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Jen the Hen

Pat & Pals

I creatively directed and produced ‘Pat & Pals’, a children’s digital content publishing venture established with Colin & Jacqui Hawkins and Ross Sleight.

It took the ‘Rhyme & Read’ learning phonics series as a launch set and designed a set of digital downloads that very young children could play on a desktop PC. The original books had a simple consonant and vowel mechanic – whereby the the vowel would change as the page turned, leaving the ‘at’, ‘en’, ‘ig’, ‘og’ vowel in place.

Parents could access and browse the store, view demos of the download, and browse simple click-throughs of the hardback editions, which we also published and sold via the site.

The site also featured slices of the educational games that featured in the downloads – so children could experience the gentle fun of the characters and wordplay.

Early Learning Centre were a launch partner, and took an initial delivery of the books. Macmillan Books also approached us to create an eBook for Room on the Broom, which I oversaw.

I also oversaw creative direction and production across the site and the digital downloads – or ‘eBooks’. Each book followed the vowel sound character – ‘Pat the Cat’, ‘Jen the Hen’, ‘Mig the Pig’, ‘Tog the Dog’ and ‘Zug the Bug’.

Each eBook was designed along the same template, with multimedia features:

  • Character animation
  • Interactions
  • Narrators
  • Original music
  • Child friendly media controls
  • Settings to vowel on/off
  • Educational Games
  • Printables

This was a pre-iOS time, with children moving onto tablets – which is why Pat the Cat is now an iPad/iPhone app, and recently we’ve started to publish the original titles onto iBookstore, Kindle and Google Books.

Thanks are due to Will Richards (Art Direction) and Tobias Sturt (Development) along with TWP for their fantastic animations; David Ayers at Creation Studios who did the audio recording and original music, and my sister Sally Hawkins and Bill Nash, the actorly talent who brought the characters’ voices to life.

If you would like to see a sample of the eBooks, please get in contact.