Today, I did an event at the Hay Festival – for parents, authors, illustrators and teachers – with the title “Are Apps The New Picture Books?”
In short, I don’t think that they are: I think that the best apps are a different kind of engaging, personal, interactive, different-every-time reading experience from the picture book experience. I have said before that I think that it is absolutely right that we should be providing children with reading experiences wherever they are spending their time. (You can read a bit about our views in this blog post.)
At the event, I spoke about the importance of children reading for pleasure; about trends in children’s reading frequency, enjoyment and chosen reading material in the UK; about children as, in that rather tired phrase, “digital natives”; and about Nosy Crow’s experience of the process of making an app. But the one thing that I promised to include in a blog post was the list of 9 children’s “picture book” apps that I spoke about at the event. Here they are, with links, where available, to their YouTube trailers:
At the top of this list is – of course! – our very own The Three Little Pigs
The Heart and the Bottle
I said: “A good example of how interactivity can be added to an existing book.”
What Does My Teddy Bear Do All Day?
I said: “Terrific animation.”
I said: “Simple, fit for purpose, rather lovely to look at.”
Wild About Books
I said “Great to see print books celebrated in app form, and this has a real liveliness about it.”
Miss Spider’s Tea Party
I said: “The grandmother of highly-produced apps. Almost more of a movie than a book, it looks lovely”.
I said: “Clear focus on one aspect – the parent reading to the child – but with very good reuse of old art that’s very attractively animated.”
Pop Out! Tale of Peter Rabbit
I said: “A more child-friendly use of the accelerometer than the better-known Alice For IPad app.”
I said: “As ever, Winged Chariot’s inclusion of multi-language versions within the one app is a stand-out feature.”
At the end of an event in Hay the author or presenter gets a rose. The picture above shows mine.