Learning to Read, in Any Language
Nourish young minds with easy-to-read books
Did You Know?
DID YOU KNOW? is a collection of digital books for young readers around the world. The collection hopes to inspire in the minds of young readers a lifelong curiosity about the world and a new excitement about the possibilities a reading habit provides.
In an effort to encourage global literacy, DID YOU KNOW? books are designed to be translated into numerous languages and are made available for non-profit and educational use under a flat-rate, royalty-free license. They are available for simultaneous multi-user access.
The original project was supported by Adam Julian Goldstein
and Joshua Elkes and the Elkes Foundation.
eBooks Made For Non-Profit Use
A Global Collection
Plympton, a literary studio whose mission is to innovate in digital publishing, was tasked with designing digital books for languages all around the world. With this challenge of culturally neutral books in mind, we set to creating non-fiction, science-themed books for young readers.
Today, the collection is at 50 books, and growing.
In the spirit of a global collection, all libraries, schools, and parents who purchase the books can choose to receive the accompanying InDesign files, so that the texts can be easily translated into additional languages.
Specially Created for Non-Profit and Educational Use
For this collection and Plympton's other offerings, we have designed a new, more flexible distribution license called the Goldstein License.
The Goldstein License will allow the collection to be made available through the New York Public Library's SimplyE Collection and through libraries, schools, and non-profits around the world. Plympton's current partnerships include collaborations with the New York Public Library, Library For All, NABU, and, potentially, Khan Academy.
Written and Fact-Checked by Ph.D. Candidates
Our team of enthusiastic Ph.D. candidates has published writing in highly regarded science outlets.
Extensive Glossaries and Multitudes of Educational Tidbits
All books include a kid-friendly, easily navigable glossary and are jam-packed with beautiful images and fascinating facts.
A Diverse Array for Your Local Community
DID YOU KNOW? books feature a diversity of globally-aware topics, ranging from volcanoes to farm equipment, from rainbows to animal migrations. We can work with your library to curate a set of books according to the most popular topics in your area.
Designed for Translation
We are now actively raising the funding to translate the DID YOU KNOW? collection into various other languages. Right now, our priorities—based on library system and NGO requests from around the world—are:
• Chinese (Mandarin)
• Haitian Creole
If you are interested in partnering with us on any of the translations, or would like to nominate another language for translation, please contact us.
Books to Feed Curiosity
DID YOU KNOW that a starfish can regrow a whole arm if they lose one to a predator?
Here on land, we don’t often get to interact with the many unique animals that live in Earth's oceans. Take a deep dive with Sea Creatures, a book filled with fun facts and vibrant images.
DID YOU KNOW platypuses are nocturnal and do their hunting at night?
Though they may be best known for their peculiar appearance, platypuses are actually strange in many other ways, too. With a selection of beautiful images and fun facts sure to delight young animal-lovers, Platypus explores in easy-to-follow language just what makes this funny-looking animal so special.
SEEDS AND PLANTS
DID YOU KNOW that like humans, plants require a contribution from both a male and a female to reproduce?
Before they became the towering trees or bright flowers outside your doorstep, plants were just little seeds. With vibrant images and accesible language, Seeds and Plants teaches young wildlife-lovers about how plants grow.
Thank you to everybody who helped bring DID YOU KNOW? to life.
• Micah May, for the original idea and challenge
• Adam Julian Goldstein, for funding the Goldstein License and book creation
• Josh Elkes, for funding the book creation
• Library for All, for their initial round of funding
• NABU, for their partnership
• NYPL, for their willingness to be first to commit to the collection
• Aphee Messer, for art-directing the books
• Shirley Wang, for layout and editorial work
• Our stalwart writers, Cathryn Freund, Brittney G. Borowiec and Kevin Pels, along with all of the other PhD students who embraced the DID YOU KNOW? mission, for their thoughtful authorship
The Goldstein License
A New License with New Goals
The proliferation of digital content and the increasing number of ways content reaches the public has resulted in a widening gap between legality and function.
Inspired by open source software licenses like the MIT License, which allow people to declare their intention for a work through established, commonly understood terms, the Goldstein License aims to strike a better balance between the needs of creators and distributing organizations by ensuring:
We owe a big thank you to the license's namesake, Adam Julian Goldstein, for generously offering his time and resources to help make the license a reality.