Harold and the Purple CrayonHarold is a little boy who decides one night to climb out his window for an adventure. He isn't sure where he should go, but he decides to create his own adventure - drawing it each step of the way with his purple crayon. It's a wonderful celebration of children's imagination.
by Crocket Johnson
developed by Trilogy Studios
for the iPhone, iPod, iPad
version 1.4 - December 6, 2011
current price: $6.99
ages 2 - 6
available from the iTunes app store
nominated for the Cybils Book App award
Features: Touch Tale * Read to Me * Read Alone * Tutorial
The book app "Touch Tale" incorporates wonderfully paced narration with just the right amount of interactive features. Children are invited to draw along with Harold, tracing over gray lines that become bold purple when the child draws them. But you also can discover hidden treasures, like swiping over the empty sky to reveal twinkling stars. When Harold gets to the city, the careful reader will notice that there is a cat hiding in one of the windows which you can tap on to zoom in to see.
Harold's journey is animated, but in a way that stays very true to the simplicity of the original story. You follow Harold through his imaginary world, seeing the dragon roar or the ship sailing. But most of the details of this world are still left to the child's imagination.
The pacing and narration fit the story perfectly for a young audience. The app "chunks" the original picture book pages, so that only one line appears at a time on the screen. This helps children see the words at a nice, slow pace and large enough to see clearly. If you tap on different items in Harold's world, the word labels will pop up - helping children develop an awareness of printed words. But best of all is the soothing voice of the narrator - perfect for a bedtime story.
This is a joy to read, and drew me to it time and again. It's a perfect example of a book app staying true to so many qualities of the original book, but making it accessible to a young child in a new way. I am looking forward to reading Harold at the North Pole (released 11/29/11).
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The review copy came from our home iTunes library collection.
©2011 Mary Ann Scheuer, Great Kid Books.