Nosy Crow’s design cleverly weaves games and adventure into this favorite folk tale.
As in the traditional tale, Jack tries to help his mother by bringing their cow to market but is instead swindled by a nefarious peddler. The presentation features Nosy Crow’s trademark excellent narration by child actors, witty speech bubbles and terrific illustrations, but it doesn’t stop there. Right from the start, readers are asked to help Jack clean Daisy the cow and scale the heights of the beanstalk, tackling challenges in a gamelike mode. When Jack reaches the castle, readers must help him solve nine different puzzles. Some draw on the classic story: Readers must gently lift up geese to discover which one lays golden eggs. Others create new games that effectively exploit the iPad’s interactive abilities—tilting the iPad to maneuver a bucket down the well or assembling a broken mirror that uses the iPad camera to reflect the reader’s image. A treasure map lets readers navigate the story, choosing which puzzles to solve and allowing them to skip ahead to the final chase scene whenever they’re ready. Different endings emerge depending on the treasures Jack brings back—perhaps it’s just some bean soup, or maybe it’s a house overflowing with a bountiful feast.
Readers will feel as clever and brave as Jack as they outwit and outrun the giant in this engaging, entertaining app. (iPad storybook app. 5-8)