We are all familiar with the unique power of storytelling, which has been the oldest form of education and entertainment. However, all too often we hear parents and teachers complain that children nowadays don’t find reading books in their native language enjoyable, let alone a foreign language. Christina and Marina seem to have found a way to breathe new life into storytelling – they created a fantastic double-path digital storybook called “Dylan and Lydia at the Fortune Teller’s”, aimed at YLs of English aged 9 and above. There are two stories in one App, the book is delightfully illustrated and accompanied by enchanting background music and an audio narration. The book also features different reading modes, animations& sound effects and in- built dictionaries. There are story- based games and ELT activities in the book like multiple choice questions, imaginative writing activities, knowledge quizzes and other amazing features.
Christina emphasized that in the era of technology digital books have become the new generation of books. Apart from their multimodal nature, they also share some of the benefits of mobile learning. There are no physical or time barriers – all you need is download the app to your smart phone or tablet and your children can read anywhere anytime, which eventually can help instill a positive attitude to extensive reading.
In the presentation we were provided with interesting details regarding a creative making process of the book about Dylan and Lydia. We learned how it all started and how Christina and Marina came up with the plot and the characters. We also got to know the lovely children (with very good English by the way) who gave their voices to the characters of the book, we learned what challenges Christina and Marina met along the way but, what is more, we learned that you’re never too old for a fairytale.
By Lana Lemeshko
Photo by Margarita Kosior