Tell us a little about yourself and your background.
I hold an Engineering Degree from Ecole Polytechnique, Paris (an equivalent of MIT) and an MBA degree from IMD, Lausanne. Professionally, I used to be the Group VP for Strategy of Safran, a great Aerospace Manufacturing Company, based in France, and CEO of different subsidiaries around the world. I recently decided to invest myself into Education and World Heritage, especially to take advantage of technology as a tool for all to discover and understand better the world and each other.
I was appointed President of Quelle Histoire in June 2014.
I grew up in a family where culture, education and history were always valued, and spent extensive periods of time with my family at museums and historical sites as well as travelling a lot, discovering the true essence of diversity. This is something I really wish to share. Education and entertainment could compete, or alternatively could complete each other. The latter is what we intend to do at Quelle Histoire.
I am married and a dad to two beloved boys (8 and 9yrs old) who are obviously among the best supporters of Quelle Histoire, and our first beta-testers!
What led to the formation of Quelle Histoire?
Quelle Histoire was created 3 years ago with the aim of making kids’ learning fun, but also focusing on History and historical characters. We strongly believe that great people and leaders really contribute and build history, through their vision, actions and influence. This should be explained to kids.
What has been your main goal with your range of history apps?
Back in 2010, Quelle Histoire started with great French characters, mainly kings and queens, but we decided approximately one year ago to diversify our reach to the World Heritage. We started to develop Mandela for Kids in late 2013.
Are they aimed at a specific age group?
Our apps (and books too, only in French for the moment) are dedicated to 6 to 10 year old. Kindle eBooks in different languages should come soon, with quite good value for money, as we want our books to be widely spread.
How do you ensure that the content is pitched at the correct level to ensure understanding?
We used to work with a French Lab affiliated to CNRS (the official State-owned France's National Research Center), that specialized in the science of suitable language for young audiences. Quelle Histoire is regularly testing apps with French teachers in order to improve navigation and knowledge learning tools, and make sure they keep being suitable for kids of a younger age.
Overall, and to make sure of historical quality, texts are written by the Editor-in-Chief at Historia, the #1 history magazine in France. They are then translated into different languages by a team of professionals.
The inclusion of interactive challenges and collectible character cards take your apps beyond simple ebooks. Were these always planned as core design elements?
Interactive challenges (jigsaws, where’s, mazes, find the error, etc…) and collectible characters are at the heart of our products, making sure kids really find it fun to play with our apps, rather than only learning. “Learning through play” would be a great summary of our DNA. As you know, kids love to collect cards. If they can learn a little from it, we have reached our goals.
The artwork has a really unique and striking look. Was it important to adopt a cartoon style?
The cartoon-like style is key for the kids to enter the story and appreciate it, not only as a learning tool, but rather like a game. It makes sure kids really have great moments with the Quelle Histoire mini characters and hopefully with their parents too. We have a lot of parents who really love the artwork, and do buy the apps for this.
Tell us a little about your latest app focusing on D-Day. You've tackled a difficult subject effectively.
With D-Day for Kids, Quelle Histoire brings the D-Day Anniversary to a younger generation so that they can remember and discuss events with older generations. It is always difficult to talk about war to kids of 6 -10, who can hardly measure what war is really. Thus we focused essentially on actions (French resistance, US, Canadian and British units, paratroopers, Omaha Beach), planning and dedicated characters (Eisenhower, Robert Capa, Lord Lovat) to help kids focus their attention on key "matters.”
What's next for you? Can you tell us about any other apps on the horizon from Quelle Histoire?
We expect to issue approximately two apps a month from September, starting with Mozart and Napoleon. Cleopatra, John Paul II, Buddha, Caesar, Christopher Columbus and Albert Einstein are going to come next, but also great characters such as Al Capone should appear before the end of the year, that kids should love too!
How can our readers keep up to date with your releases?
Readers willing to be up to date of our new releases can register to our newsletter / papertoys in the Parent section of any of our apps (especially Ulysses for Kids and D-Day for Kids) or send details to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for speaking with us Emmanuel. We really love the Quelle Histoire range and can't wait to see all these new apps you have in store in the next year..
Follow Quelle Histoire on Twitter - @quelle_histoire
You can also find out more about the company by visiting the official website at http://quellehistoire.org/