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The King’s Stilts - Dr. Seuss

February 25, 2014

By: Carisa Kluver

The Digital Media Diet

An early Seuss book about a king who works and plays hard ...

The King's Stilts is one of Dr. Seuss's earliest books, published in print in 1939 and featuring low-color illustrations, primarily black and red, common in picture books of that era. This book has all the whimsy that Seuss would become known for in his later publications, but the story is told in prose rather than verse. The digital version, created by Oceanhouse Media, will be a treat for young readers, with enhancements that give it a modern feel without losing any of the charm of the original print title. 

King Bertram Binn galavants around his kingdom on a pair of red stilts, until one of his ministers plots to steal them because he thinks it is unseemly for the king to be having so much fun. The loss of his favorite pastime sends the king into a deep depression, however, making him unable to manage the 'Patrol Cats' that protect the territory. According to Wikipedia:

"Like many of Dr. Seuss's books, this book serves as a morality tale or fable, commenting on people's fundamental need to rest from their labors and experience a regular time of unmixed relaxation and refreshment in order to be able to carry out their responsibilities to the best of their abilities. The moral of the story is presented through the continuous repetition of the phrase, 'when the king worked, he really worked. And when he played, he really played,' as well as the kingdom's eventual decay due to the king's inability to pursue his hobby and experience full relaxation during his down time."

Every one of Dr. Seuss' stories has been seamlessly translated into a new digital classic by Oceanhouse Media. Enhancements are primarily educational and focused on word recognition, although lots of interesting sound effects connect the images with word meanings for young listeners. Great narration with highlighting word-by-word reinforces the text and if a child taps on any word, it is spoken again (tap-to-hear) for additional text reinforcement. If you tap on an image in the illustrations, the word will appear with accompanying audio. And as a bonus, if that image is present in the text of the page, that word will highlight again, too.

This book has the detailed and colorful illustrations that make Seuss books so popular, but like most Dr. Seuss OmBook apps, this title isn't animated. However, most pages begin by panning over Seuss' classic original artwork, zooming in and out to show off each chunk of text in a nicely paced reading experience. Extra features include the ability to record your own narration as well as excellent navigation with a nice visual thumbnail page guide. Ample settings allow adults to set the book up with or without audio and interactive elements. Links that leave the app are contained exclusively in the 'info' section under a parental gate that requires fluid reading and following complex directions.

The King's Stilts is a delightful read, made even more accessible to a new generation with digital enhancements well-suited to a modern audience. The messages within Seuss books can be subtle, making for rich converstations with young people and engaging extension activities in classroom settings. In print and digital, Dr. Seuss is tops with young and old alike, precisely because his books make learning to read (and reading to learn) FUN!

Highly Recommended!

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.


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The King’s Stilts - Dr. Seuss

February 25, 2014

By: Carisa Kluver

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Dr. Seuss/

Oceanhouse Media, Inc.

Length (time):
30 - 40 Minutes

Based on non-digital book: Yes

Allows Own Narration:

Uses Motion: No

Age: 4 - 9 +

English •

Length (pages):
30 Pages


Story Synopsis - The King’s Stilts - Dr. Seuss

Join King Birtram of Binn in this interactive book app as he keeps a watchful eye on his kingdom until the day his red stilts are stolen! Explore pictures, learn new vocabulary, and personalize the story with your own narration. Will King Birtram get his stilts back so the kingdom can go back to normal? [Source: iTunes]

The King's Stilts tells the story of King Bertram of Binn, who dedicates himself to safeguarding his kingdom, which lives in a precarious existence. It is surrounded by water, which is held back from flooding the land by a ring of dike trees, which are in turn subject to attack from flocks of nizzards. To protect the kingdom, a legion of Patrol Cats is organized to keep the nizzards at bay, and King Bertram sees to their care personally.

When not attending to his royal duties, the King enjoys himself with a rigorous cavorting on his personal red stilts, which distresses his minister Lord Droon. When Droon manipulates the King's page boy Eric to steal and hide the stilts, the King grows more depressed and begins to neglect his duties. As a result, the Patrol Cats become less vigilant, and soon the nizzards make headway in eating away the dike trees.

Seeing the results of his actions, Eric resolves to return the stilts to the King and succeeds in doing so despite Lord Droon's efforts to stop him. King Bertram then summons the courage to mobilize the Patrol Cats to fight off the nizzards and save the kingdom. Lord Droon is imprisoned and forced to eat nizzard every day while Eric is rewarded with his own pair of red stilts, joining the King on his outings. [Source: Wikipedia]


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Orientation: Landscape

Format: Universal


Read to Me, Read Myself, AutoPlay, SFX/Music Volume Control, Record Narration, Page Guide, Info w/ Links: (under parental gate) to: AppStore, Web, Email, FB, Twitter

App Release Date:


Size: 42.6 MB

Version: 2.5

Lite Version Available: No



The King’s Stilts - Dr. Seuss

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