A Favorite App: David Wiesner’s Spot

David Wiesner's Spot Photo: http://slj.com

David Wiesner’s Spot, Photo: http://slj.com

At a recent training I introduced the group of librarians to a just released app called Spot by the acclaimed picture book creator, David Wiesner. It is truly remarkable. Here’s what I think of the app:

David Wiesner’s Spot
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Ages: 5-9
David Wiesner brings his mastery of storytelling to the digital environment with the creation of the app Spot. Known for his intriguing wordless picture books that draw the reader into the complexities of a realistic world which masks another fantastical world beyond the surface, Wiesner has harnessed the iPad’s technology to design five diverse, imaginary worlds discovered through just one spot on a ladybug wandering the stark white home screen. By pinching and spreading two fingers on a pulsing spot, the app explorer delves deeper, for example, into what appears to be mold on the bread of a sandwich but is actually an island which becomes spilled sugar which transforms into asteroids in outer space. The mesmerizing app offers plenty of opportunities for conversation between a child and caregiver or multiple children, building narrative skills. No reading skills are required and the app works in any home language. Behind a parental gate the app includes additional information about the creator and an interactive guide for parents and educators (iBooks) including the story behind the making of the app.

I really like this app not just for what it offers within the five worlds, but the strange and beautiful story starters kids and adults can use to create new tales about the odd characters found in the unusual places Wiesner designed.

Check out the interview with David Wiesner in School Library Journal’s Touch and Go for the app’s back story.