The book app, Snow White by Nosy Crow, is a smart, and sometimes hilarious take of a classic fairy tale. In true Nosy Crow style, this app features vibrant illustrations. It preserves the key elements of the classic story, but removes the scary stuff (gone are any references to bringing her heart back to the queen). A modern sensibility persists, and the results are often hilarious (my favourite: the time Snow White refuses the queen’s poisoned cupcake because she just brushed her teeth). The interactivity is well-placed: for example, children can rock their iPad to put baby Snow White to sleep or, later in the story, they may help the stepmother make her poisoned brew. This app is a healthy brew of vibrant illustration, a modern sensibility, and clever interactive moments. It promises to pull your child into a magical world of reading and storytelling.
Nosy Crow injects a dose of quirky modernity into a familiar plot. A hapless widower-king remarries an evil queen, who in turn is enraged by Snow White’s beauty. When the magic mirror confirms her fears – Snow White is indeed the fairest in the land – the queen orders a huntsman to take Snow White away to the forest. To make things less scary for a young audience, Snow White is accompanied by a friendly fox while she wanders through the forest. The cottage she encounters is messy, of course, but with a little help from readers, order is restored. The dwarves, including a girl dwarf named Barbara, welcome Snow White with open arms, but that is not enough to save her. The queen finds her, concocts a foul potion (with some help from readers) and journeys to the cottage to put Snow White to sleep. It takes three vists. Snow White refuses the stinky cheese offered by the queen because it’s well…stinky cheese. Snow White refuses the cupcake because she just brushed her teeth. She does finally accept the apple with the observation that is a healthy snack after all.
Snow White falls into a deep sleep only to be awakened – not when the prince kisses her – but when the glass coffin is shifted. The movement dislodges the apple in Snow White’s throat, and she is free to marry the prince. The queen is imprisoned (not killed). The story concludes with the wedding – where readers may feed the guests or change the music.
Snow White has two reading modes: Read it to Me and Read it to Myself. In the Read it to Me mode, words that are being read will be highlighted in red. Also, readers can move sequentially through the book or click on a thumbnail map to get to their favourite scene.
Is this app good for my kids?
This book app leads the pack, turning a classic tale into a vibrant, immersive experience where readers are actively involved in the narrative. In each scene, children can tap on the characters to get additional dialogue. They can do simple interactive tasks like pick flowers with Snow White, clean up the cottage, and mine jewels with the dwarfs. And then there are the more spectacular interactive moments like making a potion with the witch or putting baby Snow White to sleep. While making a potion with the witch, children can dump jars full of super gross ingredients – like eyeballs and hair – and watch the potion fizz, spit and change colour. The app also makes good use of your device capabilities: readers can rock the iPad to put baby Snow White to sleep or see their own faces in the magic mirror.
My only criticism of this book app (and of other children’s book apps I have encountered) is that the quality of writing could be better. Editorial rigour seems to be more of a norm with printed books. In this app, the extra dialogue in the speech bubbles felt – at times – weak and redundant.
Minor criticism aside, this app is an excellent addition to your app libarary. It gives children a whole new reason to love and read a classic story.
This review originally appeared on March 31, 2015. The Caped Learner is an app review blog featuring great educational apps for young children. It is dedicated to helping parents make good app choices in an era where we struggle to make informed technology decisions. The Caped Learner is written by Rahat Mahmood, mother of three young children and a technology professional. Rahat lives in Toronto and uses her children as an excuse to indulge herself in her secret passion for children’s fiction, apps and baking. Her blog is named after a certain four-year-old who believes all things are best experienced with a cape on.
All reviews are of the app, not the platform/device. Based originally on iPad versions. Minor technical details may vary.
Nosy Crow with Ed Bryan (Artwork)
Nosy Crow Limited
30 - 45 Minutes
Based on non-digital book: No
Allows Own Narration:
Uses Motion: Yes
Age: 6 - 9 +
This is THE iconic fairytale, re-told for a new audience, from the makers of the award-winning Three Little Pigs, Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, and Jack and the Beanstalk fairy tale story apps.
With beautiful artwork, stunning animation, ingenious interactivity, original music, voice work and sound effects, this is an incredible new version of everyone's favourite fairytale.
From Nosy Crow, the creators of award-winning apps:
"They are the Steven Spielberg of apps" - USA Today [Source: iTunes]
About the Traditional Tale of Snow White [Source: Wikipedia]
"Snow White" is a German fairy tale known across much of Europe and is today one of the most famous fairy tales worldwide. The Brothers Grimm published it in 1812 in the first edition of their collection Grimms' Fairy Tales. It was titled in German: Sneewittchen (in modern orthography Schneewittchen) and numbered as Tale 53. The Grimms completed their final revision of the story in 1854.
The fairy tale features such elements as the magic mirror, the poisoned apple, the glass coffin, and the characters of the evil queen/stepmother and the seven dwarfs. The seven dwarfs were first given individual names in the Broadway play Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1912) and then given different names in Walt Disney's 1937 film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. The Grimm story, which is commonly referred to as "Snow White", should not be confused with the story of "Snow White and Rose Red" (in German "Schneeweißchen und Rosenrot"), another fairy tale collected by the Brothers Grimm. In the Aarne–Thompson folklore classification, tales of this kind are grouped together as type 709, Snow White. Others of this kind include "Bella Venezia", "Myrsina", "Nourie Hadig" and "Gold-Tree and Silver-Tree".