The Crazy Ones
Dr. Chatichai Chong & Hao Jin: our founders.
Shine a light on childhood education.
We are trying to reinvent reading and the way we see books.
Our passion and our raison d’être is to provide every child in Asia (and eventually the world) with the books that they deserve.
We aim to pave the way in making reading accessible, enjoyable and affordable.
A little about us.
Education is topic that strikes close to home for me. I was mocked back in high school for my rudimentary vocabulary and poor grammar. I didn't have the resources then to study English properly. I intend to change the status quo for every child like myself. My dream is for children to become empowered through language.
- Hao Jin, Founder, Me Books Global
After a career in advertising spanning almost a decade, Hao Jin changed industries in 2011 to pursue his passion for education technology. He is the co-founder of the world's 1st chemistry adventure game, "ChemCaper," which won multiple awards including Asia's Best E-Learning award, was featured at Google I/O in 2015, and covered by 800 media outlets globally. Since 2016 he's been at the helm of Me Books fulfilling his ambition of making world-class education available and affordable for every child.
"A doctor with one pair of hands can only help so many, but a doctor with the power of literacy..."
- Dr. Chatichai Chong, Founder, Me Books Global
During my years in medicine, I saw underserved kids firsthand and even though I was able to help them from a medical standpoint, it hit me pretty quickly that they would still be miles away from having access to good education; often literally. I felt there must be a way for us to make use of technology and make education far more accessible with it.
With Me Books, we're able to reach affluent parents in the cities as well parents in the more remote areas, and let every child engage with world-class reading content on the devices they already have.
Dr. Chatichai Chong
Having attained his medical degree in Russia, Dr. Chong spent 6 years working as a medical doctor, devoting his time to caring for underprivileged children and serving as Deputy Hospital Director at Hospital Serian, Sarawak, Malaysia before deciding to address another affliction of many of his patients and their communities - lack of access to education
Common Communication Barriers :
Most children in Asia learn only basic English in primary and secondary school
A prevalent issue across South East Asian countries.
Four core skills integral to excelling in life are Literacy, Communication, Presentation and Storytelling. However, these are not skills that can be easily acquired from mundane classrooms and outdated syllabi.
Great content should be enjoyed by all
The children come first.
We are trying to bridge tactile and digital learning by educating parents on leveraging the versatile uses of smartphones.
Simple to use and parent-friendly, this approach empowers parents to be their child's first teacher.
Walking the talk
Change is never easy, especially for a daunting task such as this. Thus we have to give credit where it's due; to these 11 folks right here.
Everyone here came from different fields of expertise, from academia to art & publishing, medicine, technology, printing production, and data security.
More than friendship
It takes commitment to deliver
Great things cannot be accomplished by individuals alone.
Continuing Me Books' legacy and pushing the boundaries in Asia.
The original Me Books is founded by BAFTA award-winning team including James Huggins and Mike Outlaw.
The team produced apps, games, websites and video content for major clients including Penguin Random House, LEGO, and McDonald's.
BAFTA-nominated apps e.g. Sneak, The Land of Me
And of course Me Books, the award-winning app that has been downloaded on millions of devices all over the world.
@London Book Fair Tech (2nd from left - James Huggins)
James Huggins was the Managing Director of Escape Studios, a company that provided training, technology, recruitment and production services to some of the largest digital media companies in the world including Pixar, Sony, Electronic Arts and Microsoft Games Studios and that was acquired by Pearson in 2013.
Working with over 30 world-class children's publishers.
HarperCollins joins a growing list of Me Books publishing partners that include Penguin, Puffin, Ladybird, Bloomsbury, Andersen Press, Hachette Children’s Books, Scholastic, Tate Publishing, Egmont, Templar and Oxford Reading Tree.
The Me Books library includes such brands/titles as Peter Rabbit, Topsy & Tim, Peppa Pig, Charlie and Lola, Thomas the Tank Engine, Dora the Explorer, and many more.
Read-along audio by celebrity narrators.
Read-along audio is provided exclusively for Me Books by the likes of Benedict Cumberbatch, Sir David Jason, Rik Mayall, Adam Buxton and many more!
"The Snowman and the SnowDog" narrated by Dr. Strange star Benedict Cumberbatch is available on the Me Books app.
Publishing Veteran - Eric Huang Joined James Huggins
Publishing veteran Eric Huang joins James Huggins as development director.
Marking a move by the company to expand its range of digital services and brand development offerings, Huang focuses on leveraging his experience in digital publishing, licensing and broadcast to enhance the company's offerings in these areas.
"Eric has an enviable reputation in the children's media space. He's that rare combination of creativity and commercial instinct, which is very much what we're about,” says James Huggins.
“Increasingly, IP owners are looking to digital channels to get new brands off the ground or enhance existing ones. With Eric on board we'll be able to offer clients a compelling service with a team that understands how children's digital, publishing, broadcast and licensing can best serve a brand strategy."
