The Monster at the End of This Book…starring Grover! is a wonderful adaptation of the classic picture book of the same name, starring Grover from Sesame Street. I am enjoy this application greatly, having purchased this app when it was first released a while back, and I am happy now to have the chance to review this app for readers.
The Monster at the End of This Book, as a traditionally published book, has been a family favorite since my son was young as well as a story both my husband and I remember from our childhoods – an especially popular book with my husband when he was a boy.
I have had a lot of fun reading this book to my son, as here, Grover is very afraid of the idea that there is a monster at the end of the book, asking the readers not to turn any pages to avoid this creature, creating barricades along the way to prevent page turning. I must admit, however, that I never got Grover’s voice just right, much to the chagrin of my son who wanted me to sound just like Grover from TV.
Because of this, I remember being very excited when I first heard that this classic book had been turned into an interactive application, and I happy to announce that the end product lives up to the high expectations that I had of this title.
Possibly the best element here is the fact that Grover himself does the narration, pitch-perfect as one can imagine. The original artwork is included as well, along with seamlessly animated moments setting up the images captured from the printed material, such as Grover building a wall of bricks that is seen only in its completion within the published story. I am also happy that the unique use of text layout, font choices and color within the text is maintained as well, with possibly more impact within this app as the words appear on the screen as well as faintly highlighted when spoken, drawing in the readers attention for a very nice effect.
I also appreciate how the Grover animations look more like articulated drawings without a fully animated video feel that may be off-putting to some parents looking to avoid animated books akin to television.
I very much like the ease of use of this application as well, as one simply taps the corners to advance, something readers are not able to turn pages prematurely. This app also includes a nice cue to turn each page, as the corner of the page to be turned flaps slightly and includes the subtle yet effective page turning sound effects.
The adding of page-turning arrows is also an option. Yellow highlights are also included to show where to tap to trigger hotspots, such as the knots Grover has tied in rope to try to keep children from turning the page which are very effective in demonstrating where the interactive areas of this storybook are located.
It is also a nice touch that Grover will tell readers himself how to work through the interactions if children pause at tapping these interactive areas, adding some fun, conversational humor not found within the traditional book. Do take the time to look for these fun moments as they are very cute and inventive, offering up hidden ways of interacting with this book as well, such as tickling Grover or shaking the device to knock down a brick wall protecting the pages from being turned.
A very good use of musical moments is also included – an element not found by simply reading this book to one’s child which I found especially well done, adding a lot to the richness of this delightful story.
Another nice inclusion is a parents’ section which discusses how to deal with children’s fears as well as other tips on getting the most out of sharing this app with one’s children.
I especially like how manners are touched upon as my son had real laugh-out-loud moments interactive with this application, turning the pages against the express request of Grover, who is not being comforted at all during this experience. We love this book, and I recommend this application and the published book without hesitation, but parents may feel the need to talk to their children about not doing the opposite that a friend requests just for a laugh.
I am glad to see a menu included as I can imagine children asking for specific scenes over and over again – a nice touch.
The only thing I wish that could be included was a way to turn off the tab that can be opened to see other applications available by this developer, Callaway Digital Arts. It is true that one has to tap a specific area of the tab to get full access to this section in a way that adults are bound to maintain control, but children can still see the images of other apps they may desire, enough to add them to a list of wants that may not thrill parents.
Having said this, I highly recommend this application to families who have enjoyed this title before as a traditional storybook as well as fans of Sesame Street, yet rest assured that children new to Grover will enjoy this app just as much. Parents will enjoy this application as well as the interactions which truly propel this story forward and are never random.
If readers have not done so yet, they may want to take the time to familiarize themselves with developer, Callaway Digital Arts, as they have a very nice selection of apps available, especially those which have been adapted from previously published stories including familiar characters that kids will love such as Angelina Ballerina or Miss Spider’s Tea Party, another personal favorite app.
Readers may also be interested to know that a companion app, Another Monster at the End of This Book…Starring Grover & Elmo, is also available through iTunes, also to be reviewed soon here at GiggleApps.
The Monster at the End of This Book...starring Grover!
Developer: Sesame Street
Released: 2010-12-21 00:00:00
Description from the Developer** Reached No. 1 in Books in the App Store! **
** Winner of 2012 Cynopsis Kids Imagination Award – Best Preschool App! **
** Winner of 2011 Cybils Award — first Book App award winner! **
** Named one of Babble’s 50 Best iPhone and iPad Apps for Kids of 2011! **
** 2011 Children's Technology Review, Editor's Choice Award **
** Optimized for new iPad retina display **
The Monster at the End of This Book enhances the classic Sesame Street book with a completely immersive experience that draws children right into the story. Join lovable, furry old Grover as he tries his very hardest to tie down pages and build brick walls— all to keep readers away from the monster at the end of this book. The all-time favorite you loved as a child comes alive for today’s young readers with interactive play, plus touch-point animation.
Families can share this giggle-filled story together in a brand-new way that children will ask to read again and again. The Monster at the End of This Book is a truly enchanting reading experience for kids—and monsters—of all ages.
Funny, furry features include:
• Lively, interactive animation that responds to your child’s touch
• Narration by lovable old Grover himself --and tapping Grover makes him talk!
• Engaging activities that empower readers to decide how and when to move the story forward—plus encourage kids’ spatial development and listening skills
• Word highlighting to help build beginning reader skills
• Easy-to-follow parent tips for helping kids tackle common fears, reflecting the book’s underlying curriculum messages about courage and labeling emotions
• Bookplate personalization — add your child's name!