Taking a cue from favorite childhood activities (namely, scratch art and those dolls with heat-sensitive color-changing makeup), KEEP OUR SECRETS is an awesome experiment in tactile interactivity in children’s books. Every page of Jordan Crane’s book for kids–including the covers–contains thermal-sensitive ink. A few swipes of the hand over a blackened area reveals a hidden stash of images underneath as the warmth of your skin renders the ink transparent.
Coming in November 2011 from McSweeney’s McMullens, the brand new children’s imprint from McSweeney’s Books, KEEP OUR SECRETS is getting some exciting early coverage. A far cry from the digital books apps for children that started cropping up last year, this book is actually engaging–in order to experience the story in full, kids have to warm the ink and reveal the hidden images. This is more than a gimmicky method of hawking books–interactivity like this teaches kids to read with intent and focus, and to think about the words on the page–a bounding step in the right direction for teaching children to read with comprehension and critical thinking.
The video below shows the book in action, and a note on McSweeney’s YouTube channel allays any concerns future purchasers might have about the book’s durability: “Note: The color-change effect does not wear out. It’s infinitely repeatable!” KEEP OUR SECRETS is available for preorder.
Two young children wander through their noisy house and quiet back yard with fresh eyes, discovering a hidden world full of strange and delightful surprises.
Featuring heat-sensitive, color-changing ink on every page!
Each drawing has hidden images beneath, visible only when the reader rubs the page to warm the disappearing black ink. Among the hidden images: a giant dog slumbering in a piano, a wishing puddle full of dimes, a raccoon that is actually a robot, and a camera secretly made of cheese.