Huang began his career at Disney Publishing in Los Angeles, Calif., before moving to Melbourne, Australia, to become managing editor at Penguin Australia. He then joined the Aussie toy company Funtastic's new book division as publisher, after which he relocated to the U.K. as head of licensing at Parragon.
In 2007, Huang re-joined Penguin as publishing director in Penguin U.K.’s media and entertainment division.
Eric is currently a Vice President and publisher at LEGO book publisher, Ameet and sits on the board of a number of kids' media startups.
Hitting 2 million app downloads.
With over two million downloads, we have a targeted channel for those wanting to engage in the children’s digital space.
The Me Books app alone enables us to build a channel of half a million loyal subscribers in just over a year.
This success prompts work with clients such as Save the Children, Boden, The Telegraph, Giraffe, and more, all of who access our customer base to raise brand awareness and add value for their customers by offering digital editions of popular children's books (Me Books).
We work with a library in the UK and an independent book chain in Australia to trial a location-based promotion. Using Google Maps data, select Me Books titles will be on offer (free at the library), only at specific real-world locations.
Continuing Me Books' legacy and pushing the boundaries in Asia.
From Left : Keith Thong, Stephanie Chooi (Directors of University Book Store Malaysia), James Huggins, Hao Jin & Evan Yan at Frankfurt Book Fair 2016.
Hao Jin & team and acquired Me Books from Made in Me with the mission to make reading an affordable, accessible and enjoyable option for every child in Asia.
James Huggins and Eric Huang remain as advisors to Me Books. Their expertise of dealing with publishers and their technological developments play an important role on the launch of Me Books 2.0 for Asia.
Partnering with local pioneer in
University Book Store Malaysia
Leveraging University Book Store Malaysia's understanding of the local market's education needs and problems helps Me Books to taylor its approach in Asia.
University Book Store Malaysia has 61 years of experience providing education consultants, academy books, and edu-tech solutions to schools, libraries, and Ministries of Education in Southeast Asia.
Securing award-winning international and local publishing content.
We secure international partnerships - Teacher Created Materials (United States), ELI publishing (Itlay), and WickWick (Finland).
We also develop a focus on working with local publishers specializing in children's books that celebrate diversity by highlighting local heritage/values and multicultural themes, such as Oyes Books (Malaysia), MagicBird Publishing (Malaysia), NamneeBooks (Thailand), Se-ed Publishing (Thailand), Science Adventure (Singapore) and many more.
Me Books Family & Mr. Roberto Berti Riboli (International Trade Area Manager of Asia, USA, and Canada at ELI Publishing)
Integrating medical and childcare support with the Me Books App
Working together with Malaysia state libraries, Reading Seeds focuses on outreach to 10,000 newborn babies in rural areas. Resources include baby development milestone charts, physical books about local culture, and the Me Books app's audio and pronunciation recordings to assist parents in reading to their kids.
Incorporating tactile play with digital learning for a holistic multi-sensory experience.
- Me Books Theatre: a portable shadow-puppet show for local teachers and parents to further engage children
- Audio assistant: recordings of English pronunciation and intonation
- Minimal screentime (Me Books) for early readers, ensuring physical health alongside fostering intellectual development
Self-Publishing : Me Books Creations
- Great authors/parents that want to contribute their thoughts or stories to other families.
- There are many great untapped illustrators, and often they're given the freedom to express their talent in their day-to-day work. We provide a platform for them to execute their art style while complementing the author's work.
Community Building & On-ground Experience - Me Books Nooks
- A physical flagship store devoted to the ideals behind Me Books
- Townhall events for children, parents & educators
- Handpicked print children's books available in-store, as well as iPads with the Me Books app installed
- Tactile learning products such as activity boxes also sold, to work alongside the app.
Working with child experts to foster values - "A Fun Storytelling Guide for Everyone"
- non-profit initiative and efforts to empower parents and teachers and equip them with basic storytelling guide and fun storytelling activities to be conducted in classroom and home.
- Working with child psychologists, child nutritionists, and educators from The University of Reading, University of Sains Islam Malaysia, UNIMAS, and the University of Nottingham for in-depth research providing a holistic review of the impact of storytelling on children.
Integrating Medical Technology & Education Technology.
- To be updated.
There's a lot of rhetoric in education about teaching kids to think outside the box and be more creative and courageous. It's ironic then that there's so little of that happening at the decision maker level.
Me Books are essentially enhanced e-books with flip pages, audio from celebrities like David Jason and Richard E Grant, and “hotspot” points where readers can record their own voice into the story. Yes, it has interactive bells and whistles, but not distractingly so.
“We wanted to protect the experience of picture books, not detract from the story. We wanted to keep it simple in an age where there is an inherent paranoia if you haven’t made something interactive.”