books

Book Festival Fun: or 5 ways to cope with the crowd -2/5

2/5

Gusto

Wow, Gusto is a great guy. What do you mean you've never met him? Oh man, he's the best; gregarious, confident, nothing phases Gusto.

Gusto always looks at the upside of any predicament, never wavering in his focus to brighten up any situation. He's the master of his own destiny, king of confidence, duke of daring deeds, chancellor of cheer....you know what I mean, you get the idea.

Faced with a crowd of people, all staring at him, waiting anxiously for him to begin, he strides out before them like a demi-god, an unswervingly confident, lucky sod.

No hat too silly, no shirt too garish, always smiling, always swish. He dons his curly wigs with flair, he doesn't care about his hair.

You may know Gusto has a twin, though no one likes to mention him.

Oh dear, here comes Meeker now, come on Meeker take a bow.

He shuffles up to the plate, makes excuses why he's late.

Mumbles his lines, drops his script, over his laces he has tripped.

Getting up, he bangs his head, apologises, face turns red.

Stumbling back onto the stage, “what's my line?”, “where's my page?”

He clears his throat, he sounds quite hoarse, he's lost his audience now, of course.

Oh dear, why? Where did they go?

They've wandered off to see Gusto.

 

-Trevor Young, Tapocketa

 

We realised we needed Gusto for all our public appearance, and did our best to lose Meeker along the way. Worrying about making mistakes, we found, is more disabling than the mistakes themselves. Throwing yourself into your performance with gusto takes people along with you.

 

The odd mistake is all part of the show when done with flair of the Great Gusto.

Defining Moment

So, how to make reading and understanding fun for children...

So, how to make reading and understanding fun for children...

Everybody likes print books.  If you don't, I don't want to be your friend; there I said it.

So we are creating a digital book.

'Whaaa?  I thought you just said...', yes I know, it seems a little back-to-front and we will bring out a print book version in good time, but hear me out.  There is a reason why digital books should have their place among the stories that children enjoy. 

We know what digital books don't offer; their tactile nature, the intimacy of the page to reader experience, the ability to have varying formats; big, small, pop up, cutouts etc.  But they do have the ability to enhance the reading experience in their own way.  We've been speaking to parents and teachers about our ideas for Galdo's Gift and they are very excited by the possibilities it presents.

One of those is the ability to click on any word and find out what it means.  This, to us, seemed like a small thing to begin with.  Hardly setting the world alight, right?  Well, to a child that is reluctant to read because a book has many words that they simply don't understand, it's a game changer.

And the advantages don't stop there, but that's for another day.

The Book Look

A section from our latest Galdo's Gift page backdrop

A section from our latest Galdo's Gift page backdrop

Looking worse for wear...much like the martyrs in the book

One thing that is important to Eleanor and I when making Galdo's Gift is to stay true to, and celebrate, the beauty of books.  This may sound contradictory when you learn that Galdo's Gift will firstly be a digital book;  we don't see it that way.  We want to encapsulate all that we love about print books alongside what a digital book can offer.

The image here is the front cover from a very old book I have inherited from my parents, The Foxes Book of Martyrs (a church copy, listing the stories of many Christian martyrs through history).  It has many of the qualities that have consciously fed into the design of our book.

Obviously a digital book can't be as wonderfully tactile as a print book, but we can draw a lot from it's visual texture, patterns and surface qualities and add all that is good about digital books; animation, sound, informative visual overlays, increased engagement of reluctant readers; the list goes on.

We look forward to sharing that experience with all of you.