Similar in style to the groundbreaking Alice for iPad, this collection of three stories ("The Little Mermaid," "The Emperor's New Clothes" and "The Happy Family") retains the original (translated) texts and illustrations and adds a generous portion of gorgeous, well-integrated animations and eye-catching effects. Helpfully, the list of stories tells readers what to expect in terms of length ("Mermaid" is long, "Clothes" is medium-length and "Family" is short). The stories share similar typography (ornate drop caps and page-turn icons), but each one has its own set of appropriate interactive pages. In "Mermaid," fish can be prodded along with taps while flora can be made to sway realistically in the virtual ocean water. Shooting stars and fireworks light up the night sky above. The fabric in "Clothes" can be pulled from a spool on one page; on another, needle and thread can be manipulated. But the kissing snails, falling raindrops and realistic scurrying ants in "Happy Family" may be the most effective. The stories lack voiced narration but are rich with sound effects. There's no crime in being inspired by one of the best iPad storybook apps; this collection stands on its own with the sheer number of things it does right, even in comparison to Alice. It's a beautiful little virtual book collection. (iPad storybook app. 4-12)
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