Tag Archives: iPad apps

High-Tech Dickens

I’m not a city-lover and avoid crowds and noise when I can, but I would jump at the chance to explore many of them just to ingest the history.  I ever get to London, I will explore some of the places rich in literary history – places intricately laid out and described in the interactive map by David Perdue. (Via TYWKIWDBI)

Click for interactive map on David Perdue's Charles Dickens Page

Meanwhile, back in Canada, I will be vicariously touring London in Dickens’ time on the iPad via “Streetmuseum: Dickens’ Dark London”, YALSA’s  app of the week.

Streetmuseum: Dickens' Dark London

“An enriched graphic novel, this app explodes stories drawn from Charles Dickens’Sketches by Boz: illustrative of every-day life and every-day people, to create a real sense of place from a combination of striking monochromatic art and theatrical narration.” (YALSA)

There is also an Android version here.

I like to think Dickens would be tickled to see his works converted to graphic novels and interactive experiences, but it’s fun to think how technologies might have been explained to him in his time.  Rachel Walsh, a student at Cardiff School of Art and Design, created the work below to describe the Amazon Kindle e-reader to Charles Dickens. (via The Atlantic)

Designing a 19th Century Kindle: An E-Reader for Dickens

Leave a comment

Filed under Art & Design, Books, Authors & Illustrators, Technology

Seasonal Stories with Embedded Video for a Busy Week

A couple of winter story books recommended by our regional library consultant were hits with primary students during our annual  “Share the Gift of a Story” program. They were even chosen and enjoyed by the Grade 8’s whose reader allowed the students to chose several books for him to read aloud. (It’s my experience that teens enjoy a good picture book read-aloud just as much as the little ones do.) I’ve linked the cover images to their Goodreads page where you’ll find reader reviews.

Froggy Gets Dressed by Johnathan London is a great way to kick off a discussion on seasonal adaptations and hibernation. Asking why might Froggy have so much trouble remembering everything he needs to go outside to play in the snow, fits the story neatly into Alberta’s Grade 1 & 2 Science curricula.

As a bonus it has the word ‘underwear’ in it, which is always a guaranteed a good laugh.

The best video narration I found is embedded below. It is particularly interesting as the clothing words are substituted with the Oneida terms, exposing children to this eastern North American First Nations language and encouraging them to guess the English words from the illustrations.


Tacky the Penguin by Helen Lester is a wonderful ‘winter’ story about the value of individuality. Tacky is not like the other penguins, so they don’t really like him very much; that is, until they discover how his unique qualities can be a life-saver.

I’ve ordered several of the Tacky books, including Tacky’s Christmas (with CD music) for next year. They fit in very well with the Alberta Social Studies curriculum for Kindergarten as well as character education outcomes for all grades. A Google search alone turned up many teaching units.

Many of our teachers are beginning to use iPads and may find it worthwhile to download the iTunes App which includes, “professional narration, background audio and high resolution artwork for each scene”.

Enjoy this delightful narration. Show it on the Smart Board during this busy week to come or anytime on through the winter.

Leave a comment

Filed under Books, Authors & Illustrators, Education