Sir Charlie Stinky Socks and the Really BIG Adventure is an amazing digital offering, adapted from a 2009 award winning print title for readers age 4-8. It features small animated touches and fun interactivity. The real treat, though, can be found in Stephenson's gorgeous illustrations and story, narrated engagingly by Michael Maloney. In print, this book was shortlisted for the Red House Children’s Book award and a winner of the Practical Pre-School Bronze medal.
The 5-star reviews at Amazon.com from readers just reinforce the book's literary reception. Charlie is a little boy with a wild imagination. He ventures into a scary castle to find a little princess having a birthday party that no one usually attends. Having braved a scary forest and lots of 'beasties', Charlie makes her day by not only being her first guest to attend in years, but also by bringing his friends (a cat and trusty mare), as well as a newly tamed kingdom of mis-understood monsters.
As a digital book, this one is also packed. It features coloring images from the story in addition to more than 20 pages of cool things to touch, drag and shake into action. The educational features are also superb, with "Touch-to-Hear" words that speak when tapped and highlighting word-by-word with the narration. The page turn 'swiping' feels solid overall, although some of the interactive elements can be a bit touchy, not an uncommon problem for pages with so much to touch and see.
Overall, this is a top-notch offering in the app store. It will delight young readers and even amuse their parents. It isn't even scary, despite it's theme, bringing humor and loving attention to detail on every page. My highest recommendation.
All reviews are of the app, not the platform/device. Based originally on iPad versions. Minor technical details may vary.
12 - 15 Minutes
Based on non-digital book: Yes
Allows Own Narration:
Uses Motion: Yes
Age: 4 - 8 +
"Once upon a time there was deep, dark forest, where monstrous trees groaned, terrible beasties moaned, and wiggly woos waited to tickle your toes," begins the story of Sir Charlie Stinky Socks and the Really BIG Adventure. The little boy with the unchanged socks heads to a tall tower to find a princess waiting on her birthday. Before he can get there, he must cross a scary forest. He rides his 'good grey mare' and is also accompanied by a cat named Envelope.
The animated 'beasties' don't scare Charlie, though. He is brave and even sings to them. As he dares them to come out, he finds that the monsters are more afraid of him than he is of them. He feeds them and they follow along for the adventure. Soon Charlie, now a bold brave knight in the eyes of his creepy followers, has arrived at the tower. They find a fire-breathing dragon. Charlie simply yells at him to stop roaring, and soon he is quenching the dragon's terrible thirst with a cool drink of water.
Now all of his motley crew head up the winding staircase to find a little princess with her mother (another witch, of course). She is crying because no one ever comes to her birthday parties, despite sending out hundreds of invitations. Much to the princess's surprise, there actually are lots of guest this year, though. Charlie has led all the monsters, even the dragon, to the party. Now the happy little princess has the party of her life.