This is a short but sweet fairy tale about a count that meets a Christmas fairy (whom he falls in love with & marries). But the count violates the fairy's one rule and she disappears leaving the count to die without ever seeing her again. A constellation of stars now represents their love according to the story, although the explanation lacks depth overall. Light animation and story-related interactive elements round out this title. Simple settings include arrow page turning, home button and sparkling hints for interactive elements. Text is in a small but clear font that highlights as narrated. Overall this is a unique digital folktale with a Christmas theme.
This title is one of over two dozen titles briefly reviewed for a special post in our blog for the winter holidays, 2011.
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
A count named Otto cannot find a girl that he wants to marry. He becomes known as Otto of the 'stone-hearted'. One day, he decides to take a dip in the hotsprings known as the 'fairy well'. His golden ring disappears after a warm hand takes his under the water. He decides to send men to empty the fountain and find his lost ring.
Soon he finds more than a dozen fairies filling his palace with music and laughter. After decorating the tree, a beautiful fairy appears that warms the prince's heart. The fairy returns the 'golden ring' and Otto begs her to marry him. She agrees but only if he never mentions the word 'death'.
One day Otto forgets this rule and mentions the word 'death'. Otto places a tree in castle every year, hoping the fairy will return. She never does, but after Otto dies a constellation of stars can be seen in the form of the fairy's hand, reaching for the north star. This tells us that Christmas is simply about 'love'.
This app is part of a special post for Winter Holiday Books in our blog, The Digital Media Diet. This is one of our many seasonal & recommended reading lists. Publication Date: Winter 2011