A lightly abridged, lushly illustrated version of Andersen’s satirical tale, with diversions aplenty for tap-happy audiences and a text in serious need of further copy editing.
A pair of wish-granting galoshes is left in a cloakroom during a party by two elegantly dressed fairies. They in turn transport a Danish councilor (or, depending on the sentence, “counselor,” “councillor,” “counselour” or “counsilor”) to the unpaved—“What a mud! It is just the horror!”—Middle Ages, a watchman to the Moon and an “interne” into the dizzying hearts of a row of theatergoers. Later, a clerk is transformed into an unsuccessful playwright, and after a hellacious night as a tourist in Italy, a student temporarily dies. In the end the galoshes have “dissapeared” with one of the fairies. Along with hearts and leaves that drift over pages of text, tap-responsive details in the expertly painted illustrations range from a dramatic falling star and lights that can be switched on or off to a broad array of chirps, chuckles and exclamations. The text is available in English or Russian, and though there is no professional narration, parents are urged in an introductory note to use the self-record feature.
Klutzy translation aside, most of Andersen’s literary flourishes are left intact, and they are nicely complemented by both the visuals and the interactive elements. (iPad storybook app. 8-11)