I can’t say enough about Moving Christmas, a gloriously illustrated storybook for iPad 2 and beyond, with effective animated elements as well as other details and interactions.

This is the story of what happens when global warming makes it necessary for Santa to pick up shop and move to the South Pole, with the help of Frank Duffy, “Mover of the Impossible,” all around nice guy and general fixer, who helps Santa, Mrs. Claus and their band of elves to their new home base.

This is an epic tale that visits places like New York City, also meeting aborigines in Australia before they make it to the South Pole where they discover that the reindeer are too tired to make the flight around the world to deliver gifts, leaving Frank Duffy to work out a solution.

I really appreciate how this message about global warming in this thoughtful story really gets the point across without ever being heavy-handed – a concern I had when reading a synopsis of this application.

The overall quality of this app is excellent as well, including illustrations both reminiscent to me of vintage Christmas specials such as Rudolph, yet maintaining a style that is also thoroughly modern and simply fabulous to look at. The narration and other voice characters could not more perfectly realized in an animated Hollywood feature, this also being true for this story’s dramatic structure.

It impresses me how much work must have gone into this app during pre-production as well as this lengthy story is tight and cohesive in a way that is easy to take for granted yet very hard to produce.

Also of note are the creative use of fonts, as different sizes, colors and styles are used to a great effect, as is the placement of this text within these pages, making this story of interest to children of all ages as well as make graphic designer adults smile.

The main note I have about this app is that the included interactions could easily be overlooked, even with subtle twinkle effects marking hotspots as well as a hint that is given about how to see a 360 degree view of the Macy’s Day parade – a great scene – yet I overlooked this subtle hint the first time I enjoyed this story myself.

I would love to see a glossary of pages with the interactive elements highlighted so that children will not miss out. On the same note, I did not find all the included Easter eggs hidden in this app – something that disappoints me, a huge fan, that I might not be privy to more included content. I understand this is the way Easter Eggs work, but in a children’s app, it would be nice to have the option of clues to find these extras as well.

I would also like to see a way to simply turn back a page in this book as only forward arrows are included. The menu of pages has also been a little glitchy – both technical notes that can be looked into which do not affect the value of top-notch app.

I am very curious to see the new Frank Duffy app as well, as there was a tie-in on the last page of this app – not a surprise that I would spoil for readers. I would love to see more Frank Duffy apps, as the developers at Trusted Cape have proven to be able to create great characters, story and a terrific overall sense of style.

Please note that a published version of this story is also available. Although I have not seen this version, my experience with this app leads me to believe that this book is worth checking out as well.

Posted in: Art, By Age Range, By App Feature, Creativity, Language, Parents and Kids, Preschool, Primary School, Reading, Reviews, Social, Stories, Toddlers