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illustrated by Christulias & developed by Publisto

Pub Date: April 5th, 2012
Publisher: Publisto

A boy on an errand buys a dream from an itinerant magician and gets his money's worth in this surreal, old short story.

Shortened and lightly adapted from a 1919 original, the episode takes young Peter without transition from a quick snack under a tree to a meeting with an aunt who is suddenly a queen with a magic castle in which, strangely, all the sumptuous furnishings are glued down. The reason for that becomes evident when, after a delicious meal and a fancy ball, the castle abruptly turns over—pitching the lad back to wakefulness. Aside from being both pinchable and spreadable (to full screen), each generically Disney-esque cartoon scene features just a few small, touch-activated changes of expression or other animations. These interactive elements being rather scanty, and despite a thoroughly mannered narration (a self-record option is available), the story itself is just as well experienced passively on autoplay. There is no strip index for quick skipping back and forth, but a strip of icons at the top of each screen opens multiple jigsaw puzzles, matching games, connect-the-dots pictures and coloring pages that have an unusually sophisticated paint box.

A child-friendly tale, enhanced by pretty graphics and a large but unobtrusive set of side activities.

(iPad storybook/activity app. 4-7)