“All of a sudden, there’s a huge appetite on the part of kids and adults reading to them to explain, ‘How did we get to where we are as a culture?’” Jon Klassen
A taste of the Bologna Book Fair for those of us stuck in chilly England.
Oliver’s latest book, Here We Are: Notes for Living on Planet Earth, isn’t a story but an introduction to the world for his first child – written and illustrated in the first few months of his son’s life.
[Digital Arts] caught up with Oliver on a recent press tour to promote the book, and interviewed him about his creative process and approach to mark making and composition – and how different it was to work on a non-fiction book with a very particular audience in mind.
Highly recommended link…
There is a video presentation of the interview (just under 10 minutes in length) and an edited transcript.
“I was never able to draw using a [graphics] tablet,” he says, “because it’s an unusual thing to be looking at the screen at something being created that’s actually happening with your hand. I tried it a couple of times [and thought], ‘No. It feels unnatural.’
He did find some advantages to working on an iPad though.
“You can zoom in, which is a huge advantage,” he says. “You can’t do that with an actual piece of paper.
“It’s strange because there’s zero friction. Whenever you’re drawing with a pencil across a piece of paper, there’s texture, drag, resistance. It’s just not there, and that’s a strange sensation, which I don’t know if you’ll ever really get used to.”
An example of a high-quality resource available from CLPE – this particular one, with Ed Vere, part of the Power of Pictures project.
The Bologna Book Fair’s website is posting short video clips of the fair:
Jens Peter de Pedro, director of Lingokids, explains why children learn best with live-action video:
According to recent research from Insight Kids, 92% of US children like watching non-fiction content, and 62% say they enjoy doing so online. The researcher, Sarah Chumsky, adds that children are naturally drawn to non-fiction content because it helps them do the work of growing up. From exploring real-life videos, kids gain inspiration, competence and confidence, she argues.
Children prefer to acquire knowledge from people to which they have real relationships. This is because education isn’t just a transfer of information, as developmental psychologist Peter Gray says, but also a transfer of culture, and we only really pick up culture from people who are significant to us. This applies to dancing as it does programming, microbiology, accounting, or learning a new language.
For example, Lingokids launched in February as a comprehensive English-language app-based course for children ages two to six designed with content from Oxford University Press. Aside from an adaptive learning algorithm that adjusts to kids’ varied improvement levels, it features live-action shows like MyTeacher (pictured). And as an educational technologist behind Lingokids, I know I may never have the cultural influence that an older brother or sister can have, but that must be what I shoot for. To create a relationship with customers, we have to credibly convey emotion, and no medium does that like live-action video.
Kidscreen reecntly reported on a global appetite for live-action drama among young consumers of TV and VOD. If children are craving authentic emotional connection for their entertainment, why would they not want this in their learning, too?
Just in case you missed this new weekly treat…
This is an exciting enterprise. ACHUKA wishes it well and will help promote its content with regular updates on video additions.
One rather major surprise when testing out the platform this morning though is that it’s not optimised for mobile, and the whole architecture for viewing the video content has a very dated feel.
The online TV channel dedicated to children’s books. has been launched by Sigalit and Daniel Hart, together with Bruno Centofanti.
The content consists of videos, vlogs and reviews all presented by and aimed at children aged 7-12.
An example of the video content:
Sigalit Hart told The Bookseller, “I noticed that often kids were basing their reading choices and preferences on social influences. Whereas kids aged 6 and under were more influenced by their parents, kids aged 7 + seemed to make decisions differently. More so in the last 10 years, with the super accessibility and social influence of tablets, TV, smartphones, apps and the media.”
A new Sunday Times video series starts today. Every week, on our website and here on the tablet edition, our highly regarded children’s book editor, Nicolette Jones, will be bringing you up to date on all that is new for younger readers in a series of short, informative films.
She begins with a look at the explosion in outstanding illustrated non-fiction for young readers. Future videos will feature interviews with authors such as David Baddiel and Philip Reeve, Jones’s selection of favourite poetry books for children, and a fun look at what to buy for Halloween.