A review of a unique book where Augmented Reality (AR) is used to bring the main character, Peter O’Meter, to life.

Reviewed by Kat Cauchi

​“Dedicated to every child who has ever flipped their lid, let off steam, or soothed themselves with a calming dream. Remember, it’s okay to feel any which way.”

The opening forward of Peter O’Meter by Tricia Fuglestad gives a great amount of insight into this narrative – one you will notice straight away the rhyming the link to metre/meter in poetry. The use of robot themed analogy shows the humour and thematic nature of the text and the fact these relate to emotions indicates the book focuses on social emotional learning.

Bringing Peter to life!

I cannot begin to tell you how excited I was when I turned the page and saw that I got to colour in my very own Peter and bring him to life with AR using the (free) Quiver app! ( Don’t worry, the book gives clear instructions on how to get this set up on your mobile phone or tablet.)

As I read each page, I excitedly got my phone out to see where there would be a spot I could scan to activate the AR. Bringing the character to life like this was really engaging and helped me to connect with Peter – his facial expressions and movements allowed me to understand him a little better.

Developing emotional literacy and reading skills

I really liked how the story centred around Peter O’ Meter starting school and the anxiety and challenges of a new big change – something all children can relate to. Throughout the text, the book also asks the reader to help identify the emotions Peter is feeling, which is great for helping students to develop emotional literacy.

Teachers will also be pleased that the book has eight reading comprehension questions you could use in a guided reading session. There’s also the option to draw an emotion robot which could be a really great follow-up activity that could spark more conversations about emotions.

Appreciating the art

I also wanted to mention the striking artwork in this book. I love the fun vibrant colours that pop, funky futuristic backgrounds that really pull you in to the atmosphere and the little well-thought-out details, such as a pet cat that’s ‘blocky’ to look more like a robot’s pet. There was also a lot of thought put into which aspects of the art should come to life with AR and how these could be animated to make them even more engaging.

Peter O'Meter brought to life using the Quiver app.

All in all, this book was a really fun and unique way to explore social-emotional learning with pupils and could spark some great conversations and develop understanding, empathy and emotional literacy.

Author

  • Katherine Cauchi

    Kat Cauchi is a WeAreTechWomen #TechWomen100 2023 award winner and a 2022 Nexus Education 'Classroom and Curriculum' improvement award winner. She is the community engagement manager at NetSupport, editor of R.I.S.E. Magazine, and the host of two podcasts. Kat is a member of the Global Equality Collective, a Global EdTech author, InnovateHer ambassador and Technocamps Girls in Stem role model.
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