Torrents of words and pictures, plus ingenious software design, propel a more-or-less–linked pair of clever but half-baked tales.
Before dissolving into incoherence, the titular story leads the prince of a country beset by spell-casting witches to the discovery that he can wake an enchanted dog with a kiss, but a sleeping princess requires different magic—that is, a polite introduction. This is related on 35 illustrated sepia page spreads in portrait orientation; when the tablet is turned to landscape view, a new, colored and more detailed picture appears (mystifyingly called a couplet). Another tab on the main screen opens four writer and illustrator “starter” pages that are revealed in succession by turning the tablet through a full circle. A third tab leads to an audio lecture with animated cartoons on reading aloud with expression (“It is the reader who enters the story, and adds the final, essential touches”), delivered by a gushing tarsier. Finally, in a twee multichapter “Making Of” feature, a writer elf skips the usual publishing approval process but after developing her Waking Prince story idea with an illustrator elf, a designer elf and an editor elf, wins over the frowning Elf Elders. (No doubt it all happened just that way.)
A grab bag of stories and storytelling-workshop elements, with lively, fluent prose and art that really deserves better plotlines. (iPad storybook/instructional app. 7-9, adult)