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OZ by L. Frank Baum


by L. Frank Baum, illustrated by W.W. Denslow, developed by Robert Cunningham-Brown,

Age Range: 7 - 12

Pub Date: April 11th, 2011

Based on Baum's classic, this abridged version is a lackluster adaptation of the original.

Although many pages are illustrated with Denslow's original artwork, the story itself has been reduced largely to dialogue and consequently loses the transporting magic of Baum's storytelling. The interactive features are awkward, minimal and too young for independent readers. The few pages that are interactive are difficult to maneuver because the movable parts simply don't respond well to touch. Readers can put a key in a lock or oil the Tin Woodman's joints only if they persevere. Other illustrated pages are animated but not interactive. Perhaps it's an attempt to keep the old-fashioned feel, but this approach neither showcases the capabilities of this technology nor enhances the original artwork in the way Atomic Antelope's Alice for the iPad (2010) does. The text is not read out loud, although music accompanies six pages, and some illustrations have simple sound effects. Antique-style buttons at the bottom turn the pages or bring up a page scroll.

Ironically, when The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was first published, it was at the forefront of print technology, with color and pictures on every page. Since facsimile reproductions are available, readers are advised to click their heels together three times and buy a copy of the original book. (iPad storybook app. 7-12)