This app is based on the first book in the classic Paddington series, published in 1958 by Michael Bond. It tells the story of how the little bear came into the lives of Mr. & Mrs. Brown at Paddington Station in London and his many adventures. This digital translation features the full story, along with lots of enhancements to engage a wired generation. Hints guide young readers to explore R.W. Alley's classic illustrations for light animation and interactive sound effects, giving this retelling a modern feel without losing any of the original story's charm.
As a digital book, this title is solidly made with easy navigation and ample settings. Page turning is by simple arrows and text slides out of the way of the images with a simple tap on the bear paw beside it. There is a pageguide and even a way to record your own narration. There is no highlighting to go with the voice-over, however, and there are A LOT of links that leave the app without any parental gate. There is also no way to turn the sound effects off, so I recommend muting the device & putting it in airplane mode for classroom use. The app does includes one small extra, letting young fans take a picture with their favorite bear to save to the camera roll.
Overall, this is a classic must-download for any complete digital children's library. There are a lot of interactive elements unrelated to the storyline and an alarming number of links that leave the app, but it's still Paddington. The app is well presented for a digital version of a 20th century favorite. This app would be perfect for classroom reading, bedtime or projected for a group storytime.
This app has been thoroughly evaluated by our staff. Please click on the 'star ratings' tab above, to see how it fared in all nine of our rating categories. See synopsis tab for more details about the storyline.
All reviews are of the app, not the platform/device. Based originally on iPad versions. Minor technical details may vary.
Michael Bond/R.W. Alley
Harper Collins Publishers Limited
12 - 15 Minutes
Based on non-digital book: Yes
Allows Own Narration:
Uses Motion: No
Age: 4 - 8 +
Storyline from Wikipedia:
In the first story, Paddington is found at Paddington Railway Station in London by the Brown family, sitting on his suitcase (bearing the label "Wanted on Voyage") with a note attached to his coat which reads "Please look after this bear. Thank you." Bond has said that his memories of newsreels showing trainloads of child evacuees leaving London during the war, with labels around their necks and their possessions in small suitcases, prompted him to do the same for Paddington.
Paddington arrives as a stowaway coming from "Darkest Peru", sent by his Aunt Lucy (one of his only known relatives aside from an Uncle Pastuzo who gave Paddington his hat) who has gone to live in the Home for Retired Bears in Lima. He claims, "I came all the way in a lifeboat, and ate marmalade. Bears like marmalade." He tells them that no one can understand his Peruvian name, so the Browns decide to call him Paddington after the railway station in which he was found. Paddington's Peruvian name is ultimately revealed to be "Pastuso" (not to be confused with his "Uncle Pastuzo"). Bond originally wanted Paddington to have "travelled all the way from darkest Africa", but his agent advised him that there were no bears in darkest Africa, and thus it was amended to darkest Peru, home of the Spectacled Bear.
They take him home to 32 Windsor Gardens, off Harrow Road between Notting Hill and Maida Vale (there is no number 32 in the real Windsor Gardens). Paddington frequents the nearby Portobello Road markets, where he is respected by the shopkeepers for driving a very hard bargain. When he gets annoyed with someone, he often gives them one of his special "hard stares" (taught to him by Aunt Lucy), which causes the person to become flushed and embarrassed. Paddington's adventures usually rise from him misunderstanding something and trying to right (what he perceives) as unfair or unjust situations. This typically ends with him messing things up in some way. But in all his adventures he ends up on top and everyone involved can laugh about it. (A notable exception to this rule is the Brown's next-door neighbor Mr. Curry who in every adventure he is in always ends up in trouble.
The stories follow Paddington's adventures and mishaps in England, along with some snippets of information about his past. For instance, in one story we learn that Paddington was orphaned in an earthquake, before being taken in and raised by his Aunt Lucy.
Enjoy the classic story of Paddington Bear, instantly recognisable to parents and loved by adults and children all over the world.
•Record your own video reading of the Paddington story! The app’s ability to remember several versions means a child can choose his or her digital bedtime storyteller for the evening.
•Take framed photos of you and your child with Paddington to send to family and friends, in association with the National Portrait Gallery.
•Classic R. W. Alley illustrations now animated!
•Children can read alone, or along to the narration of Paul Vaughan, sharing a cosy reading experience with parents and grandparents.
•Background animation and sound means that curious readers can truly submerge themselves in the world of Paddington Bear.
•A classic Paddington experience with a sprinkling of digital magic!