This title is based on the 2006 graphic novel about a group of cowboys trying to save townspeople abducted by aliens. Timed to release as "Cowboys & Aliens" hit theaters this summer, this title is only vaguely related to the movie's more mature plot. In this book, fictional kids are introduced representing sterotypical 'cowboys', 'indians' and 'aliens'. The storyline has the kids refusing to share their toys but soon they decide it would be more fun if they can all play together. Told in rhyme, the story ends with new friendships made (and possibly peace in the universe).
The app is solidly made with a lot of nice settings & extras, including painting pages based on all 23 pages of the book. You can set the story to use the newly colored drawings and even record your own narration. Nice sound effects and light animation & interactivity can be found on nearly every page, along with highlighting as read. You can even tap on any word to hear it read aloud, or double tap to hear it spelled letter-by-letter.
For fans of the movie or graphic novel, this digital book will be a real treat. For those unfamiliar with the "Cowboys & Aliens" franchise, the book is still enjoyable but has less context. The illustrations are colorful and amusing, although the simplistic depiction of Native Americans may be offensive to some readers.
Overall this is a cute book app with a nice theme about sharing. It has lots of fun elements and extras to entertain along with its short tale about kids making peace. It has a unique 'Western' meets 'Science Fiction' setting, filled with amusing characters.
[A portion of the proceeds of this app go to The Starlight Children's Foundation - http://starlight.org]
All reviews are of the app, not the platform/device. Based originally on iPad versions. Minor technical details may vary.
Scott Mitchell Rosenberg
6 - 8 Minutes
Based on non-digital book: No
Allows Own Narration:
Uses Motion: No
Age: 4 - 9
While the parents are away, three boys discover each other in the desert. Young Luke is a coyboy with a toy train. Alien Tymm has a cool toy spaceship with radio controller. TC is an Indian boy with a toy horse to gallop around on. The boys all brag about how great their own toys are until the standoff is broken when the three decide to share. As they play together with their fun toys, they become friends, playing away the rest of the day. As it gets dark their mothers each call them home as Tymm shares 'alien' tokens with each boy to represent a friendship that will never be broken. The end.
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