Imagine children getting lost in a great story on iPad, not in a mindless game. But just like the game, this story is interactive and what’s more, it’s free! The best part of it is that it’s a feel-good story with great visuals that can create many talking points.
Introducing ‘The Rainbow Child’, an original, interactive children’s story that is written by students from our Diploma in Creative Writing for TV and New Media (DTVM) and produced by Singapore Polytechnic.
‘The Rainbow Child’ is about a little girl named Sephora who lives in a town called Gloomsville. She is different from all the other boys and girls. That is because everyone and everything in Gloomsville is in black and white, except Sephora, who is colourful. Sephora’s journey is about a child who is not afraid to let her true colours show.
The story has a special meaning to Genevieve Ng, one of the students who created the story.
She said “I’ve been called weird or strange too many times to count. Sephora’s classmates called her a freak and avoided her yet she remained positive. She puts me to shame. I wish I had her courage.”
Genevieve wrote the story along with her classmates, Jedidah Neo and Kelly Chang. All three are DTVM students. They created ‘The Rainbow Child’ as part of an assignment that required them to come up with a story for pre-schoolers with a life lesson.
Jedidah said “The image of colours being brought into a colourless world like in the movie Pleasantville intrigued me. Crafting the story to fit with the ‘colour concept’, I knew that I wanted the story to be about self acceptance and being different.”
The students also had to create a giant story book to present to their class. Each page was a collage of hand drawn illustrations, torn up scraps of newspaper and coloured yarns.
Kelly said “By that time, I’ve grown so fond of ‘The Rainbow Child’, I knew that if our story were to be poorly received, it would break my heart. But the class loved it. It felt great!“
Their lecturer Stella Wee decided to turn the story into an iPad app, by working with SP’s Games Resource Centre (GRC).
She said “The Rainbow Child is a terrific story and it’s perfect as an app. With a swipe of a finger, readers can help Sephora’s parents ‘paint’ her black and white each day.”
‘The Rainbow Child’ app also allows readers to ‘scratch’ Sephora’s hand to reveal her colours and even ‘paint’ a rainbow.
Stella intends to develop a series of such stories. She plans to create a library of children’s eBooks, which are written, illustrated and programmed by SP students. With each new eBook, more interactive elements will be introduced, including original music and sing-a-long songs.