When artist Raghava KK had two children, he decided it was time for a new approach to children’s books. That approach manifests itself in Pop It, a new children’s book for iPad that looks to teach open mindedness to toddlers.
The book, which is about things that little children do with their parents like take a bath, play or change clothes, is notable for its use of a homosexual couple as parents. However, its message comes in that those characters can be changed to a lesbian couple or a heterosexual couple upon shaking the iPad.
“It’s a metaphor for shaking from one perspective to another,” said Raghava in an interview with Mashable. “The relationship between parent and child does not change if they have two moms, two dads. I’m challenging the concept of family.”
In creating the book, Raghava did testing with children, analyzing how much time they spent with each page and ultimately using that data to determine which pages to put in the book. “Children are the hardhest critics and the most honest creatures,” he said.
Raghava hopes to apply the concept to additional books that address issues of bias, such as those surrounding Indian independence. Applying the same “shaking” metaphor and technology, such a book could change between the Indian, Pakistani and British perspectives when shook.
Ultimately, Raghava would like to make the project open source, allowing others to easily create apps that address issues of bias around the world. “I want to democratize this … open source it and let different animators plug in their biases based on where they’re from,” he said.
Pop It [iTunes link], which was demonstrated at TED Global in Edinburgh, Scotland earlier this week, is now available in the app store for $1.99. Raghava talks about the book in the video below: