This short, imaginative tale simply wasn’t meant to be but is so fantastically narrated, readers won’t soon forget.
All Nicholas Ickle wanted to do was create a book about, well, himself. He’s an imaginative guy with his own story to tell. Trouble is, he barely gets the words “This book is about” out, when he is rudely interrupted by a trumpeting elephant, upstaged by little, green, flatulent monsters, usurped by treasure-burying pirates, then overtaken by rats and other surprising guests. Try as he might to shoo them away, they keep popping in until Nicholas’ book is no longer his own. Based on Bland’s printed book of the same name, it shines as an iPad storybook, with whimsical illustrations and a buffet of interactive fun on each page. The narrative options are clearly illustrated. But the right-est thing about The Wrong Book is the narration itself. Superbly voiced by Australian comic Frank Woodley, Nicholas Ickle’s story-run-amok is buoyed high by brilliant timing and characterization, making the “read and record” option completely unnecessary. The simple, at-times repetitive story might feel thin without Woodley’s dramatic interpretation.
A story is only as engaging as its storyteller; this winsome offering leads the way in one crucial area where many digital storybooks fall tellingly short. (iPad storybook app. 2-5)