BookDragon Books for the Diverse Reader

Horrible Hauntings: An Augmented Reality Collection of Ghosts and Ghouls by Shirin Yim Bridges, illustrated by William Maughan

Horrible HauntingsWith post-Frankenstorm horrors looming for large portions of the East Coast (my baby brother and his wife’s downtown NYC building was submerged in 20 feet of water, and they’ve been told they can’t get back in for at least three weeks … and yet they’re among the very lucky compared to too many others who lost everything!), celebrating Halloween might be a bit antithetical, so apologies now for all those who are avoiding any further fright-fests!

For those of you unscathed who are in search of uniquely creepy entertainment (you’ll need power, ahem!), grab your iDevices and the like, and get ready for AR – that’s “augmented reality” (this Luddite’s head is spinning!).

The brainchild of a pair of siblings – Head Goose Shirin Yim Bridges of Goosebottom Books and her brother Jason Yim who founded and executive directs the new media company Trigger – Hauntings uses both the printed page and your 21st-century thingamajig to take ‘BOO!’ to a whole new interactive level. In the actual book, on the left side of each double-page spread, you’ll find 10 ghost stories, about “The Flying Dutchman,” “The Princes in the Tower,” “The Brown Lady,” “The Amherst Poltergeist,” and more. On the right, is something like a blank stage with backdrop …  until you match up the page with the screen on your device and suddenly, characters from beyond make their haunting appearances: a tattered ship, ball-playing skeletons, floating figures, flying objects, and yes, of course, much much more.

[I will admit that I had some technical glitches with the two voice-activated stories … and even elicited the help of more techno-savvy others who happen to live with me, but no success. That said, I’m sure the youngest readers will be catching every ghost with envious ease.]

As usual with a Goosebottom title (The Thinking Girl’s Treasury of Real Princesses, The Thinking Girl’s Treasury of Dastardly Dames), you’ll find many moments of ‘I didn’t know that …,’ and ‘How come I never learned …?’ which makes having that device in hand quite convenient to enhance your own knowledge (in case you were wondering, Edward V’s brother was Richard of Shrewsbury, the Duke of York), in addition to augmenting that real printed page. I guess even Luddites need to finally accept life (and ghosts) in the 21st century. Scary thought indeed!

Here’s to a safe and happy Halloween to all …!

Readers: Children, Middle Grade

Published: 2012


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