BY BILL FERRIS
ZooBurst lets you build virtual pop-up books online. Through a simple WYSIWYG interface, you can upload images and enter text you want for your story, and ZooBurst handles the pop-ups and page turns virtually. Be sure to check out the Gallery to see some pretty nice-looking examples.
The controls let you manipulate the color of the pages, the angle of the pop-up images, how fast images pop, how many pages the book has, and more. ZooBurst’s 3-D virtual environment lets you see each book from every possible angle.
My only complaint with ZooBurst is that I would’ve liked to see some clip art available, as not every kid will have a lot of digital images on their computer to choose from. Yeah, I know, clip art looks cheesy. However, in an exercise like this, I think it’s more important to give kids some tools, even rudimentary ones, in order to get them busy creating something rather than combing the internet for pictures, which can be a dicey proposition in a school environment.
Overall, though, ZooBurst is a fun storytelling application with a minimal learning curve. You can put together a story and tell it to your kids during story time. Or have kids work on stories in groups or individually to exercise their creativity, and maybe produce the next classic children’s book.