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developed by TabTale

Age Range: 5 - 8

Pub Date: May 27th, 2011
Publisher: TabTale

A rhymed version of the Hans Christian Andersen tale is thickly swaddled in an array of touch-activated animations and sound effects.

Accompanying a singsong, forcibly rhymed narration, cartoon scenes feature a portly Emperor, courtiers with foolish faces and, as the requisite skeptics, both a bright-eyed commoner lad and a gloomy imperial basset hound. These and other figures, many recycled with unchanged postures from scene to scene, can be made to utter grunts, chuckles, cries of dismay and other sounds. Readers can also, with a touch, flick them from place to place or run the clothes-horse Emperor through a skimpy wardrobe of fancy garb. Despite cries that the Emperor "is not wearing anything upon his skin," he appears at the climax in a full and discreet set of underclothes—and then joins the two con-men in the finale to wave jovially and say, "Bye Bye!" Along with links fore and aft to the publisher's other offerings, children can opt for an audio reading, for phrase-by-phrase highlighting and for either auto or manual advance. The jolly music and background noises play regardless.

Like the anonymous illustrator, Andersen's name is nowhere to be found here. Just as well. (iPad storybook app. 5-8)