- The prize considered 234 entries from 32 countries.
- Four jurors debated, one vote each
- Two winners (one fiction, one nonfiction)
- Four mentions (two fiction, two nonfiction)
- Ten finalists (five fiction, five nonfiction)
FINALISTS (in Alphabetical Order)
Here are the ten finalists of the 2013 Bologna Ragazzi Digital Prize, along with the juror’s comments:
Bats! Furry Fliers of the Night, $2.99, by Bookerella, USA http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/bats!-furry-fliers-night/id494297887?mt=8
This well crafted non-fiction app is an interactive exploration of a mammal that catches the attention of every child. For ages 5-12.
Endless Alphabet, $free, by Callaway Digital Arts, USA
Here’s an extremely strong early reading app that playfully introduces the magic of letters, in a way that several children can share together. For ages 3-6.
Four Little Corners, $2.99, by DADA Company, Spain
This is a delightful story of inclusion, where a child can experience what it is like to not fit in with a group. The animation, sounds and graphics work perfectly with the story. For ages 3-8.
IdentiKat, $0.99, by Lastrego & Testa Multimedia S.r.l., Italy
Even a dog lover will like this richly illustrated cat collage toolkit, complete with an endless supply of exotic materials from “Grandma’s scrap box.” For ages 3-up.
Monster’s Socks, $2.99, by Martin Hughes, UK
Jump inside an exotic dream world, where you can help a monster find a pair of lost socks using a creative scrolling navigation technique. For ages 3-up.
Rita the Lizard, $2.99, by Irene Blasco Studio, Spain
Beauty meets craftsmanship, in this story about a tiny lizard with an identity crisis. Jurors: “Each page is a delight to explore.” For ages 2-up.
Rounds: Franklin Frog, $4.99, by Nosy Crow, UK
This gentle introduction of big ideas can ignite a life-long interest in science. For ages 3-6.
Voyage of Ulysses, The, $3.99, by Elastico Srl, Italy
A set of ancient stories comes to life on tablet technology, by way of 26 surprise-filled screens. For ages 7-14.
War Horse, $13.99, by Touch Press, UK
This towering achievement in the interactive non-fiction category expertly weaves the complete text of the book with a musical reading and real, non-watered down images from both sides of the conflict. For ages 9-up.
Where Do Balloons Go?, $5.99, by Auryn, Inc., USA
This app explores a simple question with beautiful art and clever interactive techniques. There’s even a balloon theatre, for answering the question your way. For ages 3-8.
Winners and Mentions
WINNER: Four Little Corners by Dada Company, Spain
This delightful story is about helping a square peg as it tries desperately to fit through a round hole, in order to be with friends. This book-inspired app demonstrates that the translation from print to digital needn’t be sophisticated, as long as a good story is involved. The underlying message — that childhood can be a time when fitting in is difficult — struck a chord with the jurors, who noted “Geometric forms have never been so moving or funny.”
MENTION: Monster’s Socks by Martin Hughes, UK
Wonderful, whimsical illustrations meet a good story, and an especially clever scroll-like navigation technique. The story, about a child-like monster in search of his socks – is expertly delivered on the touch screen, where pages are replaced by two simple arrows, letting you move with fluid ease forward or backward through the adventure. You help by making a bridge, sailing a boat or flying home from the moon.
MENTION: Rita the Lizard by Irene Blasco Studio, Spain
This ancient tale of friendship and identity is delivered with luscious illustrations and state-of-the-art interactive elements that extend the ideas of the story beyond the traditional page. You can swipe your way up the neck of a giraffe, or explore the rich foliage of a jungle scene. Responsive and playful, the jurors liked the ability to toggle between four languages or record the narration.
WINNER: War Horse by Touch Press, UK
This towering achievement in the interactive non-fiction category is based on the historical interpretation of WWI, as told by the Michael Morpurgo novel. The app expertly mixes traditional text, musical performance and 360 degree photography techniques with a live author reading. Jurors appreciated the multiple ways to explore a complicated social topic, from either the Allied or German point of view.
MENTION: Endless Alphabet by Callaway Digital Arts, USA
Interactive alphabet books abound, both in print and on touch screens. Few, however, are this playful and so informally educationally. Children discover an ensemble of singing letters who work together to link word bits to words, to build meaning. Jurors appreciated the social play opportunities of this app.
MENTION: Rounds: Franklin the Frog by Nosy Crow, UK
Nosy Crow’s “Rounds” firmly demonstrates how a digital work can masterfully help children think outside the all-too-typical beginning, middle and end format. They first meet a frog named Franklin, who swims, hops and hibernates his way through a complete life cycle, in a way that ends with a beginning. It gently introduces some profound ideas that can ignite the curiosity of a future scientist.
ABOUT THE PRIZE:
A GLOBAL REACH. This year’s contest attracted 243 entries from 32 countries, each released within the past year. Any publisher from any country can enter a product for any platform – the jurors made a conscious effort to be blind to the size and origin of the publisher. Because these products can travel between borders at the speed of light, work was submitted from all over the world making this year’s edition especially interesting.
THINKING OUTSIDE THE PAGE. Technology can detract from a story, cluttering the experience with animation, sounds or clever effects. Other times, a product is no more than a digitization of a printed product, with pages that turn, and perhaps some text scaffolding tools. These may even have some animations “sprinkled” on the page. In a few instances the magic of the interactive technology was woven perfectly with the highest quality “old fashioned” illustration, craftsmanship and narration, creating a rich experience that was delight to explore. These were the finalists and winners of the BolognaRagazzi Digital Prize..
WHO DECIDES? The prize is managed and sponsored by the Bologna Children’s Book Fair; it is managed and directed by Children’s Technology Review, a USA based periodical. The winners are determined by a rotating annual jury comprised of international experts in both digital publishing, writing and illustration. There is one vote per juror; and the debate takes place in the fall and spring. Judging concludes with a face to face demonstration session, in which the short lists and winners are selected and a toast to excellence is proposed.
For the 2013 edition, these jurors were Warren Buckleitner, Editor of Children’s Technology Review (USA), André Letria, Children’s Book Illustrator (Portugal), Chris Meade, Director of if:book (UK) and Cristina Mussinelli, Italian Publishers Association (Italy).
ABOUT THE BOLOGNA CHILDREN’S BOOK FAIR. The Bologna Children’s Book Fair has a long-standing reputation for being the place where innovation in children’s publishing is unveiled to the world.