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JACK AND THE BEANSTALK CHILDREN’S INTERACTIVE STORYBOOK by Ayars Animation Kirkus Star

JACK AND THE BEANSTALK CHILDREN’S INTERACTIVE STORYBOOK

By Ayars Animation

Age Range: 3 - 10


Taking a page out of the Disney playbook (give or take 30 pages), this version of the Jack-versus-Giant tale doesn’t offer sparkling prose. But in every other area—from its lush, hand-drawn-meets-digital-effects artwork to its treasure trove of hidden games, effective voice work and lengthy list of ways to customize the experience—it reaches great heights. While some of the app’s interactive surprises seem more obligatory than revelatory (when Jack buys the magic beans, a hidden-bean–matching memory game can be accessed), others are more inspired. On every page a hidden golden egg can be found; it hatches to reveal a fuzzy yellow chick dancing to a short burst of accordion music. On one page, tapping Jack coaxes him into belting out a song in the style of a Disney animation show tune. And in addition to the standard poking and page turning used by other iPad story apps, some pages also react to tilting the device or shaking it. The characterizations, especially of the Giant, his wife and Jack’s barnyard animals, are lively. Production values are high, and the app’s length and bundle of features are well-paced, never overstaying their welcome. Truly an app that grows beyond expectations. (iPad storybook app. 3-10)