I recently downloaded the app ranked in the No. 1 position with Kirkus. It’s PopOut! The Tale of Peter Rabbit, by one Beatrix Potter. Even though I’m committed to my great-new-app-by-a-talented-new-author quest, I went ahead and queued up what Kirkus considered the best.
And whaddaya know? It is. Heads and shoulders, in fact, above any picture book app I’ve bought so far. Check out the video to see for yourself.
What makes Peter Rabbit such an enjoyable reading experience? The list is long.
First of all, it’s the British narration. Think Emma Thompson, but more Howards End than Nanny McPhee. The voice is smooth and gentle, which jibes perfectly with the clean, understated piano accompaniment.
I loved that the pages, when our iPad was turned to landscape, seemed to be the exact size as the real book in our hands. And the pop-out components were a terrific blending of old school and new: paper flap pullouts, spin wheels, and springy elements were planted on every page.
They were infinitely engaging, and my kindergartner recognized them immediately from traditional pop-up books. Pull on this flap, and Mr. McGregor blocks Peter's path. Turn this circle, and Flopsy, Mopsy, and Cotton-tail gobble up their supper.
What delighted Junior most of all were the unexpected new pop-up elements. The rabbits come across blackberry vines, and when we touched the simple watercolor image, the berries popped into realistic, true-to-size blackberries on the screen. We spent quite a while playing with the blackberries, gooseberries, and lovely fall leaves, piling them on different parts of the pages and bouncing them back and forth. When we spent too long away from the story, the blackberries squished beneath our fingers.
It was a gentle reminder that Peter was waiting.
Developed by Loud Crow Interactive, Peter Rabbit is for iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch. It was followed at the holidays by PopOut! The Night Before Christmas.
Loud Crow on Friday unveiled the first app in its new line based on Sandra Boynton's adorable board books. Stay tuned for our review of The Going to Bed Book app, which makes us anything but sleepy.