Children's Pirate Book for iPad A Book App Sample Page | The Day I Became A Pirate

We are closing in on the finish line with our new pirate book app titled The Day I Became A Pirate. I have received a few questions about how it works, and how I handled the text of the book, which was an unusual problem for this one. I discussed this first in my post titled ‘Challenges In Creating A Book App‘.

As discussed earlier; I wanted to feature the written part of the story without taking space away from the illustrations. As a rhyming story, the text is not only important but fun to read, and a prominent feature of the book. On the other hand, the illustrations and interactions are also an important part of the story, and I wanted to use every possible pixel to tell the story with Zach’s wonderful illustrations.

I tried several methods, and at one point had every other page alternating as text and then illustration, but this seemed cumbersome and forced the reader to do a lot of back and forth to revisit elements of the story to match with each set of interactions.

I finally decided to add the text on a scroll overlaying each page. This decision came as a result of reviewing the book with Jason over at TaleSpring, who’s experience with a few pages brought out the idea of placing the scroll over the page, and allowing it to be tapped away or brought back whenever the reader wanted. Brilliant!

In the book app sample video above I show an example of a simple page in the book. As it opens, the scroll appears over the illustration and presents the text to read. At any time the reader can tap the scroll and ‘put it away’. Should the reader ever want to revisit the text, they can tap the scroll icon at the bottom of the page to bring it back.

In this example I show another feature of my book; the cheat sheet. Readers can click on a skull and crossbones icon at the bottom to get an overlay to appear on the page with indicators showing all the clickable hot spots. Simply tapping the cheat sheet sends it away and the reader can tap where they remember the hot spots.

There is another button at the bottom featuring a parrot. The parrot button activates a narration in which I read the page for the reader. Often in character. This can be started at any time and make the story fun to listen to for younger children, and ads an entertaining element to the interaction for experienced readers.