The Edible Suit is a charming and wonderful adaptation of Edward Lear’s nonsensical poem, “The New Vestments” lovingly illustrated and subtly modernized by Jon Higham.
As readers may know, we are huge fans of Higham’s series of “Elly the Reindeer” apps, so I was really eager to review The Edible Suit, developed by Tizio, developers who are responsible for The Fierce Grey Mouse and Finn’s Paper Hat – other apps I love and highly recommend.
The Edible Suit tells the tale of an old man who creates clothing out of various foods as well as animal parts until other animals come to eat away at these clothes right off the old man’s back.
This app is wonderfully illustrated, painted with watercolors in a cartoony style and includes wonderful details that adults will enjoy as much as children will. This app may not be a family favorite among vegans, but we have really enjoyed this stories whit and charm.
I appreciate how this app includes only a line or two of this poem per page, really breaking down these verses which combined with terrific illustrations, aid in bringing this witty poem to life.
I also admire the modest editing choices, exchanging words that are not commonly used today for vocabulary that children will understand, such as substituting the word ‘belt” for “girdle,” or “stampede” for “tumult” as well as moving around a few lines to create a clearer narrative that could be told with the use of these marvelous images.
Some fun, varied interactions are included that my son really enjoys, triggering sound effects, mild animated moments and other elements, as well as panning across what would have been two pages of a traditional book for a nice effect, as this app is based on a previously published children’s book, The Old Man and the Edible Suit, also illustrated by Higham.
A coloring page is included allowing readers to fill in areas of this image that include some of the animals from this poem, paint-bucket style, but I did have some unresponsive moments when tapping to fill – an issue to look at into the future.
Another extra is a cute word game where one matches letters found on screen to their corresponding letter boxes, creating a word that represents an animal from this story, hearing this animal sound when a word has been completed, as well as the letters narrated when tapped and the word in question spoken when each word puzzle has been solved.
I have been universally fond of the use of professional narration in a nice selection of languages, including both UK and USA dialects which Tizio often incorporates within their apps. Here, this app includes Dutch, American and UK choices – always a nice touch. Autoplay is also available, as is the use of highlighting and text that enlarges as the words are read and as always, reading to oneself is also an option.
Without this app, my son probably would not have been exposed to this classic, creative poem full of whimsy and slapstick humor. The images that are included are also quite memorable, enriching my son’s own imagination as he intently listens to this grand, silly poem.
The Edible Suit
Developer: Tizio BV
Released: 2012-02-22 00:00:00
Description from the Developer♦ Kirkus Reviews: "an unusually successful crossover to the digital domain"
♦ "Overall, this is a delightful book app. A whimsical poem, delightfully illustrated. Highly recommended" Digital Storytime 4 1/2 Stars
♦ "I ♥ The Edible Suit! Such a fun tale, we laughed throughout the book. "
The Edible Suit is a gorgeously witty poem about an old man who invents himself an amazing costume all made from food – with hilarious consequences!
TIZIO, who brought you the award winning “Fierce Grey Mouse” and other apps are back with this beautifully crafted and funny picture book. Fully interactive and animated with a choice of American, English and Dutch narration the app also contains a word game and a colouring page.
The Edible Suit was first published by Macmillan in 1986 as “THE OLD MAN AND THE EDIBLE SUIT” and was the first full-colour picture book by Jon Higham after leaving art college. The app version uses all the original artwork. Some words and phrases which have fallen out of use have been updated whilst keeping faith to the spirit of Lear’s verse. This App also contains the first known Dutch translation of the verse by Sieneke de Rooij (and is hilarious!)
Here are some of the reviews from it’s initial publication
“the Edible Suit is a gorgeous read. The splendid full-colour illustrations by Jon Atlas Higham give this silly tale a sharp edge and add a bold insight to the author’s fine wit.” 2 June 1986 Southern Evening Echo.
“Jon Atlas Higham deserves our gratitude for the rediscovery of a little know gloriously realized poem” Time Educational Supplement June 1986
“Lear at his inimitable best” Berrow’s Journal 16 June 1986
“The magic of Edward Lear is ageless. Jon Atlas Higham has produced a set of drawings to illustrate THE OLD MAN AND THE EDIBLE SUIT which a new generation of children will find to be hilarious.” The Citizen 10 May 1986
Some of the artwork from the book was shown alongside Edward Lear’s work at Brighton museum.
★ Based upon the Original story written by Edward Lear - The New Vestments
★ 2 English Accents (North American and UK)
★ Highlighting as the narrator reads
★ Word game that teaches children to spell using characters from the story
★ Interactivity on each page
★ Coloring game included