The bandit of Sherwood Forest takes center stage in this full-screen animation-meets–digital-book incarnation.
An exciting marriage of full-screen animation and classic pop-up design, this e-book makes one smart move after another. First, and perhaps most importantly, creators have managed a faithful (though abbreviated) version of the legend, with language and narration worthy of the good-vs.-evil classic. Secondly, the story is well paced, cleanly illustrated and supported with an appropriate musical backdrop, which sets the tone throughout. Sound effects are plentiful—love the neighing horses and the whizzing arrows!—and integrate well with the animation. Add to that six language options, highlighted text and independent touch-pronunciation for each word, plus "show me" and "explain to me" options to give visual clues for more difficult words/concepts, and Robin’s heroic adventures hit a bulls-eye as a comprehensive learning experience for young readers. Occasional moments in which text and voice narration are out of sync ("traitorously"/"treacherously") should be easily fixed in an update.
All that and a merry tale in which the bad guys are foiled, the good king is reinstated and the good guy gets the lovely Maid Marian—it will have readers looking for their capes and tights. (iPad storybook app. 4-10)