Will Classic Kids' Stories Be Shortened For The Internet Generation?



The great thing about classic children's stories is that they never get old — that's the point of being, well, classic. Even as adults, we can enjoy a good sit-down with Winnie the Pooh. But the bumbling bear is coming into the digital age in a very interesting way.

Some of the original A.A. Milne and E.H. Shepard stories have now been repurposed for the iPad, including animated illustrations and sound clips from the Hundred Acre Wood, which is cool. But the stories are now told through the Classic Pooh app, in abridged versions, where children can — as a UX designer at Egmont Press explained to Telegraph — move on if they're "not engaged in the storytelling almost instantly." And that's where we start to feel a little weird.

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Egmont says it is trying to adapt to a new generation of children with shorter attention spans, but this seems more likely to create a problem than solve it. While we like the idea of updating classics to remain relevant and interesting to children growing up with new technology as an integral part of their lives, we don't see why that necessarily means abridging the stories. And while shortened attention spans may indeed be a consequence of Internet media, we didn't realize the world was ready to just accept it and move on. We would assume that parents of the world would want to foster a passion for reading with their kids, which is the opposite of TL;DR. But cutting Pooh down into a few manageable interactive segments just feels like blasphemy — don't you think?

Photo: Courtesy of Egmont Press.