A faithful and enjoyable, if at times over-busy, adaptation of the 1973 television special.
The developer’s preservation of much of the source material gives the app a welcoming feel. The new, touch-friendly elements, including a ribbon slider at the bottom of most pages to move the story along, tabs to activate special animations and a hidden-leaf game that runs through the entire story, are well-executed (though the last is disappointingly irrelevant to the story). Older readers who have the TV special’s rhythms burned deep into their memories may find these features jarring, and the repeated prompts, wiggling cut-out figures and dialogue snippets tagged with redundant character mug shots may distract even less-sentimental readers. On the other hand, other bits of new magic, such as a popcorn-popping minigame with Snoopy, are so enjoyable that it’s hard to begrudge them. The story itself—about Charlie Brown botching a Thanksgiving feast for friends who invited themselves over—shines through distractions. There’s been no attempt to update plot points or dialogue: Peppermint Patty still playfully accuses Charlie Brown of playing “lovers’ games”; disturbingly, little bird Woodstock appears to be ready to feast on a slice of turkey as the story ends.
Young readers—who can absorb the story in “Autoplay” mode—won’t miss anything in the new version, and older readers may come to appreciate Loud Crow’s mix of old and new after repeated readings. (iPad storybook app. 3-10)