A “special edition” of the classic Bible story that emphasizes faith, courage and the supernatural possibility of becoming an MVP.
Regardless of religious upbringing, most are familiar with the story of David and Goliath. The two unlikely opponents have become symbols for facing formidable circumstances and overcoming insurmountable odds. David is a young Israeli shepherd boy; Goliath is a giant in the Philistine army. David volunteers to fight the mammoth warrior after learning that the entire Israeli army has been cowering for days in Goliath’s shadow. (Warning: spoiler alert!) David wins. This adaptation is fueled by breathtaking computer graphics and is narrated by World Series MVP Eckstein, in a performance that is on rare occasions believable but otherwise unremarkable. Readers can hurl spears, prompt reluctant soldiers to square off with Goliath, throw stones and carry out several other nifty tasks, but the sound effects tend to drown out narration while the story is being read (there’s also a read-it-myself option). David’s triumphant crowd surfing in the 11th-century BCE is bewildering and seems like a cheap shot at relevance. On one page there are substantial sound hiccups, and the “afterward” narration—provided by Eckstein’s wife—feels preachy if well intended.
Though the computer graphics are stunning and at times entertaining, they’re not powerful enough to slay the giant also known as mediocrity. (iPad storybook app. 7-12)