So scanty is this condensation of the tale’s 1953 Disney version that the mermaids, the Indians (except for Tiger Lily) and even the crocodile make only cameo appearances—but there are plenty of interactive side features to compensate, along with art that looks like it came from a contemporary adaptation.
Enhanced by panning scenes, vigorous sword fights and occasional touch-activated animations, the pictures—rich in color and action, and done in an evocative period style—are the chief attraction. The text appears piecemeal and runs to lines like, “When Tinker Bell discovered Hook’s plan, she felt awful!” and, “…with happy thoughts, faith, trust and pixie dust, away flew the pirate ship.” Readers can view it silently or listen to either an avuncular narrator or a self-recorded version (with further personalization offered by uploading a photo onto a digital “bookplate” at the beginning). Children who aren’t being held by the skeletal plot will find scattered icons that lead to coloring pages, jigsaw puzzles, memory-matching games and a digital panpipe. A sure annoyance to most readers, though possibly helpful for those with profound attention issues, is the fact that touching or even swiping past any character at any time calls up both an audio and a floating visual ID that unnecessarily labels the characters ("Wendy"; "Peter Pan"; "Pirate").
Thin soup, but perhaps useful as a prelude to seeing the film for the first time or as a keepsake afterward. (iPad movie storybook app. 4-6)