• Maria Nørlund Marzban
Speciale, Kandidatuddannelsen
This dissertation investigates the field of digital children’s literature in the form of multimodal, interactive book-apps. The main question asked is: Which aesthetic and technological tendencies can be found in book-apps for children of three different age-groups, and what type of reading does these tendencies support? To answer this question, I combine theories from different fields, to make a model for analysing book-apps. The main theories are Gibson’s affordance theory, Nodelman’s theory for analysing picture books, an article by Unsworth about new literacies as well as a few articles by different researchers who are researching children’s book-apps. Affordances are the focusing concept in the analysis. After a brief introduction to each app, I look at the different technological and aesthetic affordances used in the app, and how these interact.
I analyse nine different book-apps: I have three apps aimed at pre-schoolers, three aimed at children who are learning to read, and three aimed at children and teens who can read without any help. The apps are a mix of English and Danish productions. The analysis showed a significant difference in how book-apps aimed at the three age-groups utilised different affordances to create aesthetically interesting reading experiences. While the affordances were mostly the same (multimodality, interactive features, performance features), the degree in which they were used varied quite a lot. The apps for the youngest readers had a relatively calm aesthetic with a few interactions based around a simple story. The apps for learning readers had a lot of interactions, and two of them even used technology-specific modalities in these interactions, like camera, movement, and the microphone. They had more complex stories with a lot of modalities constantly in play, as well as features meant to help the learning reader. Apps for children and teens, who read with no help, were less “loud” than in the previous category. Here interactions and different modalities were used to enhance whatever theme and tone the story set. The stories for this group were longer, and tended to use the technology’s affordance for un-linear story-telling.
A lot of criticism of digital reading for children, and book-apps in particular, centres around the concern that the many modalities and interactions may distract the reader from the actual reading. Some are also concerned, that digital media does not support deep, concentrated reading. However, my analysis, as well as other research made on children’s book-apps, support the view that the if the interactions are of high quality, and are well-integrated in the story, they will not be distracting. An app of high quality requires that the reader keeps attention, both to the story (deep attention) and to the different interactive elements on the screen (hyper-attention). I found that the age of the intended reader, as well as the quality of the app, are what decides, what type of reading is supported.
Udgivelsesdato31 jul. 2017
Antal sider78


  • bog-apps, apps, digital litteratur, børnelitteratur, multimodal, interaktiv, affordance