Wilson talks about the idea of “the known text” – children learning a story and reciting it from memory, even if they can’t read the actual letters and words on the page. “It’s the building blocks of reading, and at least as important as phonic knowledge,” she says. “They are understanding how stories work and internalising that.”
The above quote (in this Guardian article) is from Kate Wilson, managing director of Nosy Crow a UK company focusing on books and apps. I got a great kick out of their first app, The Three Little Pigs, and was waiting eagerly for their second, Cinderella. It is now out and I can say that it is as charming as the first. Again, the voices are all by children, there is the same bright look, you can again make the characters flip and jump, and the story has similar light look appropriate for its intended very young audience. This one has a bit more too — for example, you get to “help” Cinderella with her chores and do a few other nifty actions as the story goes on. I’m far from the age of the intended audience, but I enjoyed tremendously exploring and figuring out just what one could do. (And if I like to poke the characters to hear them speak over and over, I bet little kids do even more!)
In this SLJ interview, Wilson talked about how they were able to build on what they’d learned creating the first app and has some thoughtful comments to make about this new world of books and apps.
I don’t see [apps and books] as two separate worlds; I see them as a continuum. I see children touching books, pulling tabs, drawing [in] books, and being read to as highly interactive experiences. Children experience stories, words, and images in different media in different places in their homes, at different times during their day, and at different stages during their lives.
I definitely am looking forward to seeing what this company does next. And if you want a taste of their new app, here’s the trailer: