INTERACTIVITY, MULTILITERACY + CHILDREN’S PICTURE BOOK

Hello, I’m Heidi, a children’s book illustrator and author based in North West England.

During my MA, I wanted to examine if illustrators could design interactive picture books to encourage children to engage their own imaginations to explore these books and assist in preparing them to be multiliterate individuals, posing the question, “Can illustrators help children become multiliterate individuals through interactive picture books?”

As children are subjected to more digital and technological innovations than ever before, trends in children’s picture books follow these new resources in the way they are told and presented.

I looked at the range of interactive books available and the different methods illustrators use to get children to interact. I completed academic research into multiliteracy and interactivity. I then focused on the illustrators themselves, conducting a survey to investigate their approach and working methods. Whilst recognising the educational benefits of interactive books, almost all of the illustrators responses placed priority on the story and illustrations above the interactivity.

I began to investigate various ways I could include interactivity within my work, alongside experimenting with different painting techniques to evolve my style further. I found a combination of traditional and digital gave me the most interesting result.

My first book, The Owl and the Pussycat House Hunt, contains a simple innovative interactive element, with plans for a large scale interactive project.

My second book, The Biscuit Tin Blues integrates several interactive concepts, combining my interest in music with illustration. The story takes the form of a song I had recorded by a musician. This sing-a-long song will be played by the reader as they make their way through the book and explore the other interactive elements.

I concluded illustrators can help children become more multiliterate individuals through interactive picture books, but these interactive pages should be included where relevant, based on their value and interest not for the sake of having them.

CHESTER THE WOLF


Chester the wolf, the main character in The Biscuit Tin Blues.

CHESTER THE WOLF Image

CHESTER'S RECORD PLAYER - INTERACTIVE ELEMENT


Chester’s record player. This print will be on the sleeve containing the vinyl record. The mp3 code will also be on the reverse.

CHESTER'S RECORD PLAYER - INTERACTIVE ELEMENT Image

CHESTER THE WOLF IN HIS CABIN KITCHEN


Page one from The Biscuit Tin Blues – Chester the wolf inside his cabin kitchen, showing the interactive recipe book which opens.

CHESTER THE WOLF IN HIS CABIN KITCHEN Image

CHESTER'S RECIPE BOOK - INTERACTIVE ELEMENT


Interactive element from page one in The Biscuit Tin Blues – Chester’s recipe book.

CHESTER'S RECIPE BOOK - INTERACTIVE ELEMENT Image

FOREST SCENE WITH CHESTER'S CABIN


A full page illustration from The Biscuit Tin Blues – Forest scene with Chester’s cabin.

FOREST SCENE WITH CHESTER'S CABIN Image

THE MEAN BISCUIT TIN BLUES


Page three from The Biscuit Tin Blues, introducing Chester …

THE MEAN BISCUIT TIN BLUES Image

THE OWL AND THE PUSSYCAT HOUSE HUNT BOOK


The Owl and the Pussycat House Hunt book front cover.

THE OWL AND THE PUSSYCAT HOUSE HUNT BOOK Image

FRONT END PAPERS - THE OWL AND THE PUSSYCAT HOUSE HUNT


Front end papers from The Owl and the Pussycat House Hunt – rooftops at night with the main characters, Rubus and Philomena.

FRONT END PAPERS - THE OWL AND THE PUSSYCAT HOUSE HUNT Image

DOUBLE PAGE SPREAD FROM THE OWL AND THE PUSSYCAT HOUSE HUNT


A double page spread from The Owl and the Pussycat House Hunt – dragging cases and asleep on the rooftops.

DOUBLE PAGE SPREAD FROM THE OWL AND THE PUSSYCAT HOUSE HUNT Image

DOUBLE PAGE SPREAD WITHIN THE BOOK - THE OWL AND THE PUSSYCAT HOUSE HUNT


A double page spread from The Owl and the Pussycat House Hunt within the book – The carousel page.

DOUBLE PAGE SPREAD WITHIN THE BOOK - THE OWL AND THE PUSSYCAT HOUSE HUNT Image

DOUBLE PAGE SPREAD FROM THE OWL AND THE PUSSYCAT HOUSE HUNT


A double page spread from The Owl and the Pussycat House Hunt – The boat, the cactus and the city.

DOUBLE PAGE SPREAD FROM THE OWL AND THE PUSSYCAT HOUSE HUNT Image

Portfolio Details


Author


Heidi Olivia Cannon

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Portfolio Categories


  • Degree show 2020
    • Master of Children's Book Illustration