Behind the scenes of the Mr Glue App

Amelia Thorne came up with the original idea, to create stories that children could personalise, help illustrate, record using sound effects and music, email to friends and get professionally printed as paperback books. She wrote the stories and co-ordinated the creative side of things.

Carrie Gregory-Hood helped turn the original idea into an app, and set up the business side of the company.

Jose Fragoso brought the world of Mr Glue Stories alive with fabulous hand-drawn illustrations.

Lorna Bradbury kindly sorted out the editing for us.

Maja Bogunovic wrote the theme tune.

Liz Norden worked with that to create the music that goes into each story and gives Mr Glue himself a background. She also came up with the name. I told her about the little character who would introduce the app and help you through each stage of the process: ‘Oh yes – he holds it all together, he’s Mr Glue!’ she said.

Stewart Scudamore and his sound crew team at Primrose Hill Primary School came up with sound effects – the sort of thing that every child could make at home or in the classroom.

Kate Hopewell gave us the benefit of her teaching expertise – and she joined in with the sound.

Ben Freedman was the voice at the other end of the phone that kept the thing from flagging, and then Jamie and Leslie from his team at Picture Farm Productions made us a video.

Alex Berezovskiy, Paulo Gongalves and Joe Conway at Leto in Shoreditch built the app (and were unfailingly patient with us!)

Mak Archer built the Book Management System, which allows us to load up more stories, images and sounds and will ultimately allow us to make Mr Glue Stories available as a web reader, and available on Android.

Where the idea came from

‘Please write me a story…’A while ago, my daughter said ‘Please write me a story’. I did, and I emailed it to her. She was incredibly excited about this story, because it was her very own and she was in it. She read it over and over again. I got quite excited about it too: it kick-started the whole business of reading, and (more to the point) enjoying it.

Encouraging children to read

Then my friend, Lorna, who writes a column about books for children told me that one of the questions she gets asked the most is ‘how do I get my child to read?’ I thought, wouldn’t it be great if we could design some sort of book which not only personalises the story as I did for my daughter, but then go a step further and involve each child in the process.

Watch the video here to see how it works.

Or go to the ‘Help’ page to read the instructions. Go here

Something for grandparents, uncles, aunts – in fact the whole family!

Another thing that added to the idea is that like lots of us, I have family living all over the place. And it’s the little things that you miss. Like being able to read a bedtime story to someone except they happen to live miles away. I loved the idea of being able to set a story up for someone, record and email it to them.

Not quite as good as being there, but – hey, it’s a start.

Read how you can use it here.

Where do the stories come from?

Part of the Mr Glue vision is to give new authors a platform. We are starting with four stories written in-house. Then, collaborating with currently unpublished authors, who will be earning royalties from the scheme, we aim to give you a large collection of original stories, which will be added to regularly.  Read more here.

And other things too…

We’ve also had positive responses from those who use it in the classroom or are teaching English as a foreign language to children, with the ‘read, record, listen’ process. Find out how teachers use it here.

Our cookery book, Mission Cookpossible is available in our webshop – it’s a story and a cookery book and it’s personalised!


And in the future

There are plenty of ideas bubbling away for future developments… keep an eye on the blog!