Animalia allows children to join the app revolution
CHILDREN’S apps, from books to educational games, have boomed since the iPad was released less than a year ago.
So much so that the team that put one of Australia’s favourite children’s books – Animalia – on the iPad worries that even a much-loved title can easily get lost in the App Store.
The Base Factory group, including children’s book lover Neil Lawrence, formed around Animalia author and artist Graeme Base to bring his 1986 kids’ classic to digital life.
Mr Lawrence has admitted that if asked what an app was five years ago he wouldn’t have had any idea.
‘‘ I love children’s books and board games,’’ he said.
‘‘ I worked on board games for people like Rex Hunt and I have always loved Graeme Base’s work.’’
Mr Lawrence dipped his toe in the app market when he joined former cricketer Max Walker to build the Melbourne Cup iPhone app in 2009.
He then had a chance meeting with Base which set off a series of events that led to Animalia jumping off the printed page and into the No. 1 spot in Apple’s iBook store in Australia, the US, New Zealand and Canada.
First, the team gave Base’s book The Legend Of The Golden Snail a digital edge, building an Augmented Reality feature in which special symbols in the book are photographed with a webcam. After