About Animated Stories by David Udovic
As a children's book and magazine illustrator for the past several decades, I have explored story-telling through pictures and words in a form set by the printing industry on the paper page. The format of the children's book has been established by the printing machine itself. For example, the 32-page picture book is the standard format that dominates the present children's book market due to its efficient use of the page in the printing process.
Whether we are attached to the "classic" book or not, times are changing. Book reading on portable display devices is growing and these devices will soon be widely used for children's books as well. The new media affects my role as a children's book illustrator. It is experimental and exciting because it breaks the boundaries of the old format and allows other ways to illustrate a story. Technology can augment the reading experience with added animation, sound, and interaction. We can use these tools to be better teachers and parents, helping our children maximize their potential.
However, as an illustrator and, now, author and book app publisher, there are some guidelines that I find essential to follow. I don't want the animation or interactive elements of the high tech screen to overshadow the relationship between adult storyteller and child. This relationship is essential to the childs emotional Intelligence as well as reading skills. Animation, sound, and device interaction should carry the child's imagination in the context of the storytelling and story.
I'd like to introduce you to my new characters, Sir Albi™ and
HatBand'it™, and Boom and Zoom on Crater Moon™.
Their stories are available
You can also get the stories about Boom and Zoom in an app called "Robots on the Moon"
The Sir Albi™ and HatBand'it™ story was our first venture into animated story-telling. We took a general script, the "Read It" version, and added animation, character voice, and sound effects to the text. Since then, we have evolved the animated story-telling approach to be senitive to parent/teacher and child interaction. You will find the new series of stories about Boom and Zoom on Crater Moon™ are designed to support co-reading, between parent/teacher and child, using a new, innovative format. It reads like a play in which the parent/teacher plays a part, that of the narrator. It uses technology to enhance storytime and still allow you to read to your child. Your narration is assisted by action and sound effects. At other points in the story, the characters speak and move. We call that version "Look, Listen, & Read."
I would appreciate hearing some feedback from you, both positive and negative. The technology I'm using is the new industry standard for web browsing now being used by most tablets and computers. How is it working? Do you like the characters and story? Does the navigation seem intuitive? Is it supporting co-reading? I'd love to hear from you! You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.