I admit it: I'm a total geek. I love electronics, programming, 3D art, vintage Apple hardware, and whisky. I'm always juggling half a dozen projects. I also enjoy documenting it all: my successes, my failures, my experiences... and everything geeky along the way.

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Flat Stanley's California Adventure | Kevin Rye.net - Main

Kevin Rye

Geek Extraordinaire. Yeh, I said it.

Flat Stanley's California Adventure

My 7-year old’s class has been reading the Flat Stanley book in school. Basically, Flat Stanley got flattened by a bulletin board and now he can fit inside an envelope. Each kid in the class had to color and cut out a Flat Stanley character and send him to a relative who lives out of town. The premise is that kids will get to learn about a bunch of places around the world through the stories and pictures that come back from Stanley’s travels.

My brother lives 3,000 miles away in California, so he seemed like the obvious choice for who Stanley should visit. I shot my brother an email and asked him if he was up to the task. He was all for it. He definitely went above and beyond the call of duty. I expected only a few simple pictures from around town; maybe with a cactus or palm tree in the background, but he took him to the San Diego Zoo!

The pictures he emailed back were so great that I decided to make my son a book in iPhoto that he could show off to the class. It would also be a nice keepsake for him, as well as a one-of-kind present and thank you for his Uncle.

I jumped into iPhoto and started dropping pictures into one of the travel themes. I’ve always wanted to make a book using one of the travel themes, but never had the chance to up until now. I finally got to use one of the cool maps that comes with the template!

Screen Shot 2014-03-11 at 5.04.43 PM

Whenever I make a book, I usually go for broke and order the 13” x 10” hardcover one. For this, I wanted it to look somewhat like a kid’s book, so I went with the 11” x 8.5” softcover version. At $19.99 a pop, it’s a pretty sweet deal for such a custom creation.

I wasn’t too crazy about the package they sent it in. Usually the books come in a nondescript brown box. This one was plastered with the Apple logo. Nothing advertises “steal me” to the carrier, as well as your neighbors, like an Apple logo.


I guess it’s a good thing that it has “Your photo order is here” printed on the front. Who wants that?


In any case, the books arrived safe and sound. I ordered two; one for my son, and one for my brother.

The books look great. It’s almost hard to believe these are iPhone 5c pictures.


What’s great about the fact that the images are iPhone pics is that they’re already geotagged with location data. You can add one of the cool looking maps to the book and it automatically populates it with the locations where the images were taken.


The print quality is great.



My son loved it, as well as his teacher. She was really impressed. The one for my brother is still in the mail. I guess I’ll find out in a week or so if he got a kick out of it.

Hey, I just realized something! I just wrote my first kid’s book! Maybe I should make some more!