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Seattle Public Library

Sidewalk cracks are the new Netflix

Reading isn't just for nerds

Seattle’s overcast, gloomy days, and plentiful, cozy Sasquatch caves, seem to give us a competitive advantage when it comes to books. We live in the most well-read city in the U.S. (bookworms rejoice!). But that doesn’t necessarily translate to elementary school.

When the Seattle Public Library wanted to rally its K-5 audience about its Summer of Learning program, it sought a marketing firm that could hook your average 5th-grader with a short animation and convince them that reading is cool.

library reading is cool plane reading is cool books

First, we had two assignments


Put the worm in bookworm

The animation had to reinforce the 2019 Summer of Learning theme of “explore your world!” encouraging kids to get out and look around, poke things, ask questions, and turn into regular citizen scientists.


Plant our native roots

The flora and fauna we chose had to be native to the Pacific Northwest, and the animation had to feature watercolor scenes from local artists.

Watch and learn

See footnotes for additional details

Scrapbooking 101

We went with a collage style so we could source images from stock photography, the library’s archives, and nature illustrations from Yessica Marquez. This sped up production and gave us an excuse to take our own photos of Seattle neighborhoods, then play Frankenstein with bear heads on human bodies.

herky jerky herky jerky mobile

Herky jerky is the new kid in class

Our textured transitions, scribbly line work, and reduced frame rate let us dabble with a cartoon-y feel that was more analog than digital.

Beyond blue skies

This library’s color palette freed us from our typical corporate branding mold, and no one objected when we decided owls would pop against yellow.

owl with head turned away owl looking
sound clips

This library won't shush you

We used sound effects that accomplish so much more than your average Pow or Wham! Listen for a bald eagle screeching and a stinkbug (just kidding, it’s a cat) whining.

What's on your summer reading list?

It's never to late to start one.

Summer of learning