Two ECU writers recently released an innovative children’s storybook which uses the touchscreen functions of the iPad to create an interactive story experience.
WA Screen Academy Honorary Senior Lecturer John Rapsey and PhD candidate and Scriptwriting Lecturer Tracey Defty-Rashid created Where’s My Snack – Terrible Tim’s Pirate Adventure after they were approached by Perth-based digital company Raging Pixel.
Mr Rapsey is the recently-retired Director of the WA Screen Academy in ECU’s School of Communications and Arts and the creator/writer of some of Australia’s best known children’s and youth television series including Ship to Shore, Sweat and Foreign Exchange.
Ms Defty-Rashid is a PhD candidate in Creative Writing and teaches Scriptwriting in the School of Communications and Arts. Ms Defty-Rashid was the script producer and writer on Trapped and Castaway, a 52 episode children’s series made in Broome a few years ago.
“The book was an enjoyable challenge to find a story that was engaging visually and verbally. We chose language that is simple and playful using the kind of rhyme and repetition that delights kids. Raging Pixel found an excellent illustrator in Aska who got the characters and visual style just right,” Ms Defty-Rashid said.
Where’s My Snack! was nominated for The Best Interactive Narrative Award in the 2014 WA Screen Awards.
“This initiative involves new strategy for distribution and marketing using social media rather than advertising. Raging Pixel has just launched a Facebook page for the iBook that has received almost 1400 ‘Likes’ in 10 days. So if you have children, grandchildren, nephews and nieces (or friends who do) you can go to the page, ‘Like’ it or ‘Share’ it and download the book. It’s free for a limited time until it reaches a critical mass of interest,” Mr Rapsey said.
Ms Defty-Rashid and Mr Rapsey hope the book takes off. They have several more titles in the planning stages. It also has great potential for ‘cross-platform’ iterations such as a print version, a series of short animations, colouring books and toys.
“It’s an exciting venture,” they said.