When I was a kid some of my favorite books were Choose Your Own Adventures. These were aimed at young readers and the chapter books would have a moment in the story where the reader made a choice for the hero. My favorite was a ski adventure where no matter the choice I seemed to wind up flying off a cliff or with a broken limb. New children’s book publishers, Anna Skarie and Joy Dey (SWAK Publishing), recently launched a similar idea but for much younger children in a picture book. They call them DoU (do-you) Adventure books and have an entire series in production.
That pesky dragon keeps popping up.
Is he friend or foe?
Yikes! Do you run like crazy?. . . or hop on?
Why is he eating your camera?
And where is a skateboard when you need one?
70 books in one
Just Another Monday is a tabbed, create-your-own-story picture book for young children. Your child makes choices on every page, creating their adventure as they go. They find the picture that represents their choice and turn to the matching image tab at the right. There are over 70 possible pathways through the book!
My daughter was very excited to get her Do-U Adventure but struggled a bit with the concept at the start. She likes things to be done a certain way and in a specific order and that very much includes books. I showed her how it was sort of like a puzzle where the image matched the tabs and she liked that idea and finally got it. After that it was exciting for her to read through and find different endings to her story.
We were able to listen to the authors present this book at their local book release. The stories are simple enough for young readers to stay interested but complex enough for even adults to be intrigued about where the adventure is leading. I still haven’t seen all of the story combinations myself! I worked with this talented author, Joy Morgan Dey, on the beautifully written and painted (illustrated by Nikki Johnson) children’s book, Agate What Good Is a Moose. Although I tend to enjoy the more intricate illustrations of a hand painted/drawn children’s book over the computer generated and simplistic illustrations of Just Another Monday, I think the interactive features keeps the book intriguing. In the world of tablets and battery operated toys I’m thrilled to see a children’s story book that allows parents and children to interact with the story in a tangible book form. That said Anna and Joy hope to see the book series evolve into a app format for children who utilize tablets. I think it’s wonderful that they’re starting out in the traditional format and wish them the best with their future adventures in the Do-U series.
Anna and Joy have another DoU Adventure coming soon and it’s titled Just Another Tuesday, of course: “You open your lunch and take out the juicebox. Over there! You whip around and see a tentacle slithering out of the room. Holy frijoles! Do you follow it?” I look forward to seeing what they have up their sleeve next.
About the authors
A 3D artist with an advanced degree from Vancouver Film School, Anna (www.annabelleskarie.com) lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where she is a practicing web designer. She works on everything from corporate sites to computer games.
Joy (www.joymorgandey.com), a career graphic designer and art director for Old Turtle and The Quiltmaker’s Gift, lives in Duluth, Minnesota. She is the author of Agate: What good is a moose?, winner of the Independent Publisher’s Book Award (IPPY) for Best Children’s Book 2007 and the Midwest Bookseller’s Choice Award for Best Children’s Picture Book 2008. Joy and Anna are mother and daughter.
Available at bookstores, at our affiliate Amazon, and at the SWAK website.
Just Another Monday
A DoU Adventure
by Anna Skarie and Joy Dey
ISBN: 978-0-9853228-0-9, $15.95
FIVE lucky readers will win their own copy of the Do-U Adventure Just Another Monday along with the activity book (my daughter LOVED the puzzles and games that accompany the story)!
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