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Inspired by children’s ebooks

Bologna Ragazzi digital award winners break free of print constraints

The third TOC Bologna took place this past Sunday on the eve of the Bologna Children’s Book Fair. It was a terrific show and closed with a session announcing the winners of the Bologna Ragazzi Awards for digital publishing. You’ll find all the details about the finalists here and I’ve also embedded a short video below where you can see the winners in action.

I encourage you to watch this 7-minute video, even if you’re not part of the children’s book publishing business.. You’ll see some of the amazing things happening in this space and how they’re moving away from the boundaries of physical books as they take full advantage of the digital canvas. As you watch, think too about this highly relevant quote from Mark Sigal:

The talkie wasn’t destined to become silent film with words, so too it follows that in the age of smartphones and tablets, publishing will evolve to become much more than a simple carbon copy of print.

Finally, think about how the print model you’re so accustomed to might be holding you back from making more than “silent films with words.”

P.S. – Congratulations to PlayTales for their role as the platform used to create “Four Little Corners”, the Ragazzi winner in the fiction category.

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  • Diane Browne

    I like the quote re silent films and talkies, and at first I thought how revealing and relevant to our present situation with books. Then I thought, ‘But we already have animated movies for children’. Moreover, looking at these books, I wonder if they aren’t really closer to children’s TV shows and computer games than they are to books. I can think of pop-up books which were adorable for my children, but then the children went on to more independent reading, where they learnt to use their imaginations rather than depend on the artist’s interpretation of the text. However, it is a certainty that technology is changing everything very quickly, and no doubt is having and will have significant impact on the ‘book’. I just hope that we do not lose the ability to read, imagine and reason for oursleves as a result.

    • jwikert

      Great points, Diane. We’re often biased by what we’re used to and that can prevent us from inventing new types of products. That said, you’re right that some of these children’s products are more “game” than “book.” I’d argue there’s room for both, as well as everything in between. And yes, there’s no doubt we should also still promote simple, text-and-illustration-only products for children (and adults!). As you point out, we need to exercise our imaginations as much in today’s rich content world as we did in the pre-ebook days.

  • Rotem Segal

    It just show the large variety of options available. With EPUB3 all this can be done without the need for a specific application for each book. And which is more, it will be portable to all platforms without the need to rewrite the application for each platform.