Book design • Design for print • Illustration
As part of the Parent Phase of the RaW initiative, the brief was to create a pack that would inspire and motivate non-reading parents to engage in storytelling, reading and writing with their children. The pack required a populist, entertainment approach, with highly visual content, and full of creative ideas and activities for parents and children to do together. This was to be underpinned by a strong educational pedagogy to support the adult literacy objectives of the campaign. The ultimate goal was to create a fun and interactive experience that would give parents more confidence with storytelling and the written word, and enjoy getting involved with learning alongside their children. The pack is to be distributed for free via a television campaign, and through libraries and other RaW centres throughout the UK.
Firedog created a concept set in the fantastical world of ‘Max and Lara’s Amazing Travelling Space Circus,’ and developed a fully illustrated 44 page storytelling activity book. The story portrays the adventures of two young siblings, Max and Lara, as they unexpectedly land on a strange orange planet. They discover and befriend some strange creatures, and overcome a dangerous plot by the evil General R T Facts that threatens to destroy the space circus. The book is full of interesting and humorous characters, and combines a highly imaginative narrative with full page illustrations to engage readers with the story. Aimed at the parent’s children, aged 3 – 10, it is they who become the protagonists for their parent’s learning. ‘Give it a go’ activities are woven into the plot and are designed as fun exercises for the parent and child to do together. As a reward, stickers can be collected for each completed activity to build up a colourful picture of the space scene on a large wall poster that accompanies the book. Developed in partnership with education consultants from London South Bank University, a framework of over 20 educational exercises established a firm foundation for the fun activities intertwined with story. In addition, Firedog produced marketing collateral to support the release of the Parent Pack, to boost uptake by advertising the publication through posters and postcards distributed nationwide.
The book printed with a run of 750,000 copies and was released a further three times before being extended across an additional range of short story formats.