Publisher: Disney Book Group
Price: Free
Version: 1.1
App Reviewed on: iPad 2

iPad integration Rating: ★★★★½
User Interface Rating: ★★★★½
Re-use Value Rating: ★★★½☆

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

For some odd reason, Abraham Lincoln has been a popular figure in fictional movies lately. There’s Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, and Abraham Lincoln Vs. Zombies. While these movies may be entertaining, they do little to actually humanize the legendary 16th United States President. A new film simply entitled Lincoln hits theaters on November 16, and a free iBook accompanies its release.

This historical book not only ties in with the movie, but it also is packed with many interesting facts to give readers a little bit of background. Entitled Players on the Stage of History, Chapter One not only provides readers with interviews with notorious actors like Sally Field and Daniel Day-Lewis, but it also elaborates on historical context about the characters.

Lincoln: A Steven Spielberg Film – Discover the Story features six chapters that range from short biographies and historical documents to filming and bringing history to life. What makes the book so engrossing is that it comes with exclusive photos and interviews from the film as well as illustrations and pictures from the past. Readers get a first look into the movie costumes, exclusive interviews with the production team and access to much more behind the scenes content.

What stands out the most about this interactive book is how well it looks. It’s laid out like a magazine of sorts with huge photos, large quotes and beautiful artwork. There’s plenty of eye-candy, but there’s also quite a bit of information packed into its 66 pages.

It’s hard to believe that the book is free, but then again it makes for some pretty clever marketing material. At the end of the book, users are given the option to buy the movie’s soundtrack, watch a movie clip and buy tickets and read about the upcoming book that is to be released in Winter 2013. It would be nice if more historical content was extended to readers at the end of the book like links to websites to learn more or a historical photo gallery of sorts. I realize that’s probably asking a lot out of a free book, but it would provide a more solid background for those wishing to see the movie.

Overall, Lincoln: A Steven Spielberg Film – Discover the Story is an impressive and well-designed iBook. There’s plenty of interactive content to keep readers satisfied, and the foreword by Steven Spielberg himself really helps set the tone. Whether readers plan to go see the movie or just wish to learn more about it and Lincoln himself, this free book is worth adding to the library.