App Review: 'Jack and the Beanstalk Children's Interactive Storybook'

Filed under: Apps

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Credit: Ryan Anson, AFP/Getty Images

Rated ON for Ages 4 and Up

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that "Jack and the Beanstalk Children's Interactive Storybook" is an adaptation of the children's classic story with several interactive elements, including games, songs, and activities. The story is well illustrated, and every page is full of tappable elements that move the story along as well as some that are just fun (such as hidden golden eggs that contain a dancing chick). As in the classic tale, Jack kills the giant by chopping down the beanstalk.

The good stuff

  • Ease of play: The book is incredibly easy to navigate except for one screen, which has puzzle elements (users must touch the screen enough to reveal the majority of a hidden picture before they can turn the page). This can interrupt the flow of the story.
  • Educational value: Words are highlighted a phrase at a time as the narrator tells the story -- a feature that users can toggle on or off as they choose.

What to watch out for

  • Violence: Jack kills the giant by chopping down the beanstalk. Bones also litter the outside of the giant's castle. Neither, however, is presented in a frightening manner.
  • Sex: Not an issue.
  • Language: Not an issue.
  • Consumerism: A link on the main menu takes users to other works by the developer. Readers are also reminded of the company's other apps via an animated ad at the end of the story.
  • Drinking, drugs, & smoking: The giant has a beer stein on his table, but the contents are never discussed.
Is It Any Good?

"Jack and the Beanstalk Children's Interactive Storybook" is a blueprint for interactive children's books. Each of the app's 32 pages has entertainment elements, with dozens of hidden surprises. For instance, touch Jack enough on one page and he'll break into song. On another, touching the right onscreen picture opens a memory game. Phrases, rather than words, are highlighted as the story is narrated; users have the option to turn highlighting on and off, giving the app a wider range of potential users. The app is dense with kid-friendly features, and will make a nice virtual library addition.

App Details

Phone: iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Category: Books
Price: $3.99, Version: 1.2.0, Size: 105 MB
Release Date: 3/8/2011, Publisher: Ayars Animation Inc.
Minimum software requirements: iOS 3.1 or later

This review of "Jack and the Beanstalk Children's Interactive Storybook" was written by Chris Morris.

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