Skip to main content

Elfbook: The Curious Journey - an Interactive Story by John Lechner

After I finished reading Sticky Burr:  Adventures in Burrwood Forest to my son (again), we decided to visit John Lechner's website to see if there was a new tale from Burrwood Forest on the horizon.  While there are no new Sticky Burr books in the near future, we were delighted to finds something new, very new!  John Lechner's  Elfbook:  The Curious Journey is an internet-only, interactive story that combines elements of a book, a film and a game.  And, it's a great story!

It takes about ten minutes to experience the whole story.  Like the chambered nautilus shell embossed on the cover of a book that begins this tale, the story spirals in on itself.  On top of a creamy background that is textured like the page of a book, the black and gray story unwinds.  When an image from the story glows red, that is the cue for the reader to click on it and move the story forward.

A flash of light from the top of a distant tower and the approach of a flying beast lead the Elf on a journey that takes him underground and into a secret library where he sees images of a kingdom that was once on the waterfront and a girl who could talk to the sea creatures.

The intermittent bursts of red on the neutral page are both exciting and entrancing as Elf goes on his journey and you wait to see what will happen next. 

The story has sound effects and a really wonderful, music, both referred to as sound design, by Tony Lechner, that adds to the drama of the story.

John Lechner is the art director at FableVision, an online children's media company started in 1996 by the picture book author and illustrator Peter H Reynolds that is worth taking the time to explore with your kids.  As he says on his website, Reynolds would rather be known for his mission "to use media to tell stories that matter and challenge us to reach our full potential" than anything else. Besides his work for FableVision and his picture books, Lechner has been making films for his own website.  Be sure to check out my reviews of John Lechner's books.


Off to explore this right away!

Popular posts from this blog

Made by Dad: 67 Blueprints for Making Cool Stuff - Projects You Can Build For (and With) Kids! by Scott Bedford

On his personal website, Scott Bedforddescribes himself as an "Award Winning Online Creative Professional" working within the advertising and design industry. What is more interesting (and applicable here) is how hisWhat I Made website came to be. While sitting in a Starbucks with his restless young sons, trying to enjoy his latte, Bedford created something out of coffee stir sticks that ended up keeping his boys entertained, finishing his coffee in peace and sparking (re-sparking, really) his creative drive and reminding him of the "enormous joy gained from making things, even simple things, and that this joy is not the complexity or quality of the finished project but in the process of making itself. On Bedford'sWhat I Made website, he even shares Six Cool Coffee Shop Crafts for Kidsthat you can try out next time you want to enjoy your coffee and your kids are making that difficult. I've shared two below - be sure to check out the website and see the rest!


How to Choose Age Appropriate Books for Advanced Readers

How to Choose Age Appropriate Books for Advanced Readers remains the most read post on my blog since I wrote it in 2012. Because of this, I have cleaned up this post, tightened the writing and added in any pertinent information that has come about since it originally ran. When I first started in August of 2008, I was scrambling for content, finding my purpose and my voice and not always doing my best writing. How to Choose Age Appropriate Books for Advanced Readers was one of the first articles I wrote and, as a bookseller and a book reviewer, and now as an elementary school librarian where I have gone from working with kids reading well beyond their grade level to kids reading well below, this philosophy remains my organizing principle and central focus when reading and recommending books to parents and children. 

In the interest of my mission and the attention this article continues to receive, I have updated and expanded this article and included a guide to using …

POP-UP: Everything You Need to Know to Create Your Own Pop-Up Book, paper engineering by Ruth Wickings, illustrations by Frances Castle RL: All ages

POP-UP:  Everything You Need to Know to Create Your Own Pop-Up Book with paper engineering by Ruth Wickings and illustrations by Frances Castle is THE COOLEST BOOK EVER!!!  I know that I haven't dedicated much time to pop-up books here, but they have always held a special place in my heart, and the phrase "paper engineering" is a favorite of mine. Although I didn't know what it was at the time, I did go through a paper engineering phase when I was ten or so. I would sneak off to the back of the classroom during independent work periods and go to town on the construction paper and glue and make these little free-standing dioramas. A huge fan of The Muppet Show (the original), I reconstructed the all-baby orchestra from an episode, drawing and coloring each baby and his/her instrument then gluing them onto a 3D orchestra section I had crafted out of brown construction paper.  I also made a 3D version of Snidely Whiplash throwing Nell off a cliff with Dudley Do-Right wa…