Bologna Children's Book Fair Announces the Winners of the 2002 Bologna New Media Prize

Results Include the First Children's eBook Award
The Bologna Children's Book Fair is pleased to announce the winners of the 2002 Bologna New Media Prize, a juried award honoring the world's best children's "new media" products. The task this year was ambitious-- choose just four winners from 2001's batch of 987 products entered from 13 countries. Considered for the first time were nearly 100 additional eBooks, in a collaborative effort with the International eBook Award Foundation, which created and sponsored the Children's eBook Award.

Jurors included some of the world's leading authorities on children's interactive media, as follows: Caterina Cangiý (Italy), Atsuko Koizumi (Japan), Warren Buckleitner (USA), Thomas Feibel (Germany), Georgia Leguem (France), Susan McLester (USA), Peter Mollman (USA), Gigi Tagliapietra (Italy), and Kyung Woo Lee (South Korea). They were asked to identify outstanding children's products without regard to language, country of origin or size of the publisher. After three days of debate and demonstration, four winners where assigned, along with five Citations for Excellence.

Recipients will be formally recognized on April 10, 2002 during the opening ceremony of the Bologna Children's Book Fair, the world's largest trade fair dedicated to publishers of products for children. This year's winners exemplify new levels of quality and innovation. They are listed here, alphabetically, with comments from the jurors, are:

Bioscopia (Germany)
Heureka-Klett Softwarevelag GmbH (
Designed for older children, this Myst-like exploration game embeds hundreds of biology facts in an abandoned research station called Bioscopia. The goal is to find a lost biologist somewhere in a labyrinth of dilapidated buildings. The solution can only be found by solving puzzles that deal with cell biology, genetics, botany and zoology. The tone of the game is marked by amazing graphics with clever use of lighting. This is a game that will involve the whole family or classroom.

Findus bei den Mucklas (Sweden)
Gammafon Multimedia. (
This impressive software succeeds in bringing the characters from a series of books by author Sven Nordqvist into the interactive medium. Fourteen imaginative games challenge a childžs logical thinking abilities, and include several difficulty levels for children aged 4- to 9-years. The jurors were especially impressed by the puzzles that enable a child to build clever inventions in order to trap a mouse or fire a cannon. Also striking are the vivid watercolor illustrations that make the entire experience warm and inviting for the child.

My First Internet Manual (Italy)
[This title is also the Childrenžs eBook Award winner]
Edizioni Piemme
This childrenžs eBook winner combines a good story with interactive features that enhance the mission of the book: to help children better understand the Internet. Jurors noted that the interactive features were successful in enhancing the topic by presenting a variety of internal and external links along with a self-correcting quiz.

Zoo Tycoon (USA)
Microsoft Corporation (
The well-crafted simulation lets an older child design his or her own zoo from the ground up. To have a thriving zoo, a child learns firsthand how to build the correct habitat for as many as 40 different animals, including the Giant Panda and the White Siberian Tiger. Players can make their zoos bigger and better with time, adding fences, flowers, benches, shelters and rocks, all to increase the number of visitors and overall health of the zoo. Keeping the animals happy takes research and work, which as in real life, can be a very challenging task.

The following five products made the list of finalists and were awarded citations of excellence:

Harry Potter and the Sorcereržs Stone for Windows
Publisher: Electronic Arts (USA)
With this CD, children explore the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft, which is presented in rich 3D graphics on par with the very best of videogame technology. Unlike most videogames, however, this game contains no worrisome content, with a plot taken from the first book in the Harry Potter series. Jurors noted the well-crafted step-by-step tutorials along with the high quality illustration and narration.

Ripple Effects: Character Education True to Your Core (USA)
Publisher: Ripple Effects (USA)
Through videos of actual teens, older children are given problem solving opportunities with 60 different topics, including identifying personal values, resisting stereotypes, taking responsibility and practicing tolerance. Of added value are the teacheržs guide and the open invitation to discuss the topics in real situations. Jurors noted the simple but clear graphics and sounds that help children personally relate to the content. (Korea)
This subscription-based Internet site for children combines an impressive number of stories, games and exercises with a comprehensive didactic plan best suited to children aged 3-7 years. Jurors noted the high standard of graphics, sound and animation compared to other Internet sites for children; but especially noted the pedagogy underlying many of the activities. In their words, "quality and good taste pop up from every frame of this site."

The Bible and the Life of Jesus (Italy)
Childrenžs eBook Award Citation
Publisher: Dami International
Specifically developed for the younger reader, this colorful eBook incorporates beautiful illustrations with well-written text. This is an example of simple and effective eBook interactivity, including internal links and a second level of supporting text for the older reader, teacher, or parent.

Les Histoires Epouventables de Maitre Frisson (France)
Children's eBook
Award Citation
Publisher: Editions 00h00
By combining an interesting story with a variety of internal branching links, this eBook gives an older child the option to have a say in the direction of the plot.