PopOut! The Tale of Peter Rabbit is an extremely well-done interactive storybook app which has not only brought the classic tale of Peter Rabbit to IPhone and iPad, but has translated the qualities of a most impressive pop-up book as well, with great results. You have the choice of being read to, or reading this book yourself. When narration is present, the text is highlighted when read out loud. Pausing and resuming is possible here, and there is an index of pages as well.

My son and I have read this Beatrix Potter story, both in its original book form as well as from other sources, and this by far has been our favorite experience. Narration has been included which is very well-done, as is the piece of classical piano music which plays in the background. By far, the best aspect of this app is that each page is crafted as if it were a very sophisticated pop-up book. Touch to wiggle the characters as if they were slightly suspended on wires. Noises are also made when things are touched, adding to the story without becoming distracting. Tabs are included to move sliding pieces of the book as well as levers to move back and forth, and dials to turn in order to create certain movements. Moving the device will also work to get many of these pieces to move and sway. I especially appreciate that combined with these beautifully low-tech looking pop-up elements, animations are included, using the devices of technology as well to further the richness of the story. Many pages have extremely realistic-looking leaves or blackberries falling from the sky: tap them and they become large and begin to fill the pages. Move them with a finger or tilt the device to have them move around the screen.

This story is long, and has a nice, soothing effect on my sometimes bouncy son. He enjoys the story and interacting with every detail very much, but it is I who marvel at the way all these pieces work. I admire the sophisticated look of the title page, that of a wood desk, antique-looking letters, an old photograph of Peter himself, as well as a quill pen and a fountain of ink. One opens a first edition copy of the book to start reading – beautiful touches which make this a great choice not only for children, but for adults as well. I do wish the musical piece was given credit somewhere on the title page, but except for this minor note, a fantastic experience.

Posted in: By Age Range, By App Feature, Creativity, For Parents, High School +, Middle School, Parents and Kids, Preschool, Primary School, Reading, Reviews, Stories, Toddlers

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