Here Design has created, written and illustrated two new children's books: In a Minute and A Bare Bear are the first releases in a more "design-aware" range for youngsters from Penguin as part of the ‘Ladybird by Design’ series.
Designed to appeal to both children and parents, Here approached the open brief by considering what would be fun and engaging from a child’s perspective rather than what an adult would expect a children’s book to look like.
Creative partner at Here, Caz Hildebrand, says: “In our studio, we have a real enthusiasm for words so the opportunity to create books for children that showed the nonsense of language and made it fun to learn about words was a joy. Creating children’s books can be a real challenge, however. When you only have four words on a page, choosing the right four words is crucial.”
A Bare Bear is a book of words that sound the same and takes the reader on a whimsical journey through examples of homonyms and homophones with exuberant illustrations that make it easy to understand the difference between the two while expanding and developing vocabulary. With short sentences and keywords in bold, we're invited to say the words aloud to hear their similarity.
In a Minute, meanwhile, gives the reader an interesting time-related factoid and then challenges them to perform an activity in one minute. For example, a winning star-jumper can jump 77 times in a minute. How many star-jumps can you do in a minute? The book combines playful information with stimulating physical and mental exercises illustrated by Here Design with a collection of playful images.
Both titles have been created as more than narrative stories, with the intention behind the books to encourage children to actively engage with the material. "These books are a way of making sense of the idiosyncrasies of our language," adds Hildebrand. "It’s wonderful to see young readers engaging with something we design – seeing them read the books and laugh. There’s also an opportunity for adults to discreetly learn a thing or two about figures of speech while teaching children!"