Sumptuously illustrated and enriched with some clever effects, this slightly dark tale should engage lovers of fairy tales as well as those looking for a good story.
This is a rich tale complete with an evil goblin, a beautiful queen and a dark, magic mirror that shatters and falls to earth, distorting the vision of everyone it touches. When young Kai is pierced by slivers of this mirror and subsequently kidnapped by the Snow Queen, his friend Gerda must find a way to save him. Some religious elements of Andersen’s full story are retained in this version but are downplayed from the original. Backed with professional music and sound effects, the intricate, Bruegel-esque illustrations house many interactions, including minigames, puzzles, hidden objects and a coloring book. Readers can blow on the top of the screen to stoke the fire on one page and start a snow flurry on another. The app makes use of the iPad’s camera with a fun-house effect that reflects readers in the evil mirror. Children who look carefully will even find themselves reflected in the Snow Queen’s eyes. An animated mouse icon easily turns the professional narration on and off; the navigation bar at the bottom of each page allows users to adjust the volume, highlights the interactions and provides for page selection.
A solid adaptation, with a girl for a hero. (iPad storybook app. 6-12)