Pubbly: Expanding Children’s Horizons With Interactive Reading
Reading opens worlds to children, both through time-honored tales and new stories being born for modern lives. And at the forefront of the movement to make the world-opening wonder of reading even more accessible to today’s child is Pubbly – a powerful new learning platform that brings books to life for young readers. Pubbly stands at the intersection of tradition and innovation, offering an empowering, interactive reading experience that supports cognitive development while leaving space for magic.
In this article, the third of a six-part series, we’ll explore how Pubbly combines educational insights with technology to create engaging online resources for young learners. This combination holds the modern child’s attention while nurturing their educational development. Built on the premise that there is nothing passive about reading a book, Pubbly cultivates imagination and intellectual curiosity from an early age.
Creating Active Readers
Many current technologies directed at children induce a “zombie state” where the child’s attention is taken or riveted outside themselves. This can be alluring as a quick fix, but it does not foster active learning. Reading, at its core, is a fundamentally active skill for the brain and is especially important for developing minds.
Pubbly features a wide variety of animated resources, but doesn’t create an alternative reality where kids zone out — a shortcoming of many other online entertainment platforms, even those with an educational focus. Children learn by inserting themselves into a story, and the story follows them into their play, conversations, and interactions. Reading helps scaffold learning, not only through the development of literacy skills, such as decoding text, but also by fostering the ability to access and synthesize information on one’s own. It starts when young readers, engaging with the text, grow their inner confidence along with their reading comprehension and cognitive skills.
The active agency of the child is woven into every aspect of the Pubbly learning experience. There are, for example, no automatic page turns with Pubbly — just like a physical book, the reader must be engaged to hear the rest of the story! They also have plenty of time to fully take in what’s on the page (re-reading if desired) before they determine whether they are ready to move on to the next page or learning experience. Pubbly helps children get lost in the love of reading in a way that appeals to the modern child.
Intentional Technology for Young ReadersA Pubbly is somewhere between a book and a cartoon, where kids get to drive the action in animated stories online. Let’s face it, the world of information is changing rapidly; however, brain development isn’t. As a learning platform, Pubbly fosters the development of today’s young readers by simultaneously piquing their interest and requiring their active participation to advance in the story. A Pubbly reader’s eyes are not glazed over; they are scanning text and searching for answers. Pubbly resources are animated in a way one might imagine or dream when reading the words.
The 2D animations that move Pubbly stories are intentional, and often subtle. They enhance without overwhelming, allowing the story to remain the focus of the technology and the reader’s experience. The animations breathe a bit of life into already captivating illustrations and invite the reader to do the same. With a Pubbly, there is still space for a child’s imagination to drive the story. The Pubbly approach is also supported by recent research published in Frontiers in Psychology, which concludes,
"Although children are attracted to animations and specifically to motion in the animations, they do not seem to be mesmerized by the visual stimuli. On the contrary, they benefit from more intensive visual stimuli.”1
How Pubbly Works
Pubbly’s proprietary 2D animation and interaction tools do two things. First, Pubbly can animate the existing art in children’s books or other learning activities. This accessibility places animation in the hands of creatives, authors, and the team at Pubbly, who are committed to advancing child literacy and learning. The animated stories are not created for passive consumption but for active engagement, and the tool’s purpose is reflected in how it works. With Pubbly, any book can come alive. The techniques are adapted from stop-motion and cut-out style animation to support engagement and improve comprehension, not distract from it.
Second, Pubbly expertly incorporates opportunities for interactive learning for kids throughout the reading experience. With educators involved in our curriculum development, stories are layered with cognition activities. For example, kids can respond to comprehension questions, repeat the action of their favorite animations, or even re-play text as they learn to integrate new words or sentence structures. The result is an experience more akin to a parent or teacher reading to a child — not passive entertainment like a movie or YouTube video. Keep in mind that Pubbly can run on virtually any device, from a desktop or laptop to an iPad or phone, bringing educational ease to whatever format works best for your family.
The Pace of Pubbly Inspires Young Minds
At Pubbly, we celebrate the magic in a child’s world, recognizing that it is joy that guides their interest and learning. We honor the child’s pace and rhythm while also placing the stepping stones to their future through the empowerment of story. Reading is a flame that, when kindled at a young age, empowers a young mind with foundational skills, cognitive development, and the confidence to decode the world around them.
Pubbly’s animation is simple, so what stays with the child is not a blur of quickly forgotten images but the actual story and their own engagement. A child who reads has the self-appointed freedom to seek out their passions, from dinosaurs to world geography, furthering their personal and neurological development organically and authentically.
Read a Pubbly
Pubbly is dedicated to having a portion of our animated books, educational programs, and games FREE and open to early learners everywhere. Sign up now to view on desktop or download our Pubbly Player on iOS, Kindle, or Android.
1: Front. Psychol., 13 October 2016
Sec. Educational Psychology