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Saturday, 4 February 2017

Digital Multisensory Stories – for want of a better name


This week, Jennie shares a collection of web-published visual stories that she has gathered over the past year – sit back, relax, view, listen and engage - in some multisensory reading.

As an avid fan of pop-up literature The Happy Duck is a favourite.

If you search the web for “digital stories” you will get an amazing number of results, and most will be for creating your own digital story. There are so many tools out there that support our creative talents, tap into our burgeoning photo libraries and reflect current, (dare I say narcissistic!) trends to share our personal lives. However, such a search will provide minimal results on stories told visually and shared on the web. What do you call them? Multi sensory books doesn’t work – think of ‘scratch and sniff’ and ‘touchy feely’ and you will realise why. But for want of a better name the following list reflects some examples of what I consider to be digital multisensory stories.

The Boat is an excellent example that may make you feel sea sick!


Stories that are told digitally (not the typical ebook and audio book) but are also interactive in some way – that engage the reader in more ways than just ‘reading or listening to the words’ – to embrace visual and auditory senses as well. Such stories are out there and in increasing numbers. Like all literature, they range in quality, purpose, audience and format. You may find:
  • Self-reflective personal stories
  • Documentary coverage
  • Personal recounts of current and historic events
  • Retellings of published works
    • And re-representations of those works that harness the technology
  • 3D virtual reality worlds to explore
  • Interactive stores to engage with
  • Games where the viewer adopts a persona and manipulates the story through their participation
  • Graphic novels

… the list will continue to grow as technology continues to advance.

ABC3D pop-up book
Catnap poetry reading and digital storytelling










For the story lover, it is worth searching out wondrous literary adventures on the web. However, for the busy person with little time to search for digital stories, or multisensory stories or ….???? why not visit my compilation on JB on NotJust Books: @WWW.
Fantastical flying books!
A note of caution: These are not sorted by genre or age group but by curriculum topic as the compilation was developed for a curriculum need. The range of stories suit a range of ages – don’t let the little ones loose without some supervision or previewing.

Engage your senses and enjoy.
Wilderquest adventure game

I invite you to share another ‘digital multisensory story’ or come up with an alternative term if you are linguistically inclined.

Jennie Bales
Editor, Reader, Viewer and Educator


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