Cinderella HD is a nicely abridged retelling of the classic tale of an oppressed step-daughter who triumphs with the help of her fairy godmother. The highlight of these titles when presented by So Ouat! is the animated storytelling. Characters in the book act out the scenes from each page. There isn't anything interactive about the illustrations, although tapping the screen does stop and start the narration (which highlights as read).
The only true interactivity present in this book is in the 'extra' - a unique drop down of each page's text that can be explored with several words highlighted. Tap on any of these words to get either a definition or image to help young readers expand their vocabulary. You can also switch this text to print or cursive (French or English), or set it to a mode that highlights all the vowels on the page.
My biggest complaint with this otherwise cute title, is that it's impossible to set-up for reading without narration. Buttons to restart & play/pause are at the bottom of every page, but in the off mode there is no way to trigger the animation. This means you can read the text without narration, but you then miss almost all of the visual storytelling. The book is also permanently set to autoplay, even though you can swipe to turn pages.
In addition, I am a bit concerned about the sheer number of ways to leave this app. There are Facebook and Twitter icons that literally bounce, alongside icons of the developer's other apps that scroll constantly along the bottom of the title page - enticing youngsters. If you tap on any of the links, there is at least a warning asking you if you want to proceed, but these elements did give me pause as a parent.
Otherwise, this is a solidly made book from a nice series of fairy tale apps. They have lots of appeal for children with nicely enhanced stories, as well as a variety of interesting educational extras.
All reviews are of the app, not the platform/device. Based originally on iPad versions. Minor technical details may vary.
8 - 10 Minutes
Based on non-digital book: No
Allows Own Narration:
Uses Motion: No
Age: 3 - 8
English • French •
This is a fully animated version of the classic fairy tale:
"Once upon a time, there was a widower who married a proud and haughty woman as his second wife. She had two daughters, who were equally vain. By his first wife, he'd had a beautiful, young daughter, who was a girl of unparalleled goodness and sweet temper. The Stepmother and her daughters forced the first daughter to complete all the housework. When the girl had done her work, she sat in the cinders, which caused her to be called 'Cinderella'. The poor girl bore it patiently, but she dared not tell her father, who would have scolded her, since his wife controlled him entirely.
One day, the Prince invited all the young ladies in the land to a ball so he could choose a lovely wife. As the two Step sisters were invited, they gleefully planned their wardrobes. Although Cinderella assisted them and dreamed of going to the dance, they taunted her by saying a maid could never attend a ball.
As the sisters swept away to the ball, Cinderella cried in despair. Her Fairy God mother magically appeared and vowed to assist Cinderella in attending the ball. She turned a pumpkin into a coach and mice into horses. She then turned Cinderella's rags into a beautiful gown, complete with a delicate pair of glass slippers. The Godmother told her to enjoy the ball, but warned that she had to return before midnight; otherwise, the spells would be broken.
At the ball, the entire court was entranced by Cinderella, especially the Prince, who never left her side. Cinderella lost track of time and left only at the final stroke of midnight, losing one of her glass slippers on the steps of the palace in her haste. The Prince chased her, but outside the palace, the guards had seen only a simple country wench leave. The Prince pocketed the slipper and vowed to find and marry the girl to whom it belonged. Meanwhile, Cinderella kept the other slipper, which had not disappeared when the spell had broken.
The Prince tried the slipper on all the women in the kingdom. When the Prince arrived at Cinderella's villa, the Stepsisters tried in vain to win over the prince. When Cinderella asked if she might try, the Stepsisters taunted her. Naturally, the slipper fitted perfectly. Cinderella returned to the palace, where she married the Prince. The moral of the story is that beauty is a treasure, but graciousness is priceless. Without it, nothing is possible; with it, one can do anything. [Source: Wikipedia]