Thursday, September 15, 2011

App Review: Finn's Paper Hat

It's no surprise when wee ones these days look at a VCR tape and wonder what in the world to do with it. Ditto phones attached to walls, CD racks, and the handles that roll car windows up and down.

What breaks the heart of newspaper lovers everywhere is the notion that this same under-40-inches set will not know what you can do with a newspaper. Roll it up and train the dog. Wrap dishes and coffee mugs in it and pack for a move. And best of all, fold it up and make a hat.

That's why Finn's Paper Hat caught our eye. Produced by Tizio Publishing, the same folks who created the enchanting Fierce Grey Mouse, Finn's Paper Hat is the second app from talented author-illustrator Chantal Bourgonje

In this story, Finn creates a newspaper hat and embarks on some exciting adventures. When rain pours down, he doesn't worry about the water drenching his hat. He turns it over and sets sail. With engaging animation, Finn's journey moves from ocean waves to a bumpy encounter with a whale.

Readers can tap the page to add snowflakes at the North Pole and drag their fingers across the page to run the whale aground. More encounters with a seal bring other adventures as Finn makes the best of every situation. And his creative uses for the paper hat celebrate imagination.

While many apps can be heard in a variety of languages from Mandarin to Dutch, Finn's Paper Hat offers options I've not seen before: Readers can choose to have the narration performed in Australian English, American English, U.K. English, and beyond. I chose English narration with an Irish slant, and I felt like Colin Farrell was snuggled in the chair with me. Sigh.

Finn's Paper Hat offers extras that include a how-to guide for making your own paper hat, as well as coloring pages. $1.99 for iPad

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