Acclaimed children’s author Jay Jay Burridge hailed the role of modern media during Techtopia, held at Wimbledon’s Polka Theatre.
On Sunday Mr Burridge, creator of Raptors of Paradise and The Stegosorcerer, delivered a workshop on digital storytelling at the festival, which celebrated the wonders of science.
The event focused on the technique behind his his books, which are innovative syntheses of traditional children’s literature with new interactive technology that utilises smart phone apps.
Mr Burridge said: “The digital world has so much to offer and there are so many educational apps that offer so much to children, so why not put a book in one hand and a device in the other and create an immersive digital world?”
Mr Burridge believes reading can become a monotonous experience for young children, unless the text is broken up with illustrations to keep them engaged.
His work takes this idea to the next level by introducing computerised animations into the reading experience, which for children brought up in the digital age comes naturally.
Mr Burridge said: “It’s all about co-opting and finding that middle ground between old and new media, which is better than one thing or the other, to create amazing illustrations of when dinosaurs still roamed the earth.”
Innovative uses of technology feature from the very beginning of Mr Burridge’s creative career.
Before becoming a children’s author he worked in television and says that many of the skills he learned, particularly in the advertising industry, helped him to hone his modern innovative approach.
This also helped him to secure his original book deal, where Mr Burridge says his embrace of new media helped him to stand out from the crowd of other would-be authors.
This makes him an ideal ambassador for Techtopia’s ethos.
Mr Burridge said: “Technology is always an endless source of change and unless you engage in it or talk to people you quite quickly fall behind so that’s why something like Techtopia is amazing.”