Kirkus Reviews QR Code


developed by iBigToy

Age Range: 4 - 6

Pub Date: April 22nd, 2011
Publisher: iBigToy

Though this version of the classic fairy tale gets decent marks for crisp, colorful graphics, any potential charm is buried beneath awkward navigation, bland storytelling and painfully slow narration.

When it comes to "The Frog Prince," picture books and elementary/intermediate readers abound. And with the advent of iPad technology, authors and developers would seemingly have unlimited potential to expand and enhance the storytelling experience, right?  Perhaps, but you wouldn’t know it from this app. Apart from hair blowing in the wind, occasional objects that can be moved around (with no apparent purpose) and generic sound effects, there’s really nothing to set this apart from a traditional book. The story is offered in English and Chinese and has both a “Read to Me” and “Read It Myself” option. For those trying to learn English, the incredibly slow narrative pace may be helpful. But native English speakers may feel as though they’re stuck behind someone driving 15 mph on a 55-mph highway. There’s one blatant syntax error, and phrases like, “No problem!” seem out of place in a traditional fairy tale. Most pages contain several blocks of successive text (readers have no control over scrolling speed), so when “Read It Myself” is selected, the story must be read at the same snail’s pace as the app’s narrator.

A visually appealing but significantly flawed adaptation. (iPad storybook app. 4-6)