Thursday 26th May 2016


The Literary Platform Twitter Feed Tweet This

Picturebook App

Review by Miranda West

iPod Touch app   iPad app   iPhone app   

Features: put imagination and literary skills to use and consider narrative

Production credits: Maplekey Company, LLC

Launch date: 16 July, updated 29 September 2011

PictureBook App

Maplekey Company

Picturebook is a free iOS app that adopts a DIY approach to storytelling. The app presents our next-generation authors with a blank ebook and very little else. The budding writers must get creative and come up with their own title, characters and storyline. A couple of sample books are included to help generate ideas, and with a decent-sized image bank to draw from – including simple illustrations of Pirates, Ninjas, Cinderella and Farmyard Animals – it doesn’t take long before creative juices start to flow and a book begins to take shape.

The template provided is simple and user-friendly. Children key in their own text then drag and drop images to enhance each page. Once the book is finished, they have the option to read, go back and edit, then share with friends.

Picturebook is a fairly basic app but its simplicity is to be admired. With its pared back features, children have little choice but to put their imagination and literary skills to good use as they consider narrative, character and plot. And before long they’ve moved from passive reader to producers of their very own illustrated storybook.

Based in the Silicon Valley, Maplekey was set up less than two years ago by MIT graduate Steve Song to produce fun, useful software. For the Picturebook app he collaborated with his wife, also an MIT graduate and an ex-Google designer. Plans are underway to develop Picturebook with an Android version, sound and motion features, and picture importing, to name but a few.

For more information visit the website at or follow them on Twitter: @maplekey.

Free then additional image sets from: £0.69

PictureBook App

Tags: , , ,


One Response to “Picturebook App”

  1. Jerry Bickel Says:

    October 1st, 2012 at 12:51 am

    This seems to be a great app. When will the android version be ready to go?


  • The Literary Platform RSS feed The Literary Platform Facebook Fan Page The Literary Platform Twitter Feed The Literary Platform LinkedIn Profile The Literary Platform Google Plus account Contact The Literary Platform by email


The Literary Platform magazine covers current thinking about books and technology and innovative projects that blend the two. TLP Collective also works across both sectors to deliver interesting digital projects - visit

  • Read about the Literary Platform here »
  • Contact the Literary Platform here »

Join our mailing list for regular updates:



Job Opportunity: Senior Creative Producer at oolipo

oolipo are looking for an energetic & experienced story producer to help them craft experiences that reimagine storytelling for their digital more »

Joanna Ellis steps down at The Literary Platform, Miriam Robinson joins as Associate Director

Joanna Ellis has stepped down from her role as Partner at The Literary Platform after four years at the consultancy. more »

Episodic publishing back in vogue: Julian Fellowes launches episodic publishing app

Serial episodic publishing, a mainstay of publishing in Victorian literary magazines, is back in fashion due to 21st century technology*.