Gulliver’s Travels – Part I – Voyage to Lilliput very nicely brings the classic Jonathan Swift tale to the iPad with both abridged as well as unabridged versions, options include that include listening to this story or reading the full, original text by oneself.
I am very impressed with the way this application has brought Gulliver’s Travels to the iPad. I remember enjoying this book when I read it a long time ago in school, but I appreciate it even more now with the addition of beautiful illustrations peppered with moving animations that really bring the story to life, as well as an interesting musical score and sound effects. My favorite moment here is when Gulliver is first brought to the city, bound on a flat and moved by horses. The animation of this moment in the story combined with the use of music here is very captivating.
I like how the text being read appears on what looks like antiqued paper, both taking up the screen as well as appearing in the corner of the illustrated pages. The narration can also be turned off if one chooses to, but the narration is very effective here in telling the story and I enjoy listening to the narrator speak.
One also has the choice of reading the text in its full, unabridged form without narration. Here, all the text is shown as if it is printed on the antique paper like many pages of the abridged version. The illustrated pages remain as well, which I think is a nice touch. It would be nice if the app had a way of bookmarking the page that one may be reading in case called away before completing the story or numbers could be added to pages themselves to make it easier to look for the last page read. Luckily, there is a section which makes finding a specific page easier, allowing the reader to view a small preview of each page with the option of jumping to the page in question, but if you stop reading on a text page the small view of each page is less helpful in finding your spot. Page numbers are added to the preview window for the original version, but without page numbers in the story itself it is still difficult to find the place you left off, an issue because one may not be able to read the full 121 pages in one sitting, especially if one is reading to a child with a short attention span.
All in all, I think this app would be an excellent choice not just for those studying Jonathan Swift in school, but for anyone who enjoys a great story. I hope more beautifully crafted books like this from Inverted Pear are created, especially the other books in this series.