Dreaming up picture book apps

I recently entered an app-tacular competition on @maybeswabey ‘s “ubercucumbercool” blog which reviews picture book apps, The App Puppy.

All you need to do to enter the competition is write about what picture book you would like to see made into an app. Go on, have a go, there’s a great prize.

I have a mix of games & book apps suitable for Bryn which he really enjoys playing. My observation on the more successful book ones are when there are things to do within the story, such as putting the dirty dishes in the sink in Nosy Crow’s Cinderella; touching the text for the words to be read out as in Sir Charlie Stinky Socks Big Adventure; or an element of surprise like when the cow turn into a dragon in Mindshapes’ Jack & the Beanstalk. Armed with this small amount of experience I found myself thinking of how a few of our favourite reads could become favourite apps.

Monkey & Me by Emily Gravett
I think this would make a great app, with it’s fabulous illustrations & melodic refrain. It would be fun to animate the girl so you can see her mimic the animals. The camera could be used to record the child reading making animal noises. I think the pages showing the animals could have a feature where you can choose to see real life footage of animals. It might also be fun to have a range of tights for the main character from stripy to spotty. A special bonus would be a drawing masterclass from the author, something similar to the ‘How To Draw…’ Guardian videos.

Don’t Put your Pants on Your Head Fred! by Caryl Hart & illustrated by Leigh Hodgkinson
We got this book about a month ago & it’s a fun read. Luckily the authors website has a few activities which provided ideas of what could be included in an app such as dressing Fred or the Queen. The book features many pants, so I thought a fun game would be to try & spot a certain number on each page or perhaps click on them to send them flying round the page. I love the collage style illustration in the book so another activity could be to collect stuff throughout the app: flowers, sequins, bubble wrap, etc. in order to create your own Fred using collage at the end.

Traction Man by Mini Grey
This series of books has a cinematic feel which would be great for an app. Whenever I read them aloud I think they could benefit from some atmospheric music to set the mood, which an app could do. It has a comic strip layout which would work well in an app as you could touch the main characters for a speech bubble to appear. Extra features could include a ‘create your own Traction Man’ adventure with preset panels & stock images of the main characters or a design your own pet sidekick like Scrubbing Brush.


2 thoughts on “Dreaming up picture book apps

  1. Helen

    Yes, I would love the first two as well, although I haven’t read your third choice. It’s so much fun seeing the potential for app development in picuture books isn’t it!

    1. damyanti Post author

      Yes it’s been fun, picture books provide a great source of inspiration & I really recommend Traction Man if you’ve not read it before, it’s a good fun read for a 4 year old (& a thirtysomething)


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