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WIZARD OF OZ 3D by L. Frank Baum


The Experience

by L. Frank Baum & illustrated by Greg Hildebrandt & developed by Flying Word, Inc.

Age Range: 7 - 11

Pub Date: June 30th, 2011
Publisher: Flying Word

Described by the developers as a "3D audiobook," this unabridged version of the classic tale is really a digital book with good illustrations and optional audio.

Unlike the majority of storybook apps, it does not have the interactive games and educational features readers have come to expect from the format and is clearly not aimed at a preschool or early-reader audience. However, with the look of antique pages and beautifully rendered illustrations, this is how many imagined digital books would be before actually downloading their first free copy of a classic, with its utilitarian computer-screen look and disappointing lack of illustrations. Each chapter is illustrated with Hildebrandt's original artwork, which is rendered in a 3D format resembling a pop-up book. Although the touch technology is a little cranky, the pictures can be moved and tilted to enhance the 3D effect, and they also shrink to a thumbnail at the top of the screen on non-illustrated pages. Ambient background sounds are perfectly integrated, and the narration is truly excellent—with the glaring exception of Dorothy, who is read in a syrupy baby voice that is hard to forgive.

Overall, readers looking for a quality digital format of a classic story will not be disappointed. (iPad storybook app. 7-11)