Digital Child launches winning children’s picture books on balancing digital media use

The Stories by Digital Children competition, an initiative run by the ARC Centre of Excellence for the Digital Child, will launch four picture books for children today. 

The competition invited children aged 5 to 12 to submit concepts for children’s stories centred around the theme “Fun with digital media: Getting the balance right,” and received entries from around Australia. 

Competition winner Liesel reads with mum, Lisa.

QUT research fellow Dr Amanda Levido said that as digital technologies come to play an increasingly significant role in children’s lives, exploring digital media balance through the perspectives of children was important. 

“We often hear that families and educators are concerned about the amount of time children spend using digital media technologies,” Dr Levido said.

There may not be one ‘right’ answer to the question of how to have media balance, but we can have conversations with children about this issue.

“Our competition aimed to help families and educators to have conversations about balance, so we asked children to answer the question: How do you balance digital media and technology with other activities?”

Competition winners collaborated with children’s book author Kim Maslin and illustrator Phoebe Zeng to bring their stories to life. 

Competition winner Liesel (second from the left) with Karen Murcia, Kim Maslin, and Phoebe Zeng (left to right). 

The picture books will serve as resources for young readers, families, and educators around the world, offering accessible narratives focused on characters who are working out ways to balance digital media use with other activities in a fun and engaging manner.

Lisa, mum of Liesel Winkler, a co-author of The Day Lucy and Leo are Tele-sported said, “Liesel is an absolute bookworm so having the opportunity to be involved in creating a ‘real book’ has been an amazing experience for her.” 

The winning storybooks are: 

  • Brick Needs A Break written by Jayden Choi and Kim Maslin, illustrated by Phoebe Zeng  (5-6 year age group)
  • The Day Lucy and Leo Are Tele-sported written by Liesel Winkler and Kim Maslin, illustrated by Phoebe Zeng (7-8 age group)
  • Seesaw written by Florence Forrest-Jarman and Kim Maslin, illustrated by Phoebe Zeng (7-8 age group)
  • Digital Download written by Dane Duigan and K Kim Maslin, illustrated by Phoebe Zeng (9-12 age group)

The Digital Child project team included QUT researchers Dr Amanda LevidoProfessor Annette Woods, and Professor Michael Dezuanni

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