The Emperor's New Clothes - An Interactive Children's Book by TabTale, is a short but packed version of the classic fairytale. It is told in rhyming verse with lots of interactive animation for little fingers to tap. The vain emperor can be tapped several times from the very first page, causing him to change into a variety of outfits as he admires himself in a mirror. There are also dozens of other things to play with, on page after page, including interactivity that uses the motion sensor.
This interactivity, paired with several fun animations, is just the right amount of enhancement for the storyline. Every page has something to play with that corresponds meaningfully with the plot. The text itself appears in translucent boxes that can be hidden with the tap of an arrow. The app also features upbeat background music and is nicely narrated by a crisp, although somewhat overly 'perky' sounding female voice. The text highlights as narrated, but not word-by-word (it highlights phrase by phrase instead).
This is a solidly made book app with easy to use settings, like a page guide and even hints to show all the interactive elements. It would be nice to have a way to control the background music separately from the other sound, but this was the only setting I found lacking. Overall, this book is a great choice for an interactive re-telling of The Emperor's New Clothes and has lots of fun touches that will make this familiar story 'come alive'.
All reviews are of the app, not the platform/device. Based originally on iPad versions. Minor technical details may vary.
6 - 10 Minutes
Based on non-digital book: No
Allows Own Narration:
Uses Motion: Yes
Age: 4 - 8
Told in rhyme, the Emperor is introduced while changing into several 'stylish' outfits and admiring himself. In his vanity, he is taken in by two swindlers who tell him they can weave clothes 'as thin as air' that are 'works of art'. But these clothes are unusual in another way, they say, because "you can only see them if you happen to be smart."
The Emperor orders a whole set of clothes, feeling smug about clothes that can pick a fool from a crowd. Of course the tailors worked constantly, but without any cloth at all, pretending to make fine clothes. When the Emperor's most trusted (and bright) advisors come to check out the new clothes they are puzzled because they cannot see anything. But rather than admit that they weren't smart enough to see the fine cloth, they all lie and praise the new outfit.
The Emperor is pleased by his advisor's report, rushing over to try on his new finery. But he can't see anything, so he too begins to pretend, acting as if he is being helped to get dressed. He decides to go out (in his underwear) to prove to the villagers that their emperor is not a fool.
None the villagers will admit that they can't see the Emperor's clothes, so they clap and yell, "Long live the emperor!" Then suddenly, a little boy says out loud, "The emperor is naked!" and the crowd begins to whisper. They soon agree, laughing, that the emperor is actually standing in front of them with nothing on ... a fool indeed.
That day a new law is made by the emperor, requiring people to only believe what they can see. He thanks the little boy for being brave enough to say out loud what everyone else lied about out of fear and pride.