There are lot of choices in the app store for lovers of the three little pigs, but very few stand out. This version, the first book app by Nosy Crow, is one of the very best! It is interactive in unique and fun ways that make the story feel more 'alive' than any other ebook I've read with my child. They even take advantage of the iPad's microphone, using it to pick up the sound from 'blowing' at the screen - which then triggers the wolf's classic "huff & puff" action.
The reader gets to help the pigs build their three little houses, too. Flick each pig to get them to toss a bundle of building materials (straw, wood or bricks) at the incomplete structure until it is built. And when the first two pigs run for their lives to their brother's brick home, you can even hold the wolf back by placing your finger on his menacing van (with a picture of a knife, fork & pie on it's side - 'piggie' pie I assume). This is just one of those books with "Wow!" potential, right from the minute you open the app.
Each page has lots of 'touchable' elements, too and some hidden surprises to find along the way. A little spider and a cute rabbit are hidden in several pictures. Touching the pigs in every scene triggers dialogue that is amusing and enhances the written story. The book is also nicely narrated and has delightful music that doesn't overwhelm the other audio elements. The interactivity is superb, with the child being crucial to the building of each of the three houses. All of the characters can also be flipped up in a really fun way that makes keeping your hands to yourselves, even for adults, difficult.
I was a little confused by only one feature - the ability to see more of each scene by tilting the iPad. I found it distracting, at least at first. The young critic in our house, my four year old son, was completely non-plussed though; he loved this book and was more mesmerized than anything else. This 'perspective' feature is really exceptional and gives the book a dynamic quality that is very enjoyable if you don't jiggle the iPad too much.
The story itself is engaging and has a modern feel, particularly with the dialogue of the family of pigs. The three pigs, two brothers and a sister, are depicted in an adorably expressive way. Overall, the illustrations have the kind of detail that can only be fully appreciated after several reads.
The interactive animation is also exceptional. In particular, the scenes of the pigs traveling in the woods feel as if they are actually moving across a great distance. You can even speed up the wolf (in his menancing van) or slow him down as he chases the pigs. Combined with the musical score, this story is a multi-media reading experience you and your kids won't soon forget.
[A Lite Version of this title is available to preview it for free - click HERE to download it from itunes.]
All reviews are of the app, not the platform/device. Based originally on iPad versions. Minor technical details may vary.
Ed Bryan (Illustration)/Robin Beanland (Music)
Nosy Crow Limited
15 - 20 Minutes
Based on non-digital book: No
Allows Own Narration:
Uses Motion: Yes
Age: 3 - 8 +
Link for iPhone app: The Three Little Pigs - Nosy Crow interactive storybook for iPhone [Buy button on right is for iPad only.]
This version of the three little pigs follows the traditional tale, although the pigs themselves wear clothes and give things a modern twist with their funny & irreverent dialogue. The wolf drives a van to chase them and ends the story with an empty stomach (but otherwise not seriously harmed).
The best parts of the familiar tale play out next to modern graphics showing three little pig 'children' building houses, first out of straw, then wood and finally brick. There are 'parent' piggies in the beginning of the story that make the pigs leave home, but all the pigs and the wolf survive this tale intact.
The wolf does fall into a pot of boiling water when he comes down the brick house's chimney, but he runs off, clearly unhappy about his burns, but otherwise no more harmed than by a sunburn. And the piggies - they live happily ever after, of course.