from Christine VanDeVelde for The Chicago Tribune
I’ve noticed from my feed — due to the publishing professionals I follow — that editors are on the look out for ‘concept picture books’, and meta picture books are big right now — those such as Herve Tullet’s Press Here. I’ve been looking at those manuscript wish lists (#mswl) and wondering why certain critics are so skeptical of book apps while at the same time embracing the meta. I don’t have a solid answer for that, but it’s great to see Betsy Bird acknowledging that (even if book apps can’t yet take off and fly), at least developers are having an impact on the wider landscape.
Speaking of The War Between Print And Digital, which you’ll definitely have noticed if you’re in book app world, Griswold points out that the competition between the two types of media is a false dichotomy.
The book, too, is a handheld story gadget. It’s not a choice between but of.
– Children’s Books In The Era Of The iPad
And he is right. There are many instances of ‘interactive print books’. Please, do read the entire article, if only to learn the very useful concept of ‘hypnagogic objects’.
The Jibo Family Robot
While much is being said about digital stories which supposedly get between the adult and the parent, I wonder what might be said about this little device: a ‘family robot’ which is shown not just reading a book to a little girl (and blowing down her tent, Nosy Crow Pig style) but then doing the bedtime routine by wishing her goodnight.
Kids with parents who read, who buy or take books out of the library for their kids, and who then set time aside in their kids’ daily schedule for reading, tend to read the most.
– Why Don’t Teens Read For Pleasure Like They Used To?
tldr version: there are other things to do
A number of questions are starting to get boring. The first is ‘What does it mean to be human?’ Seriously, didn’t we work that one out with the Human Genome Project?
For those of us making storybook apps/enhanced books/interactive reading material, whatever marketing term you prefer, another pretty uninspiring question keeps cropping up in my feed: ‘What Is A Book?’
But I did like this article. Mainly for the sort-of-infographic:
I don’t know about you, but I kept reading ‘cover’ as ‘lover’, marveling at the poetic beauty of such a phrase. From here on in, all of my book covers shall answer to ‘lover’.
I did my fair share of teaching with pictures when I was a high school language teacher. I love this approach partly, I’m guessing, because I’m a visual learner myself. But there is one big problem with teaching like this to a group of 30 students: The ones at the back can’t see it properly.
When our school acquired its first data projector, that thing lived mainly in my classroom. I believe many schools have since achieved funding for a data projector in every classroom and this is great news for our daughter, who starts school next year.
So I’m perplexed when I read things like this from picturebook enthusiasts (with blogs that I love, by the way):
The close proximity, the intimacy of [teachers reading picturebooks to a classroom of students], explains why reading picture books online or on a tablet feels so much less satisfying.
As far as I’m concerned, a classroom equipped with a tablet and a data projector is the best possible set up for teaching with picturebooks. A picturebook projected at movie-screen size in a darkened classroom, especially when accompanied by excellent sound equipment, is a wonderfully immersive experience. I’d like to know if students, as well as their teachers, find reading picturebooks via tablets ‘so much less satisfying’. It’s not quite the same as sitting on Nana’s lap, granted, but the addition of tablet computers and other tech equipment feels to me like a huge step forward.
Making Writing Real With the Use of Picture Books by Alyson Beecher at The Nerdy Book Club