cites in some of these studies is an ignorance of base rates—the over-all frequency with which something, like a name, occurs in the population at large. It may be appealing to think that someone named Dan would prefer to be a doctor, but we have to ask whether there are so many doctor Dans simply because Dan is a common name, well-represented in many professions. If that’s the case, the implicit-egotism effect is no longer valid.

In 1984, the psychologist Debra Crisp and her colleagues found that though more common names were better liked, they had no impact on a person’s educational achievement. In 2012, the psychologists Hui Bai and Kathleen Briggs concluded that “the name initial is at best a very limited unconscious prime, if any.” While a person’s name may unconsciously influence his or her thinking, its effects on decision-making are limited. Follow-up studies have also questioned the link between names and longevity, career choice and success, geographic and marriage preferences, and academic achievement.

However, it may not be the case that name effects don’t exist; perhaps they just need to be reinterpreted. These findings have been demonstrated internationally as well. A Swedish study comparedimmigrants who had changed their Slavic, Asian, or African names, such as Kovacevic and Mohammed, to more Swedish-sounding, or neutral, ones, like Lindberg and Johnson. The economists Mahmood Arai and Peter Skogman Thoursie, from Stockholm University, found that this kind of name change substantially improved earnings: the immigrants with new names made an average of twenty-six per cent more than those who chose to keep their names.

We see a name, implicitly associate different characteristics with it, and use that association, however unknowingly, to make unrelated judgments about the competence and suitability of its bearer. The relevant question may not be “What’s in a name?” but, rather, “What signals does my name send—and what does it imply?

By Maria Konnikova

Perhaps each of us has ever dreamt of plunging into some really exciting adventures: becoming the captain of a real pirate vessel, finding a treasure map and going to search for it with his own crew.
Now your children can do that! With the help of our new app, they will not only enjoy the amenities of the pirate life, but also have a lot of fun looking for the treasure and accomplishing different missions.
Besides that, a happy confluence of the book and the game in the app will give your child many positive emotions.

English version:
Russian version:

On December 14 (tomorrow!), our Advent Calendar app will start working for those people who celebrate Christmas on January 7. Each day (from tomorrow till January 7), you or your child or your whole family will get a small pre-Christmas gift in the Advent Calendar app. It is a more cheerful way to wait for Christmas! Download our app on Google Play and AppStore!

AppStore download link:
Google Play download link:

Today we would like to tell you about the structure and the features of the app in detail, at which we had been working for more than two months.

When we were creating this app, we didn’t want, for a number of reasons, to repeat the Advent Calendar apps which have already been published: most of them confine themselves to giving users a picture or a poem or a song on another day of Christmas expectation. As for us, we wanted to give the impression of a small, but the real daily gift. This gift turned out to be a small living winter world in our app, which grows and enlarges day by day – from the snow-covered lawn in front of the house on the first day of the app working to the three multifunctional two-screen locations for Christmas.

There are also some simple gifts in our calendar app: each day we’re giving users some things that give them an opportunity to make something new in the app. Though we’re also giving them a picture, the real gift is the Christmas world with the house at the edge of the wood which comes to life day after day, and where each day presents new gifts and surprises: toys for decorating the Christmas tree, the harness and the apples for Santa Claus’s deer, the firework which you can let off anytime you like, and the magic letterbox in order to send email Christmas greetings to your friends. You can also play snowballs, feed the curious forest inhabitants with the carrot grown by yourself, skate, light up the fireplace, light the lanterns and candles, bake ginger cookies, and so on.

When creating the calendar app, we tried to gather all the Christmas traditions we know in one place. In our app, there is also an old Celtic legend about the candles on the Christmas tree which light from the rays of moonlight by themselves. We have a little altered this idea, and you’ll be able to see that on Christmas Eve in the app. By the way, for different people it will start on different days: as the app is sold both in Russia and Europe, and Christmas in these countries is celebrated on different days (January 7 and December 25), we’re giving users an opportunity to choose the date by themselves. According to their choice, the calendar app will start counting the days left till the holiday.

For those for whom Advent started on December 1, we’ve been a little late. But we think it’s not so bad to open several gifts at once:) The calendar app itself is made so that the user who’s been late for the beginning can open all the previous gifts at once. It helps users join the pre-Christmas countdown anytime they like. In December of the following year, the calendar will be closed again for those users who’d like to use it according to its intended purpose.

The important principle that we’ve laid down in our app is the principle of randomness: a user can’t act upon everything that happens in the world of the game. All by itself, it is snowing there, the day follows the night, and even the moon is exactly like the real one – it waxes and wanes according to the real phases of the lunar cycle (at least, we guarantee that to the next six months).

In spite of the three main locations (the winter yard, the user’s room, and the house of Santa), there are also two additional sections in the app: a small question-answering system in which we tried to consider all the moments which could be incomprehensible to our users, and the Make it yourself section where we offered the users of the Advent Calendar app to make some Christmas decorations and treats by themselves.

Besides that, we also recommend you our app published some weeks ago as a promo to the Advent Calendar app – the Christmas Coloring and Erasing book app. This is a very simple app: you just need to melt the frostwork on your device screen with your finger. However, everyone agrees that melting that frostwork really gets you in the mood. In the Coloring book app, we used some illustrations from the Advent Calendar app (but unlike the advent calendar’s ones, they are not interactive). Download it and join over 11000 AppStore and Google Play users who have already installed this Coloring Book app. The app is free and, as well as the Advent Calendar, multilingual.

We tried to be in earnest about what our customers are going to see, and we thoroughly checked all the interactive elements (such as gifts, and others), translations into 6 languages (English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, and Russian), and the logic of the app itself. Of course, there is something left unnoticed and unaccounted, as it always happens. We will definitely update the app to correct the bugs which we didn’t notice during the testing process. First, we love this app so much. Second, we want you to love it too.

We’re giving the finishing touches to our Advent Calendar app. For example, recently it has turned out that one of the hares on the cover of our calendar cannot hide behind the snowman properly – his hind leg is seen! Our developers felt sorry for the poor animal and teached him to hide better:)

We’re planning to publish our Advent Calendar app in AppStore and Google Play on Monday (December 2). We’ll also spend some days on checking the app in the markets, so for those for whom Advent starts on December 1, we’ll be a little late. But it is not so bad, because then you’ll be able to open several gifts at once;)

Besides that, don’t forget about our contest: the one who will guess how one can get all gifts in the app at once (and even on the first day!), will be given the iOS or Android version of our Advent Calendar app as a gift.

How can it be that in a flowerpot on the windowsill, there is the carrot grown instead of the expected tulip? Easy! You ask the designer of the app: “Please, draw a flowerpot and a bulb” (and you mean a tulip bulb). But the designer thinks you mean onion, and offers you more suitable variant – carrot.
That is why there is the carrot instead of the tulip growing on the windowsill in our app (we put tulips only on the great holidays).
On the other hand, with the carrot, you can feed hares!:)

People who buy advent calendars with chocolates can’t help opening all windows at once, because it’s so easy and at the same time attractive. In our app, each of the windows with gifts can be opened only on the appropriate day, so it won’t be possible to eat all the chocolates in one day. But there’s one trick that lets people with a sweet tooth get all gifts at once. The one who will guess what it is, will be given our Advent Calendar app as a gift on its release day, and we hope it will help him wait till Christmas together with everyone:)