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New Approach to Classic Children’s Literature

Mashable names "PopOut! The Tale of Peter Rabbit" as one of the top interactive books for the iPad.

Mashable names "PopOut! The Tale of Peter Rabbit" as one of the top interactive children's books for the iPad.

In previous posts, In the Stax has discussed the merits of the iPad as an eReader and as an educational tool for young children. This engaging device also offers a unique platform for app developers to combine these two functions and produce stand-out interactive interpretations of classic children’s stories. Mashable recently posted a list of their Top 5 classic children’s books designed for the iPad. Each selection was chosen for the eBook’s ability to engage young readers and provide a variety of interactive experiences through out the story.

First on the list is Alice for the iPad, one of the first interactive eBooks created for the iPad platform. The app is praised for using the book’s original woodcut illustrations, created by Sir John Tenniel, in innovative ways. Developer Atomic Antelope has created animations and fun interactive elements like flying playing cards and swinging pocketwatches to give the artwork and story a new dimension. Though the app is not without its flaws, and Mashable makes a few suggestions: “Although Alice for the iPad was head and shoulders above every other e-book and iOS book app on the market before it came out, it could be improved in several ways. The book would be more engaging if every page were illustrated and interactive — a double-page layout would have made this possible — and if the interactive options were a little less repetitive.”

The list also includes PopOut! The Tale of Peter Rabbit, of which Mashable raves: “…[S]imply the best. No other e-book offers the same richness and variety of interaction, while preserving all of the charm of the original tale.” Jack and the Beanstalk Children’s Interactive Storybook, The Frog Prince and Aesop’s Wheel round out the list respectively, along with a few honorable mentions such as Grimm’s Rumpelstiltskin and Peter Pan HD.

These new interpretations of time honored classics are engaging to both children and adults, and offer a great opportunity for parents to spend quality time with their kids. And, with most eBooks priced between $9.99 and $0.99, they would make very reasonable holiday gifts for young readers. Providing, of course, the little ones have access to an iPad.

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