The Adventures of Peter Pan is a nicely abridged retelling of a classic tale. It captures the magic of Neverland, the Lost Boys, pirates and the boy who would never grow up. The highlight of a classic tale like this, when presented by So Ouat!, is the animated storytelling. Characters in the book act out the scenes from each page in short inset videos next to the text. 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 'extras' - 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, or set it to a mode that highlights all the vowels on the page.
This title has a number of interesting settings, but not ones I was really sure how to utilize. There are two 'reading modes', Up to 5 y.o. and 6+ y.o., on the title page, but the only difference I could tell between them was in the choices for the drop down 'extras'. The text of the story is the same for both, but menus are more limited for the younger age range, leaving out 'explain to me' and the 'vowels' option.
My other issue with this otherwise cute title, is that it's not easy to set-up for reading without narration. Buttons to play/pause are at the bottom of every page, but in the off mode there is no way to trigger the animation. With narration turned off from the title page, you can trigger the animated scenes with a tap, but there are no sounds at all, making the animated scenes much less enjoyable.
In addition, I am a bit concerned about the sheer number of ways to leave this app. There are Facebook and Twitter icons that I would rather not see on an app aimed at kids under 12. The title page & end page also have icons of the developer's other apps that scroll constantly, enticing youngsters into the AppStore. 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 and educational extras. These apps are also great for foreign language learning, containing English, French, German & Dutch versions of the same story with nice images to explain word meanings.
All reviews are of the app, not the platform/device. Based originally on iPad versions. Minor technical details may vary.
J. M. Barrie
10 - 12 Minutes
Based on non-digital book: Yes
Allows Own Narration:
Uses Motion: No
Age: 4 - 10
English • French • German •Dutch •
Wendy, John and Michael Darling are children who dream of a mysterious boy named Peter ... a boy who would never grow up, living in a place called Neverland. They hope he is real and to meet him one day ... so when he alights on their window ledge one night, they are hardly surprised.
He tells them stories of Neverland and entices them to let him sprinkle magic fairy dust that will let them travel to the land where children never grow up. The children fly with Peter & Tinkerbell, his personal fairy. When they arrive in Neverland they meet up with the Lost Boys & the pirates, including Captain Hook.
One night, the pirates take Wendy and the children hostage. Peter comes to save them, of course. After they have been rescued with some daringly close calls, Peter escorts the relucatant children home.