The topic of books is an interesting discussion in this modern age of digital reading and writing. Our phones and other amazing touch screen devices are making reading a different experience. With change comes new opportunity. This new opportunity for books, the new generation of books, is what we’ve recently had our eye on at Fat Brain Toys.
As fans of Fat Brain Toys, you probably know we love the do it yourself movement. We love creativity. Most of all, we love open-ended play and learning. A growing trend in the publishing world is engaging the reader in a manner not possible in today’s tablet driven world. These books are evoking the senses with the actual paper in the book and asking you as the reader to involve the book as a tool or prop in the reading experience. Rather than just reading words on the page and receiving the content from the book, today’s generation of books are asking readers to create a relationship with the book in which the book becomes part of the process, often times transforming into something completely different.
Author Keri Smith, is the master of this new generation of books. In her book Wreck This Journal, she demands of you in the most creative ways to wreck and ruin the book. Whether it is taking the journal in the shower with you, writing on a page with the pen in your mouth, or coloring outside the lines. You have to create a relationship with this book like nothing you have ever experienced when reading a book. In her book How to Be an Explorer of the World, as readers we are asked to document and notice everyday things and the beauty of the world around us. She has dubbed this process the “Portable Life Museum”.
Many others in this new generation of “engagement books” include Made By Dad, 67 Blueprints for Make Cool Stuff features do it yourself projects that parents and kids can do together. Some of the ideas include: An Extreme Car Ramp, Martian Door Decal, A Bunk Bed Communicator, and A Towering Toy Crane.
Do you have a child who is more inclined to want to explore their artistic side? Try The Story Lines books, these tomes have created great open-ended stories that need your child’s illustration to complete the book. The books are then designed to be gifts to loved ones. For example, what grandmother wouldn’t want a hand-illustrated book titled, Grandma is a Superhero?
“Real books” (You know, the ones) with paper are not dead; they are evolving into a tool of engagement, critical thinking, problem solving and creativity.