Commissioning Editor Meg Wang talks us through the first Peppa eBook iPad app, Peppa Pig Stars.
Peppa Pig and I have been exploring unchartered territory – the land of eBook apps. I’m an editor who loves books. She’s a pig that loves muddy puddles. Together – along with an amazing team of designers, animators and programmers – we’ve put Peppa in space on an iPad.
It’s incredible to think that the iPad was just launched in the UK on the 28th of May. In these short six months, Ladybird has had to rethink how we tell stories. Although my heaving bookshelves tell me I’m a tiny bit biased towards paper books, the Peppa Stars eBook app offers a rich story experience with useful ways of learning.
At the beginning of the app, children can choose to ‘Read it myself’ or listen to the narration in the ‘Read it to me’ mode. This is great for children to pace their own reading.
They can go forwards and backwards in the story by tapping the rockets at the bottom of the screen. In ‘Read it myself’ mode, they can tap on any paragraph to have the words read out if they want to. Parents can also observe what kind of reading experience their child is in the mood for – does my child fancy reading or do they just want to listen to the story?
The interactive nature of Peppa Pig Stars promotes motor skills in little ones, and imaginative storytelling in older Peppa fans. Little ones get an immediate response when they touch the characters and they’ll repeat this purposeful tapping, which reinforces their fine motor skills. Older Peppa fans (myself included), can use their imagination and punctuate the story with snort choruses by tapping Peppa, George, Mummy and Daddy Pig all at the same time. Also, children’s natural curiosity will help them discover hidden animated surprises throughout.
At the heart of this eBook app is a great Peppa Pig story about discovery. Peppa and her family follow the North Star and learn more about space. My favourite part of the story is when Peppa, George, Mummy and Daddy Pig are lying down on a hill, looking up at the North Star. The subtle way they blink as they gaze up into the sky really brings this tender moment to life. But the fact that Daddy and Mummy Pig got everyone’s coats on to go outside and see the North Star is what’s really exciting! Encouraging imagination and discovery are the key themes of this story and of the app as well.
At Ladybird we understand that some parents may be unsure about digital learning, but this is an exciting part our children's world: from a young age they learn keyboard skills, ICT is part of The National Curriculum and interactive learning is all around them. You might not have an iPad yet (and might not even have any intention of getting one), but you could also experience Peppa Stars in your local Apple store, so while you're Christmas shopping, pop in and have a play!
Here's a video of Mathilda, aged 3 with Peppa Pig Stars on the iPad: