Natasha Sidi, OCT

Product Designer

Interactive Storybook App

This is a storybook catered to children who are facing mental health challenges. I built this app using CreateJS and Box2D. The app is designed and developed for iPad 2.

The story, "Sabrina Goes to Planet Wonderful" is about an astronaut named Sabrina who is on a mission to go to Mars. On her way there, however, she gets lost in the galaxy and decides to land her shuttle in a nearby planet named “Planet Wonderful”. She makes friends with nice aliens who provide her with a map to Mars. They tell her to avoid planets named, “Planet Worry”, “Planet Scared”, and “Planet Hopeless”. She eventually makes it to Mars successfully because she has enough hope.

The Problem

Mental health awareness has grown significantly in recent times. Although conversations continue to take place, I believe that the topic of children's mental health is sometimes ignored in these important conversations. In my one week observation at a K-8 school in TDSB, I was placed in a kindergarten classroom with students who were facing diverse mental health challenges, including anxiety disorders and mood disorders. I was shocked to learn that children were dealing with these disorders at such a young age.

The Primary Goal

I wanted to create an interactive and an unique reading experience for children facing mental health challenges.

The Solution

During my observation, I learned that teachers used three techniques to help their students destress, these were: reading, playing and talking. While reading to a 5-year-old, I observed that he kept touching the images in the storybook. For examply, he was hoping to move the image of the car. This meant that the child had used a device of some-sort, perhaps a mobile or a tablet where he was able to drag an object by holding it down and moving it. I viewed this as an opportunity to create a highly-involved reading experience.

While experimenting with canvas and app development, I decided to dedicate my time into building something creative and magical for children, especially those who face mental health issues. With this book, I hope to reinforce positivity and inspire children to read.