So I was lying in bed by myself late one night and decided to read the Three Little Pigs.
Never mind the fact that having a grown man reading a Three Little Pigs bedtime story by himself with nary a kid in sight just seems wrong. That's, um, not the point here. The point is, I got a code for Nosy Crow's Three Little Pigs app for the iPad 2 and so I had the, uh, professional responsibility to give it a try. (Yeah, that's what it was. I think I'll go with that explanation.)
"Well, that's fine and all, Jason," you ask. "So was laughing like a goofball in your bed while reading The Three Little Pigs part of your professional responsibility, too?"
Alright, alright, I admit it, OK? I had fun reading a kid's storybook. Before my bedtime. By myself. You happy now?
All kidding aside, it's difficult not to chuckle when reading Nosy Crow's version of The Three Little Pigs because of just how well done it is. Lets huff and puff through all the reasons, shall we?
Excellent interactivity: A lot of children's e-books are satisfied with just putting together a collection of nice art, some voice, and maybe a few interactive images here and there for kids to tap. The Three Little Pigs has all of those, including the ability to tap on certain objects or characters (don't forget to tap the hiding wolf in one of the earlier scenes) and also make the pigs jump by flicking on them with a swipe. But The Three Little Pigs also goes one step further and adds a 3D window effect that lets you see various views and angles of each scene based on twisting your iPad up and down or left and right. It adds an extra level of immersion that's missing from most kids e-books, which usually tend to feel more impersonal for me compared to old paper storybooks.
It's charming: From the neat pastel art style and nice sound to the funny dialogue, the presentation in this electronic storybook is done quite well. Dialogue is done through the voice of one person who changes tone depending on the character — kind of like the same way parents who read a storybook change their voice based on whose dialogue they're reading. The English accent also is a nice touch. I think kids are going to love the funny dialogue for each character. I especially like the lines from the wolf, who makes an entrance while driving a catering truck. That really made me laugh for some reason (Yes, I'm easy to please that way.)
Reader feedback: The app allows users to submit comments and feedback at the end of the story. Not sure how results from feedback are going to be implemented but it's a nice touch nonetheless.
No extras: Unlike some digital storybooks I've seen, The Three Little Pigs does not come with mini-games or other extra content outside of the main story mode.
Despite the lack of extras, Nosy Crow's The Three Little Pigs app does its main job as a digital storybook very well. Excellent production values, storytelling and interactivity easily make this the best digital storybook for kids that I've tried so far. It's recommended for kids age 4 and up. But I would encourage parents of younger kids (e.g. age 3) to read this with their child as well. This digital book actually reminded me of how much fun I used to have with storybooks as a kid. And for someone who's had a hard time recapturing some of that special magic with e-books that I used to get from paper storybooks, that's actually saying a lot.
RATING: 4.5 stars out of 5
Disclosure: A review sample was provided by the manufacturer. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.