Winnie the Pooh has been a favorite in our house for many years. My son was excited to check out this title. However, this Winnie the Pooh Puzzle Book is a very short little game, disguised as a book. My son enjoyed it, but I think we were both expecting a little more storytelling along with the puzzles. The app is in the "Books" category, but it does not really contain much of a book.
However, what it does have is the charm of Winnie the Pooh, with familiar instrumental music playing the classic "Winnie the Pooh" theme song. There are also cute animations triggered by completing the puzzles. The narration is very nice, although you can also record your own. In addition to the puzzles, there are some interactive elements on many pages, but not more than a little bit of movement without many frames of animation.
The big bit of interactivity, beyond the puzzles themselves, is included in a 'collect the honey pot' game that is really the purpose of the story. In this sense the story is not so much enhanced by the game, but instead the game is enhanced with a tiny bit of storytelling. You tap on the honey pots, 6 in all, to end the book on a positive note and then match the 6 pots to their respective outlines (coded by color) in Pooh's cupboard. The honey pots animate if not tapped right away, so they are easy for young children to find. If the child does not tap all 6 honey pots hidden in the 'story' then it ends with "There's more honey to find! Read again to find the missing pots." And a button appears that says, "Keep Looking".
The puzzles themselves are very simple (6 pieces each) and there are only four of them in this little book. My biggest complaint about the puzzles, though, is that you don't have to get very close to the right spot to get the piece to fit, and it only gives two pieces of the puzzle at a time. This makes it very easy for even the youngest kids (in fact you can just flip the pieces toward the puzzle area and they usually fall into place on their own), but it also affects the replay value significantly. My son, age 4, only played with the puzzles a few times and then he told me he was just doing the puzzles to get to the animations, adding that it "wasn't fun" anymore. The animated scenes that come up after completing the puzzles are really cute, even if they are very brief clips.
For the first time I actually decided to try recording my own narration for a book. Often this feature is in very long books and it doesn't take most parents long to realize how time consuming it would be to record your own narration, even if it sounded like a great idea. Since this book is so short, I tried it. You have to reset every page to record it, but it is short and took me about 10 minutes. I couldn't record the title or the last page with the honey pot game, which was frustrating. It was however a really nice touch and my son really liked hearing my voice. If you are your child's favorite storyteller or will be away from them (and leave your iPad behind), this would be a relatively easy book to record yourself.
The biggest problem my child had with this book was that he kept wanting to tap the little red book with Mickey Mouse ears. It appears on the bottom right corner of every page, sort of where page turning arrows often are in digital app books for iPad. The page turning in this book uses arrows at the top corners of every page, so eventually he stopped tapping the red book in the corner, but it was confusing for him to use by himself. This little red book icon also takes you to the settings with an option to join a mailing list or exit to the appstore to buy more Disney books. Just something for parents to be aware of when letting their child use this book without supervision, since it is clearly aimed at the littlest of kids.
Overall this is a cute game app. It's engaging and captures the essence of Pooh for many readers. However, if you want a real Winnie the Pooh storybook, you will have to stick with the one that comes with iBooks for now.
All reviews are of the app, not the platform/device. Based originally on iPad versions. Minor technical details may vary.
Cindy Robinson (Narrator)
Disney Publishing Worldwide Applications
6 - 12 Minutes
Based on non-digital book: No
Allows Own Narration:
Uses Motion: No
Age: 2 - 6
English • French • Spanish •German •Italian •Japanese •Dutch •
The entire story of Winnie the Pooh Puzzle Book is as follows: "Welcome to the Hundred Acre Wood. Follow Pooh's adventures and help him collect honey pots along the way! Pooh loves honey. Pooh loves dreaming of honey. Pooh's tummy is rumbly. Pooh wants a sweet treat. Pooh looks in his cupboard for honey. Pooh's honey pots are all empty. Pooh goes out to look for more honey. Pooh found some honey! There's honey for Pooh! Thanks to you!" In between each of these sentences are pages that repeat the same lines, like a chorus, only in a book, "No honey for Pooh. What's a bear to do?" This is repeated five times.