Completed: March 2012, with next game currently in production. Client: The Usborne Foundation Role: Producer Platforms: Web, iPad
Teach Your Monster to Read is a series of games to help children practise the essential first stages of reading.
The series is funded by The Usborne Foundation, a charitable fund established by Peter Usborne (founder of Usborne Publishing) to support initiatives to develop early literacy.
It’s aimed at 4-6 year olds, and takes players on a fantastic adventure through a magical world where they meet the “Island Kings” and collect letters to win prizes.
Watch the most recent trailer:
The game is based on the principles of systematic synthetic phonics – now widely used in schools to help the teaching of reading. Children’s skills are improved by playing a range of fun and engaging games, all held together by a compelling story and beautifully designed characters.
The game has been assessed by reading experts from Roehampton University, and supports the UK Government-recommended “Letters and Sounds” programme.
I put together a team of top UK production talent to work closely with reading experts from Roehampton University and Usborne Publishing.
The game’s lead designers and developers are Popleaf, who have over 25 years of combined experience working on bestselling titles such as Runescape and Final Fantasy. Consultant game-design for the first game was provided by Margaret Robertson from Hide and Seek.
Voices for the series are provided by Simon Farnaby from BBC’s Horrible Histories show – a hugely talented comic actor and educational internet star Mr Thorne from Mr Thorne Does Phonics.
Awards / Commendations
The game won Gold at the Practical Preschool awards, and Primary Teacher Update awards, and have been finalist in the BETT and Education Resources Awards, as well as being featured in the TES and The Sunday Times.
Feedback from Users
“There is currently nothing of this standard available at the moment for teachers or parents.”
Katie Hanley, Senior Teacher KS1 / Language and Literacy Leader
“Thank you so much for your wonderful game. I’d tried every resource available to me, but my son had zero interest in learning to read. After playing on your site for two days he was focused and ready to start learning. He’s already reading simple words and he’s excited about reading!!”
“Antonio has consistently worked to an extremely high standard, and has been a pleasure to work with. He’s delivered across the board: helped hire and manage an outstanding team; led production on schedule and on budget; and developed his skills outside his original job description to be able to contribute substantially on issues such as educational design, marketing, and design. We couldn’t have done the project without him and recommend him without reservation.”
Nicola Usborne, Co-founder, The Usborne Foundation