Nuggets of Wisdom

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Throwback Thursday: Living Books

Back in my day, adults came up with "interesting" (if not counter-productive) ways to inspire children to read. Many television shows had the obligatory “read more books” episode, and there were even entire shows like Reading Rainbow and Between the Lions created to inspire children to read. But perhaps the most creative method by far for getting more kids to read were Living Books.

Living Books was a series of computer games created in the mid-90s that translated many children’s stories such as The Bernstein Bears and Arthur books into interactive storybooks with voice-acting, real-time narration, and animated illustrations that came to life with the click of a mouse.

I never owned any of these games myself, but I remember playing one of them at my friend’s house, and they were quite entertaining to say the least. So it’s no wonder that, in this modern time of tablet computers and smart phones, these interactive storybooks would be ported as apps.

If you want to try your hands at one of these books, I’d recommend visiting their website and downloading the Storybook Sampler app, which allows a preview of some of these books. Otherwise, I’d recommend watching these reviews by Brutalmoose and Blinxx: