Thumbelina Magic Story for iPad Review

Type of app: Interactive Story Book
Platform/where to buy: iPad (Universal); available in the App Store
Developer: Oleksandr Pogrebniak

A miniature red-headed girl has suddenly appeared from a flower. Her enchanting beauty sways many hearts along her travels. She took a trip on a leaf of a water lily, flew on the back of a swallow, and made friends with the tiniest beings. Colorful montages reflect both joy and sadness within these interactive pages of this app. Thumbelina joins an unusual music performance, singing songs of joy to sunshine and summer flowers. A new friend’s charm vanishes, and is taken over by bitter disappointment. Cheerful chatter of birds with the rise of dawn and boundless freedom is replaced by boredom of reclusion. It’s also a possibility the days will seem endless in this silent custody. Despite whatever happens, brave Thumbelina is faithful to the voice of her heart, this voice guides her through all the miseries straight to the carefree kingdom of new friends.

– Wander through 24 interactive pages
– 17 exquisite author illustrations will indulge your senses
– 9 original tracks accentuate the beauty of the fairy tale
– More than 30 hidden surprises
– Easy navigation through the table of contents
– Pages are easy to turn with a swipe
– Evoke your childhood memories!

Major features: Thumbelina is a classic fairy tale from Hans Christian Andersen, which has been reimagined as an interactive and ‘living’ ebook for the iPad. As you turn from page to page the story comes alive with sounds and motion and music. All of the technical aspects from the hand-drawn pages to the music to the animated sprites and scenes are very well done and look great on the Retina iPad display.

I remember first hearing about interactive books and thinking they would detract from the core story by taking elements away from your imagination. And I have seen some that do exactly that and diminish the book. But Thumbelina is an example of the RIGHT way to do things – rather than detract, the audio and visual flourishes enhance the experience. It takes the normal illustrated children’s book style and elevates it to a new level; hidden items and surprises invite you to interact with the book; and you will enjoy the experience no matter your age.

Ease of use/Overall performance: If you can read a book on the iPad, you can use Thumbelina. All of the usual flipping gestures are preserved, and touching objects on-screen where it makes sense has an immediate response.

Would use again/recommend?: Absolutely! Even though it has been many years since I read books aloud to my kids, this immediately took me back to those days, and makes me think how reading would have been different with books like these.

Suggested changes/wish list for updates: Nothing

Price: $2.99 (Free ‘Lite’ version also available)

Here is the trailer:

Categories: eBooks, Gaming, Reviews

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