Jamie, at Sliced Bread Animation, had the germ of an idea which he related to me, and it inspired me to come up with the story you will soon see before you in all its glory – the glory being the addition of the beautiful illustrations by Ana Bermejo and the interactivity provided by the techie geniuses (genii?) at Sliced Bread.
My influences? Hmmmm…my own fertile imagination and a love of quality writing for children – by A.A. Milne, of Winnie the Pooh fame, to name but one.
Writing for children? I think this is what’s needed – a simple, engaging storyline, with at least one character that a child could relate to, but also some magic and mystery and adventure to intrigue and excite.
As for vocabulary – most of it should be familiar but there must also be words in there that will stretch the mind and add to a child’s bank of knowledge.
As a parent myself (my youngest baby is 27!) I think it’s very important to write material that adults will enjoy as well as children. After all, it’s the adult who might have to read the same story 328 times! For that reason, my work is layered, with references that will amuse adults but perhaps may pass a child by at first – but without spoiling their enjoyment of the story. It’s a fine line to tread.
I can’t wait to write some more stories. I can’t WAIT until the New Year when the iPad app will be available. (I hope Father Christmas is taking very good note of a certain electronic item that is the only thing on my list!)
Balloon Days (or Balloon Boy as it was initially called) has been on my mind as a ‘book’ idea for a while, I’ve always thought of it as a fun interactive picture book but (had) never really found the right platform. ‘Putting it on the web’ didn’t really feel like doing it justice, as it would have probably just got lost amongst the many others.
The original concept drawing was done by Christina 2 years ago, with some musings from me along the way. I was inspired to get on with development after seeing the Alice In Wonderland app, when the iPad first launched. A good story is primary for these, kids are too savvy too see through something that is just *fizz*, we really want it to be something you would read over and over. It has also been important for us to remember its not an animation, its a book idea.
Since having our little Lilly in the world I have been inspired by what she would like to read and maybe what her reading will be like in the future – she loves a good book already! Even my Dad (he’s a bit beyond picture books of course), now has a Kindle, which to me seems big step away from the paperback. The added bonus with iPad app is that it allows us to integrate some interactively for stimulation and play, its design is very much what I believe the ‘book’ will become in the future. The size of of the iPad is also a perfect book size, not to big to handle and enough to get the most out of the illustration detail. More later…
Due to the snowy weather Ana has been working from home this week but we have all the backgrounds complete and most of the props and secondary characters. We are going to start building the book ‘engine’ soon to see how its all fitting together.
We have spent the last couple of weeks storyboarding, working out how many background elements we needed and also how the interactivity will work therefore ensuring the story flowed visually. we obviously want it to be a bit more than a book, whilst also realising its not an animation!
Let your imagination float away with Balloon Days! Transform your iPad screen with a brand new app that will keep you entranced for hours – and your young children if you’re generous enough to let them have a go!
Milo Saves The Circus is the first in a series of tales called Balloon Days. Developed by Sliced Bread Animation, it’s a charming interactive story (aimed at 4-7 year olds) which will be available early in 2011.
Help Milo and his extraordinary balloon pony bounce their way along an adventurous path to save a circus from a fiery fate. Make every day a Balloon Day!
Milo hated peas.
He had eaten his fish fingers.
He had eaten his bread and butter.
Now there were only peas.
‘Peas are yuck’ he said.
Milo’s mum looked at him sitting all alone at the table staring at his plate.
‘Green vegetables will make you clever, like your dad…’
This is a site is managed by the creative animation studio Sliced Bread Animation based in London. Check back here for news on Balloon Days developments.
For further information on our services, please contact Jamie Denham on +44 (0)203 178 2991 or contact us via this link.
Ana Bermejo hails from Spain. More specifically, a small town in the North. Sounds nice doesn’t it? But actually it’s a bit boring. Which is why she moved to Valencia, home of paella, partying and a rather good Art School.
It was here that Ana really learnt to draw. She liked drawing goats, unicorns and deer. And she still does (well, goats are pretty cool). Anyway, not content with 5 years at Art School, she came to London to study some more. This time at St Martins. And that was that. She became an illustrator/designer.
Nowadays Ana resides in East London. There aren’t any goats or deer and certainly no unicorns but there are plenty of squirrels. And they’re nice to draw too. So she’s happy. Site link
One time special needs teacher Caroline Coxon is a full-time professional freelance writer. She writes material for a number of corporate clients, including the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.
In addition, Caroline has written many screenplays, both feature-length and short, several of which have met with acclaim in contests and festivals. To date four have been made into films, with another three on the way.
Caroline also loves to write for children. Some of her audio stories, ‘Quirky Tales’ for 6-8 year olds and ‘Sleepytime Tales’ for babies, are to be featured on Fun Kids Live, a children’s radio station, and will very soon be available to purchase. Site link