PicPocket Books was interested in producing it, and I hired my programmer/animator daughter to create animated sparkles on the pages where there is "fairy dust." PicPocket planned to add lots of nice sound effects that you discover by tapping the pictures. The challenge still lay in the length of text. A picture book double spread averages 11x17 inches. Shrinking the whole thing down would create text too small to read. In my other apps the narrator reads the story while the text is shown alone, then alternating with a picture, and I felt that these were more like audiobooks with occasional pictures than interactive apps. I wanted to have a picture shown on every page, but how to fit all those darn words??
My solution was to crop each picture from the book in a number of ways so that the longer text would be spread out over multiple pages. I decided that a vertical format would allow more room for text. Above is a double-spread from the original picture book, and below are the three scenes I created from it for the app.
|This is the right hand side of the page reversed. I tried to leave close to half of each picture for the text to overprint.|
|In this case I cropped in and screened back the bottom of her dress for the text to overprint.|
|And here the text will be white against the dark grass.|
Here is an actual screen shot from the iPad app. (If you tap the castle in the app you hear a waltz, the fairy dust sparkles around the coach, and I think the horses clip-clop and neigh. ) This was the original copyright/dedication page which I was able to incorporate into the app. There were 15 double-page illustrations and one single page for the picture book. The app has 36 pages. It did require some creativity to make this work, and overall I feel it is a nice package. The app has received some very good reviews. Whew. Just a few folks said it was slow to load, and PicPocket is looking into that.
I spent around 5 days reformatting the pictures, and I feel it was worth the experiment. My hope is that even though it does not have as many bells and whistles as heavily interactive apps, it will hopefully still do well. The nice thing about digital media is that an app or an ebook will probably be available for many more years than the book in print. Cinderella is currently out of print as a picture book, so this app has brought it back to life - and it sparkles!