Saturday, May 21, 2011

Tree Frog on the Screen

Book: Red-Eyed Tree Frog by Joy Cowley, Photographs by Nic Bishop
Puppets: none
Props: none
Technology: Scanned illustrations
Presenters: one
Audience: Family Storytime

There are some cool things you can do with scanning and projecting picture books, but the main thing is: you can get the pictures big. This was a must for doing Red-Eyed Tree Frog by Joy Cowley, because you really want to see Nic Bishop’s photographs well. I scanned the pages and Brad touched them up a bit: the gutter can be a problem for scanned pages and he managed to virtually eliminate it from the excellent spread in which the tree frog jumps away from the snake. So we had those great photos projected and I could just tell the story straight from the book.

I’m kind of getting used to the idea that a well-timed click from the remote really does work in a way that’s similar to a page turn. Cowley’s telling is paced just right to match the photos, as she describes the day in the life of the frog. So when she writes “…the red-eyed tree frog has been asleep all day,” there’s a cool photo showing its closed eyes. A page-turn shows a suddenly wide-eyed frog as it “wakes up hungry.” This progression works great in the book; it’s slightly different, but equally effective using scanned images. In the book, the page turn shows that wide-eyed frog close up, but also two other photos on the same spread. With the click, you can do a full screen image of that close-up, so it’s all that you see…and it’s pretty impressive. I feel like you lose a little something by taking out the careful placement of words and photos across the two-page spread of the book….but you gain something different by getting the big, instantly appearing images on the screen.

The rest of the book flows smoothly just be telling it in Cowley’s words and showing Bishop’s amazing photographs on the screen.

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