PopOut! The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin follows in the footsteps of Loud Crow's phenomenal presentation of Peter Rabbit. This title has the same charm with an equally enchanting story from Beatrix Potter. Some of the Potter stories can be a bit violent (The Flopsy Bunnies comes to mind), but this tale is entirely appropriate for even the youngest listeners.
Like Peter Rabbit, this Pop-Out tale is interactive in many remarkable ways that beautifully capture the experience of reading a traditional print pop-up book. There are lots of tabs to pull and charming cutouts that bounce when touched. The overall effect is truly inspired, giving young readers a very engaging experience while managing to evoke nostalgia in their parents. The digital interface is so seamless, in fact, that you may forget you are reading a highly produced digital work.
And if you loved tapping the berries in Peter Rabbit, you won't be disappointed to find a similar feature on page 29, where several leaf-wrapped beetles can be flicked from their plate. All of the beetles scurry across the page, except for one that lands on its back. Tap on it to burst the little bug in a way that is more satisfying than gross (although it is also just 'yucky' enough to elicit a giggle from my little boy every time we read it together).
The book's narration highlights as it is read and individual words can be tapped to hear them again. This narration is accompanied by an adjustable musical track that is mellow and perfect for bedtime reading. The narration is clear & crisp from the same British speaker that gave their first title so much charm.
Overall, the PopOut! series of books are some of the most delightful offerings in the app store for young readers. They seem to have just enough interactivity to satisfy youngsters while making older listeners long for a simpler time. A must for any digital book collection!
[The YouTube clip below is of the other Pop-out book, Peter Rabbit, but it is very similar in style to this new title.]
All reviews are of the app, not the platform/device. Based originally on iPad versions. Minor technical details may vary.
Loud Crow Interactive Inc.
15 - 18 Minutes
Based on non-digital book: Yes
Allows Own Narration:
Uses Motion: Yes
Age: 3 - 8 +
Squirrel Nutkin, his brother Twinkleberry, and their many cousins sail to Owl Island on little rafts they have constructed of twigs. They offer the resident owl, Old Brown, a gift and ask his permission to do their nut-collecting on his island. Nutkin however dances about impertinently singing a silly riddle. Old Brown pays no attention to Nutkin, but permits the squirrels to go about their work. Every day for six days, the squirrels offer gifts to Old Brown, and every day as well, Nutkin taunts the owl with another sing-song riddle. Eventually, Nutkin annoys Old Brown once too often. The owl seizes Nutkin and tries to skin him alive. Nutkin escapes, but not without losing most of his tail. [From Wikipedia]