Finn's Paper hat is a charming, original storybook app about a little boy and his newspaper hat. Little Finn has a wild imagination, taking the reader on a trip sailing the seas. Subtle interactivity and animation make the story come alive on every page with unique things to tap and explore. You can tap to create more snow, hear the whale talk or to get Finn's boat to sail across the sea. And on the final page, my favorite, you can drag the sun right out of the sky to reveal a moonlit night, filling it with flickering stars everywhere you tap.
The well-crafted story is told as much through the illustrations as the text, featuring a combination of line drawings and 'newspaper' print. The nearly colorless illustrations have an artistically 'hip' style unique to author/illustrator Chantal Bourgonje, making her tales as enjoyable for parents as for kids. The book is also nicely narrated and has beautiful piano music that plays in the background. The music at the end, in particular, is so relaxing that my little boy even says this book, 'makes me wish it was bedtime'.
The interactivity, while fun, can get a little repetitive, though, especially the sound effects ... it might be nice to have these elements play only once per page. The book also has several 'extras', including instructions (with diagrams) on how to make a newspaper hat. This is a fun way to extend the story and encourage creative play. In addition, there are two coloring pages (with 'tap & fill' style coloring) and a karaoke-style sing-along about making a paper hat. These are nice additions but not features my child found deeply engaging.
The book is also solidly made with easy page turn arrows, a page guide and language choices that include not only Dutch but also five different dialects of English. Overall this is a top notch title with an imaginative story, enchanting music and illustrations that come together to create a perfect digital reading experience.
[iPhone version available separately through iTunes, click HERE.]
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: No
Age: 3 - 8 +
English • Dutch •
Finn is a little boy who makes a paper hat. At first he plays outside, pretending he is wearing a pirate's hat. Then a storm arrives, bringing so much rain the water level keeps rising and rising. Eventually little Finn is about to be washed away when he realizes he needs a plan. Just in time he decides to make his paper hat into a boat. And thankfully, the paper hat grows to be a very nice sized boat for the little boy to sail away in.
The wind sweeps Finn and his boat across the seas until suddenly it gets stuck on a whale. The whale swims and swims until she runs right into the North Pole, where it is very snowy. The whale drops Finn off and swims back to warmer waters. Now Finn plays at the North Pole, enjoying the cold snow and darkness. Soon Finn is asleep, resting under his giant boat-hat until someone knocks on the paper.
It is a curious seal ... Finn asks him to take him home and hops on for another sea voyage. Soon the duo arrives in a sunny garden far from the cold north. The seal likes it so much he asks to stay and Finn says "of course," as he fills his paper hat with water, making a perfect place for the seal to swim. At the end of the day the two friends curl up under a tree for a nap. The end.