Yesterday, the lovely author / illustrator / fellow classmate Cynthia Nugent dropped by our Writing, Publishing and the Book Trade for Children class to talk about picturebook apps.
I could tell some people were unsure about this new medium. (I once was too.) But then, Cynthia started up Oliver Jeffers' Heart and theBottle and I was ridiculously close to tears- which was the same reaction I had had to the actual picturebook. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one.
Everything was perfect. The visuals, the music, the soundscape, the reader A.K.A Helena freaking Bonham Carter! And pretty much every interaction with the screen was meaningful and added another layer of story.
I know picturebook apps have a long way to go. One cannot make a good app if one’s heart is in a bottle (or a bank). Creators have to shift away from making “TOUCH ALL THE THINGS!” type books to “THIS WILL STAY WITH YOU FOREVER!” kind of art. And the thing is that a medium like this just won’t grow unless people take it seriously.
On that note, I think that we as lit-nerds ought to be more careful about our prejudices. In my very humble opinion, sure it’s important to love great books, but it’s equally (if not more) important to love great stories.
Either that, or you miss out.