About this story
Story-sharing in the 21st century has taken on new forms
In 2012, there were very few - if any - nicely designed
ibooks for children of pre-school age.
I decided to collaborate with an illustrator on a children's
digital book which would invite co-construction of
narrative, allow children and their parents/carers to add
their own story extensions and become part of the
storyworld of a doggie, Jamie and his iPad.
There is growing research evidence that too much
interactivity can detract from parent-child conversation
during book-reading. I was keen to find out more about the potential of
digital books and to see how young children respond to e-books which have some very subtle, basic interactivity. Most children's digital books are designed for independent engagement and have too many whistles. I was keen on designing a digital book with very few interactive elements.
I also aimed to marry some dichotomic attitudes toward young children and digital books. On one hand, there seems to be a sense of nostalgic longing for what paper-based children’s books used to stand for, and on the other hand, there is a great excitement and desire to replace print storybooks with apps and e-books. This dichotomy seems to be reflected in the books currently being produced for young children. The central narrative of the book marries the techno-sceptics' and techno-enthusiasts' view about children's experiences in the 21st century: Jamie loves playing outside and he also likes exploring the world of his iPad. His doggie can be part of both worlds.
Sharing stories is one of the most emotionally and cognitively-rich experiences available to humans.
More than ever before we can fill children's digital world with meaning by creating it. Join me on this journey.
This book is copyrighted but feel free to distribute and use it as you wish. We are currently working on an android version of this book, to make Jamie’s story accessible to more children and their parents/carers.