On October 24, the Six Seasons of Asiniskaw Ithiniwak collaborative research group will celebrate the launch of the first picture book app in the Six Seasons series. A retelling of the 2013 story Pisim Finds Her Miskanaw, by William Dumas, the app brings Pisim’s journey richly to life through full-colour illustrations, songs, interactive games, and cultural notes.
Two events are planned for the day:
From 2:30 – 3:45 p.m. in the Centre for Research in Young People’s Texts and Cultures (3C25), there will be a presentation by Naomi Hamer, an Assistant Professor in Child and Youth Studies at Ryerson University and a member of the research team. Her talk will situate the Pisim app within the broader field of remediated picture books. She will discuss the affordances, limits, and challenges of the mobile app form. Dr. Hamer, who specializes in the cross-media adaptation of children’s literature, will also highlight some of the research in progress by Production Team members in relation to the app project.
The official launch will follow at 4:30 p.m. in Leatherdale Hall and will feature storyteller William Dumas. Members of the audience will have an opportunity to try out the app for themselves during this event.
The Pisim Finds Her Miskanaw picture book app retells the story of the original book to create an interactive experience for the reader. Developed in collaboration with Knowledge Keepers and Elders of the Asiniskaw Ithiniwak (Rocky Cree) communities of northern Manitoba, the app features Rocky Cree and English voiced narrations of the book, text in English, Cree and syllabics, as well as pop-up story notes that add cultural and historical context, and participatory games such as “pack the canoe” and “gather a bundle” that encourage reflection on Rocky Cree Culture.
The app aims to enhance the use of the picture book in classrooms in First Nations and other schools across Manitoba and Canada.