There comes a time in the life cycle of any creative endeavor, whether it be a book, film, or interactive tourism app/digital book, when it must be allowed to venture forth and take on an existence beyond its creator. Ironically, this often coincides with the point when the creator can’t bear to live with it anymore.
She has birthed, nurtured, examined, revised, tested, corrected, and tweaked the project until she can no longer see it clearly. Still, she carries on polishing and buffing the stone, fretting over the flaws in the marble. She questions this color choice, that turn of phrase, and every navigational decision in between.
But there are deadlines to meet and promises to keep, so ready or not, out it goes. With a deep breath, a kiss, and a silent prayer, she pushes “send” on the submission. Then, she suddenly, desperately wishes she hadn't.
Consumed with fear, she worries:
What if nobody likes it?
Because, of course, that means nobody likes YOU, taunts the devil forever lurking over her shoulder.
Days pass, weeks even, without a review or an encouraging word beyond her immediate circle of colleagues and supporters.
Then, just as distance begins to work its magic, just as she finds herself absorbed in something shiny and altogether new -- in other words, when she least expects it -- a delightful and extraordinary gift appears in her inbox. It reads…
If a 400-year-old mystery involving one of the greatest artists of all time piques your curiosity, then Buried Alive: The Secret Michelangelo Took to His Grave (Time Traveler Tours with Mary Hoffman. iOS, Free; Android, Free; Gr 6 Up), is an app for you.
She leans in, her heart pounding, her skin prickling with excitement…
The best way to use the Buried Alive app is on the ground in Florence, taking in Michelangelo’s amazing work firsthand following his trail on foot. However, thanks to a plethora of high-resolution photos and a clickable, zoomable map for speedy teleportation around the city, his fascinating story can be enjoyed from anywhere.
She can’t contain herself now. She’s jumping -- for joy! Not only does the reviewer, Kathleen S. Wilson for School Library Journal, like BURIED ALIVE, but she gets it too! She recognizes that it’s a story and a tour; that it's educational, yet fun…
There are three ways to explore Michelangelo’s Florence. One is by following his story, which is told in 14 chapters through photographs and reproductions, a compelling text, and audio narration. The second is by going on one of 22 treasure hunts, which provide a focused and fun way to explore some of Michelangelo’s key works more closely. The third is by using a map of Florence to visit any, or all, of 11 stops which are clearly indicated through text labels and pictograph representations.
Other features include definitions of highlighted terms, such as braccia and florins, the option to get “More Information” from time to time, and a game, which poses questions that introduce facts about the various locations on the tour. A social media “Let’s Hack History” component lets users in Florence upload photographs taken in front of key landmarks to share with fellow travelers and friends.
She is walking on air now, verily floating through the streets of London (she’s been reading this on her iPhone while out for an evening meetup). She’s high-fiving her friends and total strangers, too, unconcerned about what they might think of her. Could this review get any better?
Wait, Yes! There’s more…
Whether you are visiting Florence or sitting at home,
Buried Alive is a trip worth taking.
—Kathleen S. Wilson, New York University, NY, NY
Wow. That's all she can say. Wow.
And now she'd like to know...
Have you downloaded BURIED ALIVE yet?
Please do, without delay.
Help us celebrate with an App Store review today!
To read the full SLJ review of BURIED ALIVE,
and give Kathleen a shout out of thanks,
visit School Library Journal, 11 April 2017.