Snow Pearly White Twirly
Available Now!

The “Snow Pearly White Twirly” picture book inspires young children to read out loud and sing along. The CD includes a delightful narration of the story as well as an extra karaoke version of all four songs.The lively illustrations in this book include white little figures that can be colored in. This creates a personalized and unique children’s book, a true enjoyment for the entire family.

Find out more at: www.snowpearly.com


"Snow Pearly White Twirly” was inspired by the traditional German winter song “Schneeflöckchen Weißröckchen”. Snow Pearly is a curious little snowflake that wonders what Earth is like. Despite her mother’s warning, she jumps off her cloud to visit the kids on the beach. Snow Pearly falls into the water and transforms into a water droplet. Together with her new friend, the nosy fish, she swims around the world to find her way back home. But will it be possible?

Find out more at: www.meineschneeflocke.de

About Us

ClaudiaPlane_w300Claudia Raschke – founder of UMLAUT INC., publisher & cinematographer, studied art in Hamburg, Germany and film production in New York City. She is an award-winning cinematographer and has photographed independent feature films and documentaries for 25 years. Claudia lives with her family in New York City.

Contact: Claudia@umlautinc.com

monika_w300Monika Vix – founder of NOTENKATZE, author & composer, studied music education in Hamburg, Germany where she founded her own music school, Ton & Klang and teaches music to children of all ages. Her thirty years of experience have inspired her to compose and write children’s musical, children’s songs as well as short stories and fairytales.

Contact: Monika@notenkatze.de

Fun Fact

Origin of UMLAUT
German, from um- around, transforming + Laut sound
First Known Use: circa 1845

The first e-umlauts as used today showed up in Middle High German manuscripts (roughly between 1100 and 1500).

Today’s vowels with diacritical marks developed from a small ‘e’ that was written on top of a, o or u. In those times, ‘e’ was written like two short, connected vertical lines that almost looked like an ‘n’ (see picture). Simplification turned those into two short slashes (“) and finally into two dots.

Pronoucing an UMLAUT
There is no easy way out – when pronouncing umlauts, one has to pucker; umlauts are pronounced in the front of the oral cavity.

Probably the easiest to pronounce is ä because it is similar to the ‘a’ in bad. Ü will be easier for those who know French as it is similar to the ‘ue’ in rue. Ö needs full mouth action, something like saying the ‘ea’ in early with fully rounded lips.

The diphthong äu (and eu for that matter) is pronounced like the ‘oi’ in noise.

Once mastered, saying ä, ö, ü repeatedly and in quick succession - preferably in front of the mirror - is not only an excellent exercise for the facial muscles, but also a great remedy for a bad mood.


THE GOOD IDEA - A new fairytale children’s picture book with sing-along music CD

Intended for children ages 3 to 6, The Good Idea follows a lonely piece of blank paper on its journey to find someone who can see its potential as a partner in the creation of a good idea. Will the owl see the paper for who she is, or deem her useless, just like the others have? What about the hedgehog, the fish and the pig? This fairytale with music appeals to children’s creative impulses, their need to find their place in the world, and their innately open minds and big hearts.

Set in medieval times, the new board game Your Majesty challenges players to do whatever it takes to rise to the throne, where they’ll rule the roost and impose their own new set of zany laws.

Tough decisions await at every turn: Do you battle or join forces with the plotting nobles? Support or thwart rebelling farmers? Believe or doubt the two-faced druids you encounter along the way?

Only time will tell who has the stuff to achieve the ultimate goal of becoming king. Let the quest for royalty begin!

You’re moving into a fixer-upper brownstone in New York City with a group of friends. Each person gets his or her choice of rooms, but will you be able to fend off the playful attempts of housemates to take over your space? And might the wackiness go so far that you’ll be forced to move into the pigsty, the building’s filthy trash storage? The Pigsty is a fun new board game that tests players’ ability to deal with such annoyances as noisy neighbors, unexpected visitors and messy “accidents”—while simultaneously seeing what creative mischief they can get up to themselves. This family-night game is bound to appeal to city dwellers especially, many of whom are all too familiar with the tolerance and turf wars that ensue when you live in close quarters.


papa_w300The person who had the greatest impact on my life was my dad. He was a businessman, magician, author and storyteller. He taught me to think outside the box, to be open-minded and willing to take a chance. The first game he challenged me with was a game of nine dots. He drew those dots on a piece of paper, arranged in a square: three rows, with three dots each evenly spaced apart. He told me to connect all nine dots with only four straight lines, without lifting the pen. He handed me his shiny green ballpoint pen and the piece of paper. I tried and tried until he showed me the way. That’s when I started to learn how to think differently. I was in awe of my Dad and begged him for more challenges. He has motivated and inspired me ever since.

The First Game

The First Game

In a world where electronics have grabbed kids’ avid attention, interactive games and storytelling deserve a comeback as vital ways in which families can spend quality time together. The aim of my new company, Umlaut Inc., is to offer families fun pursuits that reach right into the hearts and minds of kids of all ages—and of course, their parents, aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents—to motivate and challenge them to think on their feet. In doing so, it is our hope to nurture a new generation of curious learners and inventors.

Playing an Umlaut game with kids is akin to being an explorer on an unknown island, and the adventure starts the moment someone makes their first move. That’s when players begin to freely invent and come up with ideas that lead to their next move. You’ll laugh, surprise each other with off-the-wall ideas and feel connected while learning something new together. And the experience will create a bond that’s more than just a moment of fun: It can become a memory that kids will hold in their hearts for a long time to come—just the way I never forgot playing games with my dad.