It was the coming together of lots of things really.
Mainly, I had been thinking for a while of trying to create some sort of an online notice board for children’s stories where writers, illustrators and voice artists could post their work and contribute to each other’s stuff. At about the same time I was encouraging my daughter to read by emailing her little stories.
I began to talk about these ideas over dinner one evening with Carrie, who has a background in business and start ups. She got really excited about it. We pushed some thoughts around over the next few weeks and decided that we should concentrate on one side of things first: forget the notice board bit for the moment and focus on the encouraging children to read part.
We talked to a lot of people – parents, teachers, and yes, actually believe it or not, children.
The message that was coming through was that something tends to be more attractive when you’re actively engaged in it, rather than passively absorbing it. So creating an interactive reading app that got children to jump right into the story, with sounds, colour, things they could choose was what we decided to go for. Lovely idea, but daunting, as we had no idea how to go about any of that. We looked at the interactive books that were already out there and talked with teachers and parents about what they liked/ disliked/ might like to see. Ideas started to take shape.
Carrie suggested we needed a mascot to guide the child through… here’s one of our first attempts!