With titles for older readers like The Elements, The Wasteland, The Solar System, March of the Dinosaurs and more, Touch Press has a reputation for innovative apps that take exploration to a whole new level. X is for X-Ray is no exception, showcasing the ABCs in a unique way that goes beyond the usual alliteration found in alphabet books. It's truly a book that a child could enjoy at 4 and again at 14 for totally different reasons.
The cover page is an A-Z list of images that bounce, spin and make noise to attract tapping fingers. Start anywhere, from Accordion to Zipper, or page through the objects alphabetically using a nice guide that appears at the bottom. To see each item, simply tap on it from the index page. You can see the image doubled for a stereoscopic view (double-tap) or reveal the x-ray by slowly dragging your finger down over the object. Slide up to remove the effect.
You can also spin each object, expand it with a two-finger pinch and explore its inner workings. There are also two nice information pages about the artist, Hugh Turvey, and the process of X-Ray photography. My only suggestion would be to add one more page to the 'info' section with a brief explanation of how to use the book, especially how to turn the x-rays on and off.
Two sets of text are available for each item displayed in this app. The first text has a lovely poem about the item, available with or without narration. This is well suited for young kids, 4-8. A second, much more detailed section talks about the object, the x-ray (or x-ray technique), things to look for and more ... all done with a level of sophistication that will engage much older readers.
What is remarkable about this book app, though, is the way one feels while exploring it ... it elicits the same response a glossy coffee-table book might in print. It draws you in and soon you may 'loose track of time' from absorbing all the new details and discoveries. I highly recommend this app, especially for older kids and tinkerers of all ages. If you have often wanted to see the insides of ordinary (and extraordinary) objects, this is one book app that is sure to satisfy (and inspire) curiosity.
All reviews are of the app, not the platform/device. Based originally on iPad versions. Minor technical details may vary.
Paul Rosenthal/Hugh Turvey
Touch Press LLP
20 - 30 Minutes
Based on non-digital book: No
Allows Own Narration:
Uses Motion: No
Age: 4 - 12 +
This unique book contains short poems about each of the following images. There is also a second page of more detailed text about the object and x-ray.