This digital storybook tells the traditional story of Rumpelstiltskin using a digital environment that can be explored in 3D. With the swipe of a finger, readers can explore the rooms of the castle with a look and feel that is very similar to many modern video game platforms. The characters look more like 'avatars' than storybook characters, however, lacking the kind of charming illustrations that many picture book readers expect.
This title is well made, although most of the images are slightly pixelated at the edges and animations feel stiff and uninspiring. The story itself is the generic fairy tale, without any original touches. While the 3D exploration of each page is at first interesting, the novelty quickly wears off. None of the many interactive elements do much to enhance the story, although they are fun for youngsters to play with.
Text is easy to read, available on each page on a scroll that rolls up after the narration is finished. The text does not highlight as narrated but sounds professional and articulate. There is no setting for reading without narration, although you can stop the narration page-by-page using the pause/play button. Overall this is a solidly made app but one that lacks anything truly unique in the realm of storytelling. Children will enjoy the animation & interactivity but are unlikely to return to this title very often.
All reviews are of the app, not the platform/device. Based originally on iPad versions. Minor technical details may vary.
Tana Adams/Bill Dillon
Silicon Beach Software, Inc.
12 - 18 Minutes
Based on non-digital book: No
Allows Own Narration:
Uses Motion: Yes
Age: 6 - 10
This book app follows the traditional version of the Rumpelstiltskin - Here is the basic story, according to wikipedia:
"In order to make himself appear more important, a miller lied to a king, telling him that his daughter could spin straw into gold. The king called for the girl, shut her in a tower room with straw and a spinning wheel, and demanded that she spin the straw into gold by morning, for three nights, or be executed (other versions have the king threatening to lock her up in a dungeon forever). She had given up all hope, when an impish creature appeared in the room and spun straw into gold for her in return for her necklace, then again the following night for her ring. On the third night, when she had nothing with which to reward him, the strange creature spun straw into gold for a promise that the girl's first-born child would become his.
The king was so impressed that he married the miller's daughter, but when their first child was born, the imp returned to claim his payment: "Now give me what you promised". The queen was frightened and offered him all the wealth she had if she could keep the child. The imp refused but finally agreed to give up his claim to the child if the queen could guess his name in three days. At first she failed, but before the final night, her messenger discovered the imp's remote mountain cottage and, unseen, overheard the imp hopping about his fire and singing. While there are many variations in this song, the 1886 translation by Lucy Crane reads:
However, most American children today know it as:
When the imp came to the queen on the third day and she revealed his name, Rumpelstiltskin lost his bargain. In the 1812 edition of the Brothers Grimm tales, Rumpelstiltskin then "ran away angrily, and never came back". The ending was revised in a final 1857 edition to a more gruesome version where Rumpelstiltskin "in his rage drove his right foot so far into the ground that it sank in up to his waist; then in a passion he seized the left foot with both hands and tore himself in two." Other versions have Rumpelstiltskin driving his right foot so far into the ground that he creates a chasm and falls into it, never to be seen again. In the oral version originally collected by the brothers Grimm, Rumpelstiltskin flies out of the window on a cooking ladle (Heidi Anne Heiner)."