Last week, as I was perusing my many emails, I came across a request to check out a Kickstarter campaign for Wuxia the Fox, an interactive book for children that will be accessed on the iPad. Although I normally delete these requests, I was intrigued by the general introduction and decided to check it out. I did so for three reasons,
1. It’s about books
2. It’s for children
3. It more or less requires parental involvement
Because I am a firm believer in all things literacy, I couldn’t hold back my excitement and contacted the author, a Canadian man named Jonathan, who was kind enough to share the story behind the project. A father of young children, Jonathan wanted to find a way to blend technology with the world outside. Like many parents, he believes that children spend too much time indoors and not enough time outside. What’s more is that the world is changing and children, who are exposed to the two-dimensional world of an LCD screen, are missing out in the poetic nature of what’s around us. So rather than creating yet another reactive program for children, he decided to put together a multifaceted application that allows children to not only read, but the be a part of the story in a new and revolutionary way.
You see, Wuxia the Fox is more than just a book on the iPad. It is interactive and had puzzles that the child must figure out in order to keep reading. It encourages kids to take a walk outside by using motion-activated technology that will pause the book if the child is idle. It has soundtracks that add mood music to the storyline. It also has voice recognition so that parents must be involved with the storytelling process. Lastly, it had an auto-shutdown feature so that the child can only be “online” for a certain amount of time. Many of these learning tools will be implemented as the app is developed on an ongoing basis, but the potential is unlimited!
Like I said, this isn’t your ordinary reading app for kids and you can see why I am eager to share it. If you’re interested in learning more about the app, the storyline of the books, or wish to donate and/or share the page, please visit the Kickstarter page and check out the following video.