Magnus the Magnetic Dog is a beautifully illustrated and charming story from Julian Damy, created with Demibooks Composer. This app is billed as the first title in a series and called, "A New Friend". In this touching story, we meet Magnus the dog and learn about his fear of storms. His bravery inexplicably sets in motion a series of events that lead him to be struck by lightning. This lovable terrier isn't hurt, however, but his life is definitely about to change in a big way! Not only does he become 'magnetic' and attract unwanted metal objects of every kind, but he also manages to attract something more rare - a true friend.
With very light but polished animation and story-enhancing interactive elements, this storybook takes advantage of nearly everything the digital platform has to offer to young readers. Tapping on many pages causes a crazy assortment of metallic objects to fly at Magnus (or drop off when he sneezes). Beyond this fun interactivity, though, is a stellar story that will engage young readers and even a few adults. Small improvements could be made, like optional highlighting in time with the narration or slightly larger text, but overall this is a solidly made app, including a scene selection (rather than full page guide), simple arrow page turning and home button.
A small circular icon appears on several pages, supplying extra 'facts' to enhance the story. This information can even be read-aloud if tapped. Safety information and scientific trivia are mostly featured, like " Never go out onto a rooftop in the middle of a thunderstorm ..." and "A magnet is a very cool object that has a magnetic field and attracts some objects made of iron and steel." There is also a cute description page about Magnus' breed, the Parson Russell Terrier. Instructions for making your own electromagnet, are also included, creating a fun extension activity. Highly Recommended!
All reviews are of the app, not the platform/device. Based originally on iPad versions. Minor technical details may vary.
12 - 15 Minutes
Based on non-digital book: No
Allows Own Narration:
Uses Motion: No
Age: 6 - 10
Magnus the Magnetic Dog - A New Friend: Magnus was a sweet dog living in the big city. His owner, a taxi driver, is unable to spend much time with him, so Magnus is very bored. He is especially afraid of thunder. One day, while left at home by himself, Magnus decides to confront his fear of storms. He goes to the rooftop and faces the electrical activity, but soon he is hit directly by a lightening bolt!
He flies into the sky with the jolt of electricity, landing on the top of moving truck, where he passes out. When Magnus wakes up, he has no idea about where he is ... as he gets out of the vehicle, he notices lots of unusual items clinging to his fur. No matter how hard he shakes, he can't get the metal bits to fall off - Magnus has become magnetic as the result of the lightning strike!
When Magnus sneezes, the magnetism is temporarily interrupted, causing all the items to clang to the ground. Except for one little ruby ring stuck to his nose. When he meets up with Olivia, the girl, she is drawn to this ring. She tries it on her finger, but soon the ring has flown back to stick to Magnus. Then her paper flowers (with metallic stems) are also covering the confused pup.
Olivia brings Magnus home for dinner, but being magnetic and in a kitchen full of pots & pans is not the best match. Seeing that Magnus has a tag with a name and phone number, Olivia's mom calls the owner. When the owner arrives, he explains that he isn't able to care for Magnus with his long work hours, so maybe ... Olivia would like him?
And that's how the girl and dog became inseparable ...