Based on a board book with original collages and a unique theme, this story has been lovingly re-imagined for the tablet. The original title, published in Denmark in 2006, had a physical hole through the entire book. Pages of large black text tell a story about the important holes in our bodies and our world using visual images formed by the words themselves - in circles, wavy lines and even the shape of an eye. The pages in between this fabulous wordplay are fascinating as well, formed by collages of images that let little fingers experience some of the things described on the previous page. While you can't put your finger through your screen, you can play with dozens of well-crafted and relevant interactions on nearly every page of this delightful app.
Developer Chocolate Factory Publishing has thoughtfully added a variety of enhancements, including light animation, crisp sound effects and engaging narration from "MeMo" the Clown (although the text does not highlight). Simple but intuitive settings include arrow page turning and a nice thumbnail page guide with a list of hints in case readers have trouble finding all the hidden surprises. My child was especially fond of the page about poop and the anus (and hats off to author Paol Lange for using the correct anatomy terminology). Other topics include: parts of the face (ears, eyes, nose, mouth), music, tooth decay, pregnancy and much more!
Wonderful suggestions are also included for adults about how to share this story with a child. According to the note to parents inside the 'Clues' section, "This app offers plenty of educational content - from the structure of the eye to the origins of the universe - and there are countless interactive elements ... (b)ut where The Book of Holes really excels is as an experience to be shared by parents and children." I couldn't agree more! This is a fabulous book for all ages and especially fun to share.
Our Highest Recommendation!
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.
Chocolate Factory Publishing, LLC
12 - 15 Minutes
Based on non-digital book: No
Allows Own Narration:
Uses Motion: No
Age: 4 - 9 +
English • French • Spanish •German •Italian •Japanese •Dutch •
From iTunes: The Book of Holes is a wonderfully whimsical interactive children's app based on the award-winning picture book.
When the original Book of Holes was first published in Denmark in 2006, it was unlike any other children’s book on the shelves. It wasn't a once upon a time story or a humdrum A-B-C book. Instead, it was a book about nothing—and everything. It was a work of art with a hole in the middle that you could stick your finger through. It was praised by critics as “genius” and “one of the most fantastic illustrated books I've ever read.” And, most importantly, it was a book that encouraged parents and children to talk to one another.
So when Chocolate Factory Publishing decided to adapt The Book of Holes for the iPad, they knew they had to make something that was as whimsical and provocative as the book itself—an app like no other app. And they’ve succeeded, creating an utterly original children’s app that captures the visual artistry of the book, while fully embracing the interactive capabilities of the iPad. Exploring everything from the wonders of the universe to the most mundane of bodily functions, The Book of Holes is an educational tool with a ton of humor and an offbeat attitude. Best of all, it still has that all-important hole in the middle… a hole with something very special around it!
Kayoko Suzuki-Lange, cofounder of Chocolate Factory Publishing, says, “We want to create children’s apps that are more than just digital babysitters—we want to make apps that parents and children will share. And The Book of Holes is exactly that—watching kids and parents using the app together, I’ve been thrilled at how it really gets them talking. I’ve heard some pretty extraordinary discussions going on between toddlers and adults. The app encourages children’s natural inquisitiveness… and it reminds us grown-ups to take a fresh look at the world around us as well. Of course, if you are looking for something to mesmerize your kids on a long car trip, it works perfectly in that regard, too!”
The Book of Holes includes:
• Over 100 interactive elements that foster visual identification and build observation and motor skills, including skill-based games such as rearranging pictures and playing music
• Educational material that teaches children about everything from the structure of the eye to the origins of the universe
• Beautiful collage-style illustrations by award-winning artist Poul Lange
• Stunning graphics and animations optimized for the iPad
• Option to read to yourself or listen to narration
• Index feature for easy navigation and a Clues page to ensure all features are fully explored