03 June 2011

W. W. Denslow Goes Digital

This spring the developers ustwo and AtomicAntelope released an iPad/iPhone app of nursery rhymes by W. W. Denslow, as reviewed here by Kirkus. Apparently it hit #1 in Britain’s iTunes store.

Denslow’s illustrations lend themselves to this format because, besides being free to anyone, they have thick outlines and bright colors, allowing for easy animation—“plenty of swiping and swinging action,” the review says.

The Nursery Rhymes with StoryTime app doesn’t replicate Denslow’s edition of Mother Goose, but it pays due respect to how his book designs integrated text and art. It’s Nice that… had the ustwo developers talk about the look they wanted:
We wanted Nursery Rhymes with StoryTime to look as if it had been hand-built. To do that we literally hand-built it first out of natural media using card, paper, pencils and our hearts. Nursery Rhymes merges the illustrations of Denslow, created over a century ago, with the very latest in physics simulations. We love the fact the app appears to have been built out of a torn-up and rearranged copy of Denslow’s original book Mother Goose. That was what this project was all about – blending the old school with the new school! 
I’m also struck by how Kirkus’s review comes with screenshots and video. Review outlets have to keep up with the digital world as well, of course.

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