An App Is Born

A few weeks ago, I blogged about the novelty of being able to simply add a page at will to a vaguely described “new digital offering.” I’m very excited that I can now share a little more.

Last fall, we published the book Journey into the Deep: Discovering New Ocean Creatures by Rebecca L. Johnson. The book received a starred review in Kirkus, was an Orbis Pictus Honor Book, and just recently won the Ben Franklin Award in the category Juvenile/Young Adult Nonfiction.

Journey_C book cover

The book is now an iPad app, available for purchase at the iTunes store. The app contains everything in the book, plus extras. There are several video clips showing fascinating sea creatures thousands of feet below the ocean’s surface. A few the still photos became slide shows. We were able to incorporate a couple of bits that are available on our website as Lerner eSource materials: a video introduction from the author and a discussion guide.

app “cover”

Navigating an app is a different experience than navigating a book, and the app’s designer (who also designed the book) made a number of changes. Rather than clutter the design with captions, the captions pop up as needed when the reader taps a red dot icon. Additional information about the scientists who provided quotes for the book is also available at the touch of an icon.

imagea “page” of the app

The experience of transforming book to app was fascinating. I do have to say that this topic seems particularly well suited to the iPad; the sea creatures look absolutely stunning when viewed this way! If you have an iPad or know someone who does, please check it out, share it with the young readers in your lives, and let us know what you think.

note: the book is targeted at readers ages 9-14, but I think adults will find it equally fascinating