The Keats Foundation recently launched a game I worked on, “Crazy Hats”. It’s a dress-up toy where you chose a character from one of Ezra Jack Keats books, add a hat, then decorate it with items selected from his books. It’s inspired by his gorgeous children’s book “Jennie’s Hat“, the story of a girl whose Sunday hat is decorated with flowers and lace by helpful birds.
The Ezra Jack Keats Foundation just launched the new Mancala game I designed. It’s a simple, leisurely paced counting game with elements loosely based on the Keats book “Dreams”. I had fun creating little bottle caps and bolts for the pieces and, after playing the game over and over again, have learned Mancala strategy. Play it now!
Regards to the Man in the Moon read aloud:
I’m creating a “Find the Differences” game for the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation and have been using photos of the original art with no text. I just found this video of a couple of children in a library reading the book. It’s been funny for me hearing the way kids read it because I’ve been so focused on the visuals while making the game, rather than the text of the book itself. “Find the Differences” games lend themselves to that because they are purely visual. The children in the video do a great job of both reading the text and describing the visuals.
A hidden drawing is revealed step by step and the player is rewarded with a short animation upon completion of each puzzle. This engaging game is perfect for learning numbers, counting and task completion.
The Ezra Jack Keats Foundation recently released an online game I designed. Working from the book “Pet Show!” we created a colorful sliding tile puzzle. The story features Archie, a young boy looking for his cat to enter the pet show. The game showcases many of the animals in the contest as sliding tiles, and the objective is to move the cat off the board by shuffling the other pets around.
The book was released in 1972 and it was fun using Keats artwork to build the game. There’s a distinctly retro color cast to the imagery, with rich ochres and deep browns. The mustache and turtleneck of one judge and the afro and mini skirt of the other give the book a nostalgic feel.