Storychimes has many digital book offerings for iphone/ipad, with most at the reasonable price of $0.99. This review is of the paid version of the three pigs, however there is a free version available. Most of the Storychimes free apps are now ad supported, so be warned if you find this inappropriate in an app for young kids.
Unfortunately, I can't give this book a very strong recommendation. It's not that it isn't cute, because it is, in a cartoonish way. While I prefer softer graphics for children's books, this is clearly a style that appeals to kids. The text scrolls in what is described as a karaoke style that goes along with the cartoonish quality of the book overall.
I think most kids will like the storyline, as this version has the wolf getting grounded in the end for bothering the pigs. The author listed is the 19th century scholar, James Orchard Halliwell-Phillips, but this is unlikely since this version has one of the pigs installing cable TV. The cheekiness of this retelling & it's modern twists, are fun though, no matter who authored it.
Like many other Storychimes titles, this one also has a distinctive “chime” at the end of each page of narration. It's like the chime used in those old-school read-along storybooks that came with narration on a cassette tape. I find the chime annoying since it's pointless in a digital book.
But it's the narration that really kills me. The narrator goes overboard in trying to make the story sound interesting & exciting, but the effect is more bad acting than anything else. This also makes it unlikely for bedtime or re-reading in our house. I'd say this is one to let the kids watch by themselves or turn off the sound entirely.
There is nothing inappropriate about the story and the narration is clear & crisp, just over-acted. Overall, even with sound off, this app doesn't feel as polished as many other books & has no interactive or animated elements. Storychimes books have a lot of options, but they seemed to me to make setting up the book unnecessarily complicated. This book is a decent diversion for a child, but while loaded with 'options' it is empty of the enchantment, originality and interactivity of other digital books currently available.
All reviews are of the app, not the platform/device. Based originally on iPad versions. Minor technical details may vary.
James Orchard Halliwell-Phillips/Justin James
Sienna Entertainment, LLC
5 - 7 Minutes
Based on non-digital book: No
Allows Own Narration:
Uses Motion: No
Age: 5 - 9
This version of the three little pigs, credited erroneously to Mr. Halliwell-Phillips, is a more modern version of the classic tale. The pigs are named Harold, Herman & Larry, for starters. They try to out do each other with straw, then wood, then brick just like the classic story, but also add things like wood stoves, electricity and cable t.v. The ending also has a new twist ... the wolf turns out to be a young wolf who gets grounded for hurting the pigs.