Quixote really takes a beating in this full-featured, if highly abbreviated, version of the classic tale.
Read expressively in English or Spanish (there are self-record and silent options too) as knightly music plays in the background, the rhymed tale props the would-be paladin before a mirror next to a large pile of small pieces of armor (all of which can be dragged into place on his body before readers choose to continue). It propels him out to sigh over the never-named “plain girl next door” before getting clobbered by a gang of muleteers, a windmill, a pair of armed peasants and a servant girl’s “jealous and crazed” boyfriend in turn. The tale cuts off abruptly with a concluding screen and the closing note that “his mare took him home—and all ended well.” Along with dressing the Don, readers can mix ingredients for the restorative “Balsam of Fierabrás,” assemble a jumbled scene, collect small concealed shields, and, on each screen, search out touch-activated sound effects, miraculous transformations (a particularly appropriate feature for this story) and animations. An inconspicuous menu bar allows skipping among scenes, though the tiny, unnumbered thumbnail images are, confusingly, on an endless loop. Both Calero’s comical caricatures and the incidental graphics are richly detailed and elaborately designed.
An adequate rendition for younger audiences, though only faintly acknowledging the original’s satire and sentiment. (iPad storybook app. 7-9)