Optimism is NOT Arrogance

Arrogance is the belief that you are BETTER than others. Optimism is the belief that you have the same CHANCE as others. We all have the chance to achieve our dreams. Don't ever let anyone tell you differently.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

E-Picture Books - The Future?

Happy Pre-emptive New Year everyone!

Yes, the holidays are nearly over, and hopefully everyone got what they wanted for Christmas (or Kevmas as we say in my house - no disrespect to Jesus at all...)

It was a joyous occasion for me - and that was a horrific cliche, wasn't it?  Anyway, got many new books which I have no time to read but will start not reading them immediately!  Actually I lied - I did start one - EARTH by Jon Stewart and the writers at The Daily Show.  If you want to chuckle - A LOT - pick this book up.  It's hysterical.

Also got a couple of reference books for the next book in The Timepiece Chronicles about the Civil War, so that should come in handy.

But I wanted to talk about a book my son got (ok, I bought it for me on his brand new iPad).  It's "The Monster at the End of this Book", the old Grover stand by written by Jon Stone, illustrated by Michael Smolin.

This was one of my favorites growing up, and I read it to my kids and it became my son's favorite.  But the real reason I mention it is because it's not a book for the iPad like on Kindle.  It's an app - an interactive picture book for kids.

And I think this is the future.

No, I don't think the written page is dead or going away, but as touchpads like the iPad continue to increase in popularity, I could easily see my grandkids toting them around for textbooks, novels, and non-fiction reference books all in one device.  And that'd be awesome, because my kids carry about 15-20 pounds of books in a backpack every day at school.

But back to picture books.  First of all, for all you illustrators out there, breathe deep - computer graphics won't overtake the hand-drawn picture, in my mind.  Yes, computer animation is the norm now, but in art houses all over the world, hand-drawn animation rules.  So I think it will be with animated picture books.  You may use a computer stylus and pad to draw, but draw you will, and children will still love it.

Secondly, for you writers - picture books will ALWAYS need to be written.  The medium may change, but if anything, the lower cost of producing picture book apps will mean more opportunities as publishers expand from printing houses to app developers.  Writers will ALWAYS be needed.  Trust me on that.

We are all story tellers.  We've evolved from the campfire to the proscenium to the written page to the computer.  But stories have never, EVER dramatically changed.  Nor do I think they ever will.

So if you get a chance, check out the Monster app.  I love it as much as I love the book.  It's interactive, I can hear Grover's voice, and I'm engaged.

Next I'll present the flip side - the downside to all this?  The atrophy of imagination...

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