Beatrix Potter’s The Tale of Peter Rabbit is one of the most celebrated children’s books of all time. And with little wonder: action, adventure, tears, a good moral…all contained in one little story. Best of all (or most noticeably), each passage is accompanied by beautifully rendered illustrations. Loud Crow Interactive has brought this classic story to life in their very first app, PopOut! The Tale of Peter Rabbit.
Like most book apps, you can flip the pages by swiping left and right. Unlike most digital books, you can move everything else on the page, as the app strives to emulate a real popout book as closely as possible. Accompanied by unique sound effects, all mounted elements respond to touch (the blueberries are my favorite); they even respond to “gravity,” as tilting the book will cause the popouts to move accordingly (check out the leaves!). As a bonus, there are also pull-tabs, spin-wheels, and spring-mounted elements to fiddle with–everything you ever wanted in a childhood story, and more.
Beginning readers can have the book read to them in a soothing vocal performance. Individual words can be repeated with just a tap. Turn the voice off on the Main page by pulling the tab above the “Read to Me” field, something that I couldn’t bring myself to toggle, even though obviously I can read just fine on my own. The music volume can be controlled by the slider on the Main page, just in case your reader needs the extra amount of silence. If you want to skip to a certain page, just tap on the bookmark at the top and slide your finger down to pull the table of contents down like a window shade.
I might still be disdainful of reading novels on my iPhone, but Loud Crow is a game-changer for children’s books. Kids will still be missing the visceral actions that come from holding a physical book, but there is so much more to be had from a touchscreen medium, and Loud Crow firmly takes advantage of this and makes the book an amazing experience. The story is brilliant, as we already know (and probably always will be), but the interactive elements highlight Beatrix Potter’s illustrations and infuse them with an extra bit of fun. Quite frankly, it will bring back that simple childhood joy of discovery.
Not only are the interactive capabilities endless, but the attention to detail was also extended to music. In the background plays a well-known classical melody that fits the timeless theme perfectly; instead of distracting from the work at hand, it weaves through the story as if it were meant to be there, and even offers a certain poignancy. The slightly-accented voice actress was an excellent choice, as well. This adaptation of a classical story is definitely worth its price ($4.99), and if I had a child, I would snatch up the second book app of this developer’s (The Night Before Christmas). This is a digital book done right. It is sold as a universal app so you can use it on your iPad and iPhone.
Here is a video demo of the PopOut! The Tale of Peter Rabbit app on the iPhone
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