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ALICE FOR THE iPAD by Lewis Carroll Kirkus Star


by Lewis Carroll & illustrated by John Tenniel & developed by Atomic Antelope

Age Range: 5 & up

An old classic made new sacrifices nothing in adaptation. Launched as one of the first interactive storybook apps for the iPad, this kitchen-sink adaptation of “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” feels just as dynamic as when it was first created, even as other apps have brought similar features to the market months later. That’s because the app is a magical confluence of text styling, gorgeously evocative backgrounds, expertly integrated color-and-line drawings, off-kilter animation and objects that can be manipulated by touch. An update to the app includes both a 52-page abridged edition (labeled “Bedtime Edition”) or the 249-page original text of the 1865 Lewis Carroll story, complete with John Tenniel’s illustrations. The abridged version retains many of illustrations and all of the interactive pages. A “Drink Me” bottle floats along the page where it can be tossed and turned; Alice’s arm can be raised to defend herself from a barrage of playing cards. The interactive bits may seem like overkill, but the cohesive, thrilling design in some parts and restraint in other areas (eschewing narration, for instance, in favor of a text-only approach) makes it a powerful demonstration of the iPad’s storytelling potential. (iPad storybook app. 5 & up)