Monday, 11 January 2016

Project 3: Oliver's Monsters: Research: Activity Books

A while ago when I was first conceptualising 'Oliver's Monsters' I spent some time in Waterstone's and W H Smith searching for novelty and activity books.

Knowing my time constraints I had decided that I would try to keep the book simple, but wanted to take the opportunity to learn more about what sort of books are out in the market. 

Physically interactive books:

Parragon Little Learners series- I Feel Happy
A board book for very young children with sliding pull out tabs that relies on the bold illustrations and the fun factor of revealing hidden elements. 
I probably wouldn't be able to set time aside for playing with paper construction.

Chronicle Books - Press Here by Herve Tullet
A series of instructions make up this book, cleverly designed so that each corresponding change has been affected by the readers actions from the previous page.

'Make and Do' books:

Templar Publishing - Build a Robot authored by Steve Parker and illustrated by Owen Davey.
Part fact file, part model making kit,

Laurence King - Let's Make Some Great Art by Marion Deuchars
An art activity book that seeks to spark imaginations. I do like the idea of presenting images for inspiration and then leaving the reader to make their own art. 

Usborne - Gardening for Beginners authored by Abigail Wheatley and illustrated by Lisa DeJohn
A heavily illustrated instructional book. 

Puzzle books:

Laurence King - Pierre the Maze Detective, authored by Hiro Gamigaki and illustrated by IC4DESIGN
Expanding on the 'search the image' puzzle form of 'Where's Wally?' Pierre the Maze Detective combines narrative with maze solving and item finding tasks.  

Books that are games:

Dial - The Book With No Pictures by B. J. Novak
No pictures? Ghastly. A disgrace. Inconceivable. An abomination, surely?
I just love the concept of this book, which sees the parent obeying rules including 'every word in the book must be read out loud.' This of course results in them saying silly things in silly voices and generally causing lots of fun. It shows that there is power beyond book makers creating an image or a story that a person can become enveloped in, but that we can help to create a scenario in which people can interact with each other and find a bit of joy. Plus, words can be just as involved to draw as images.

Intuitive books:

Harper Collins - Once Upon an Alphabet authored by Drew Daywalt and illustrated by Oliver Jeffers
Okay this one is a grey area for an activity book - though I'd argue the reader is engaging with the activity of learning he alphabet as they read the story, it's a bit of a limp one. Really I just loved the concept for this book, taking something typical and giving it some story to make it more accessible. 

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