This is an exceptional new book app featuring an original story about a company, called Best Wishes, that lies below our world, taking the discarded wishing-well coins, birthday candles (and other 'wishing' objects like wishbones) to make the dreams attached to each object come true. These pleas are answered in an alternate universe where mythical characters (like fairies & genies) use potions and incantations to work magic - filling wishes for toys, ponies and even cotton candy.
The starring character, Jacob, is a little genie with a big problem. Unlike all the other employees of Best Wishes, Jacob can't seem to grant a single wish. Special effects and polished animation make this a title with a lot of 'wow' potential. On the first page, if the reader helps 'toss' all the coins in the fountain, it comes to life like a transformer, revealing a robot like structure that then collapses and sets in motion the next page - moving down into the magical underworld where any wish can be granted. And this is just the first on many fun surprises found hidden all over the place in this app.
The storyline itself is also brilliant, appealing to the wisher in all of us. Who hasn't hoped that a desire might come true if one just wished hard enough or on the right star, coin, etc? Gorgeous illustrations, background music and other effects make this tale even more enjoyable, giving the whole experience a dark, but whimsical feeling that reminded me of the movie Monsters, Inc. or a Tim Burton film. Definitely a full-feature entertainment-event.
The final page also asks the reader to draw something & send it to the developers of the app. These drawings can be placed inside the app, particularly on the page where all the wishes can be viewed with a cool magnifying glass. My child submitted his name without me realizing what had happened, so as a parent I would strongly encourage the developers to alert parents to this feature more clearly. I was not entirely comfortable with what my child shared and now have no idea how to get the information back. It's a cute feature, but a bit too off the radar for busy, weary parents.
I would also suggest the addition of a page guide, although there is a home button and the app is otherwise set up nicely for navigation. Text doesn't highlight as narrated and some younger children might find that the music and special effects are bit too scary at times. Otherwise this is a stellar new app that will enchant older kids & adults. The only wish readers may have when they finish with this app is for more content, like another title in the series. Highly recommended!
All reviews are of the app, not the platform/device. Based originally on iPad versions. Minor technical details may vary.
Luka Lorenci/Matej Jenko
FI Produkcija D.O.O.
6 - 12 Minutes
Based on non-digital book: No
Allows Own Narration:
Uses Motion: No
Age: 5 - 9
Wishes fill the world, and a special place near a special wishing well leads to Best Wishes, Inc. ... a wish fulfillment service where all wishes can come true. Different fairies (genies and other mythical creatures), fulfill different types of wishes, making things with potions and spells.
One small genie, Jacob, was tiny and the son of the leader, Mortimer Mimble. But Jacob had a secret. He couldn't seem to make a wish come true, the first Mimble to have no gift. He hides out by doing other kinds of jobs, but when his father wants to retire, Jacob is the next in line. He must grant seven wishes in seven days to complete the "test of seven wishes" for his seven-hundredth birthday.
Desperate, Jacob calls on his junior fairy friends, Basil and Pru. Unfortunately their wish-granting abilities are not very well honed, bringing disaster. Dejected, Jacob heads out to be exiled from his home. On his long, sad walk away from the kingdom, he has an idea.
Jacob gets his friends to help him fulfill the first wish on his list, from a little boy named Timmy that is wishing for a bicycle on his birthday. He gathers materials and the three friends make a bike the old fashioned way ... they build it. When Jacob & his dad sneak into Timmy's room to leave the present, Mortimer is very proud, even if the bike is 'downright ugly'. Timmy thinks it is the 'most awesome bicyle' ever. Jacob still has a lot to learn (and six more wishes to fulfill), but he's gotten a nice, unique start.