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OZBOOK by L. Frank Baum


by L. Frank Baum & adapted and illustrated by Eglé Urbonaviciuté & developed by Slypot

Age Range: 5 & up

Pub Date: July 20th, 2011
Publisher: Slypot

With the help of often-brilliant interactive elements, this 17-chapter abridgement manages to update the language while staying true to Baum's original story.

Although the illustrations are a bit cartoonish (Dorothy's oversized head is actively unlovely), their overall integration with the expertly produced interactive features and judicious use of video create a continuity that thoroughly enriches the story. While Dorothy and her friends walk through the illustrations on their journey, interactive highlights reveal such things as lightning, rainbows, fireballs and hidden lamps. Bugs walk across the words on one page and must be shooed, and the tilt technology works so well that readers can actually tangle the lamps hanging from a ceiling. Some pages must be "colored in" by readers to reveal the next scene, cleverly using the technology to abet visual foreshadowing. Like a peek into another world, the first strokes turning a scene to night suddenly reveal a witch flying through the background; it’s a hint of things to come that is just spooky enough for little ones. The no-narration format and frequently thrilling interactive features (yes, at times they are just ho-hum) showcase the iPad's ability to combine story and art without becoming a video game.

A worthy interactive update of the beloved classic. (iPad storybook app. 5 & up)