Want to inspire more girls to pursue STEM?
Two ex-Googlers create multi-award winning game to spark children's curiosity in STEM
Reading another fairy princess bedtime story for the 100th time, Annabel (one half of Little Literature Co.) was feeling quite frankly, uninspired. The sparkly pages of the princess book were a world away from books about science, technology, engineering, mathematics (STEM) which seemed to belong on bookshelves built for boys. Frustrated, Annabel wondered... why can’t we tell stories that have it all?
STEM toys are three times more likely to be targeted at boys than girls. More than just fun, playtime has a purpose; the stories we tell and games we play shape early beliefs about who we are and what we’re capable of. Girls as young as six don’t think they are as smart as boys and when asked to draw a scientist, two-thirds of children aged 9 to 11 draw a man--reflecting a self-limiting belief that, perhaps, science isn’t for girls. And sometimes it feels like it isn’t; women make up only 27% of the STEM workforce. It’s clear that when we leave girls out of STEM inspired play at a young age, we leave them out of STEM for life.
Young girls often feel like they need to make a choice between reading a factual book about ‘big trucks’ or a magical story about unicorns and friendship. Annabel Blake and Deborah Ho (Little Literature Co.’s founders) believed that science doesn’t have to be ‘either/or’, and set out to design a game that met children wherever they are, no matter their interest, allowing them to be curious and learn about STEM on their own terms.
Talu Tales is a card game that's both totally STEM, and totally sparkles introducing children aged 3-9 to all the elements of a story, Talu Tales gives them the power to create and tell science-based stories that don’t yet exist. A game for inventing and telling stories each pack contains a mix of real-world STEM facts and fantasy storylines.
Open a box of Talu Tales and you’ll be greeted with 20 jumbo sized cards featuring characters, settings, items, events. The story universe inside bridges the princess-STEM divide; bursting with diverse lead characters, stories of friendship and evil villains, pink sparkles and black holes, cute puppies and exploding stars. Talu Tales is a game for telling stories that have it all.
Sounds good? They look good! Each jumbo sized card is beautifully illustrated by award-winning Australian artist Deborah Ho; printed on thick matte card and nestled in a custom designed box. After 2 years of R&D, in 2019 Talu Tales took home the Frankie Magazine Good Stuff Award in the design category.
More information can be found at littleliterature.co where users can order and sign up for new release waitlists.
Talu Tales: Space, Spaghetti and Aliens is the first release of the Talu Tales series. RRP is $39. Additional themed packs in the Talu Tales series are set to release in Summer 2019/2020.
What is Talu Tales?
Talu Tales is a series of themed card games. Each pack is filled with all the ingredients you need to tell a story; characters, settings, items and events (some unfortunate and some rather lucky). Pick one themed pack (Space, Underwater, Ancient Egypt), or smoosh multiple packs together. Use the cards to invent new stories and tell them out aloud, on your own, or with others.
How do you play Talu Tales?
There are infinite ways to play Talu Tales. As some starters, you could tell a story using one card, build on a group collaborative story, hide them (for a story hunt) or perhaps put on a play!
Who is Little Literature Co.?
The founders of Little Literature Co. (Annabel Blake and Deborah Ho) are an award-winning strategy/designer duo who met whilst working together in Google’s Creative Labs. After realising they had a shared passion for science, storytelling, and increasing representation of women in STEM, Deb and Annabel set out to create games that inspire young children to learn about the science of the world, through imaginative, creative story play.
Why is Talu Tales a series?
Well, not every one of us is interested in the same thing. Lexi over there loves space but Sarah? she loves pyramids. So we created more than one set of stories. Something for Lexi. Something for Sarah.
Each pack in the series is designed to be smooshed together, encouraging players connect ideas in novel and unexpected ways; Space, Ancient Egypt, Dinosaurs and Underwater Sea Creatures mix into an explosive storytelling universe- because that's how the world works really! It’s all mixed together into a wonderfully messy story.
Is Talu Tales only for girls?
No. Boys have also been missing out on reading stories with female leads, diverse characters, things that shimmer and things that sparkle.
Is Talu Tales only for children?
No. Progressively, as we age, creativity declines with recent research revealing that only one in four adults believe they’re living up to their creative potential, only 39% describe themselves as creative and 59% believe that the education system is stifling creativity.
This is why we designed Talu Tales for adults too! Talu Tales is made to empower children and adults to tap into the confident, creative and fearless storytellers they are. We also know that parents are their child’s first teachers, and that to truly inspire curiosity in STEM the game had to be fun and engaging for adults too.
How much does Talu Tales cost?
$39 which includes a custom book box (with a satisfying magnetic closure- trust us, it’s super fun), 20 cards (one of which is magic and FULL OF SPARKLES) and a gameplay manual.
Is Talu Tales Wi-fi enabled?
No. Just like your brain, it’s disconnected from the internet but can still do some pretty incredible things.
A 2018 survey revealed that technology overuse is the number one concern of parents. We’re less concerned about technology, and mainly concerned about making sure we designed an experience that brought people together; to imagine, play and create. For this, analog cards were just the ticket! Creative play is all about getting back to basics, we believe that all the ingredients are already inside us- when toys are too smart and structured it can stifle our need to create.
In what countries is Talu Tales available?
For now, Talu Tales ships to AUS and NZ. International shipping to other countries can be organised at the buyers expense.
I’m a teacher- how can I get Talu Tales in my school?
You email firstname.lastname@example.org to receive a lovely fun email reply explaining how school bundles work! Best teacher ever? We think so!
I’m a retailer- how can I get Talu Tales in my store/stadium/vending machine/lemonade stand?
You email email@example.com to receive information on wholesale, counter packs, distribution, talks and workshops.
I’m a dog- how can I get a treat?
By being a good boy.
Do you do anything else?
Yes! Always! Little Literature is experimenting with digital storytelling games, new story series, and paginated children's books (about pickles and furry electronics).
Next stop in the Talu Tales series is a trip to Ancient Egypt (curses, cats and ancient Egypt). Filled with mummies, crocs, magic amulets, curses, kid kings and dinosaurs.
Then underwater- mermaids, manatees and underwa…
You’ll have to wait and see!