Macmillan Children's Books has recently launched a new kind of picture book. From the legendary Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler duo, Room on the Broom is a picture book in the old fashioned sense but also a fully interactive experience. Bundled with the book is a cd that includes an animated version of the story, games, activities and extras. The idea is to find new ways of getting kids involved with the content and to start expanding traditional content in ways that will amaze and delight both adults and offspring; it is about recognizing that when parents have iPhones, computers are everywhere and even televisions are highly interactive the picture book has to evolve. By having the extra material as a cd though it keeps things within the established model of packaging audio cds with children's books; however downloads will soon be are already available.
One of the extras allows to kids to build their own stories within the world. Over the past couple of years there has been much discussion of bringing more of this user generative, reactive "choose your own adventure" style story telling and this is an interesting example. Children perhaps relish - and have the energy for - creativity more than adults so will hopefully have lots of fun with the tool. The package is also an example of how publisher IP is extremely important for games development.
Produced by Pat and Pals it looks and feels great, so we wish it every success. Attached below is a press release with more info should you be interested.