The Artifacts Press Release
Interactive Storybook App Promotes Visual LiteracyIn Middle Graders
Older children are encouraged to stick with picture books for longer with the release of this new story in digital format.
Murrumbateman, Australia – Slap Happy Larry has announced the release of their first storybook app for middle grade readers. ‘The Artifacts’ is a 21-page interactive digital picture book is a new story developed exclusively for Apple touch screen devices by author/illustrator Lynley Stace and developer Dan Hare.
“’The Artifacts’ is about a boy who loves to collect,” says author Lynley Stace, “but at a deeper level it is about valuing what is really important in life: education, memories and experiences.” While younger children can enjoy the story for its pictures and interactive elements, older children will better grasp the metaphorical undertones.
‘The Artifacts’ makes the most of Apple technology. The storytelling is enhanced by narration, integrated touch interactivity and soothing sound effects. The soundtrack was created especially for this story by New Zealand film and game composer, Chris Hurn.
“There are currently very few original storybook apps available for middle grade children and above,” says developer, Dan Hare. ‘We created an app to help fill this gap, with the belief that picture books can be enjoyed by children of all ages.”
“There is no real need to abandon picture books even after a young reader has advanced to chapter books,” says Lynley Stace, drawing upon former teaching experience. “Picture books offer the chance to develop visual literacy. This kind of literacy is more important than ever, now that we live in a world of ubiquitous advertising and lead compartments of our lives online.”
Designed to emulate the look and functionality of a real book, ‘The Artifacts’ features pages which are ‘turned’ by the reader. This invites readers to progress through the story at their own pace. Any of the 21 storybook pages can be accessed directly from the navigation menu. Narration offers extra help to emergent readers, though both narration and sound effects can be turned off from the main menu according to user preference. An auto-save feature remembers the reader’s place in the story.
The developers are philosophically opposed to advertising within storybook apps, and pledge to avoid in-app advertising in future projects equally. They also avoid hyperlinking to the Internet from within the story.
Established in 2011, Slap Happy Larry is a family-run Australian based company with plans to release more storybook apps in the future.
Device requirements: iPad, iPad 2, iPhone, iPod Touch. Requires iOS 3.1 or later.
Pricing and Availability: The Artifacts is $1.99 USD and available worldwide exclusively through the iTunes App Store in the Books category.
Review of The Artifacts From Curated Book Apps For Kids
“A captivating transformation of a teen, with great re-readability…” 5 Star Review
Review of The Artifacts From Gill Robins
“The Artifacts is highly sophisticated, provoking thought at several levels…” 5 stars for fun, 5 stars for educational value.
Review of The Artifacts From School Library Journal
“Everyone has been asking, “Where are the story apps for tweens and teens?” Well, here’s one for them. Will they respond to it? You bet. The artwork, the use of the platform, and this protagonist’s interior life are guaranteed to be all-s0-appealing to this audience.”
Review of The Artifacts From Literacy Journal
“The Artifacts is a celebration of the power of individual thought and imagination. It is at the top of Bloom’s triangle. I highly recommend it for middle school iPads.”
Five Star Review of The Artifacts From Digital Storytime
“Overall this is a phenomenal digital app that takes storytelling to another level.”
Starred Review of The Artifacts From Kirkus
“This beautiful, resonant story about the way we leave behind childish things (but never really abandon them) delivers a specific, potent experience unusual even for the best iPad apps.”
Brooks Jones On The Artifacts
“I love the illustrations and the color palette the artist chose, as well as the gentle story.”
From Special Apps, Special Kids
“The rich vocabulary and imagery sparked conversations with my 8 year old.”
Review of The Artifacts From My Book Corner
“The Artifacts is a wonderful blend of story line and interactivity which directly involves and immerses the reader.”
The Artifacts In The New York Times
“The artwork is rich and beautiful and the animated interactions are imaginative and fun.”
See here for the full summary at the Gadgetwise Blog.