The Penelope Rose HD is an interesting interactive storybook with versions available for iPad, iPhone and Mac. Options include reading to oneself or listening to narration. Many interactions are also included that children will enjoy. It is also nice that the text can be touched to hear both words as well as longer phrases, both in the “I can read” and the “Read to me” methods of storytelling, great for new readers.
I really enjoy the kinds of folktales that explain the wonders of nature, like How the Tiger Got his Stripes or How the Earth Was Made. Here, The Penelope Rose, is a modern tale with nuances of a classic folktale, which I appreciate a great deal.
The Penelope Rose is the story of how roses became colorful, as this has not always been the case. Roses started out clear as crystal and just as dangerous to bump into without being seen, causing a lot of problems for the animal, pixie, and troll and other inhabitants of the forest. Then a kind fairy, Penelope saves the day by painting roses different colors, keeping the animals safe from the roses, and the roses safe from the angry forest dwellers.
My son and I really enjoy this story; it is creative and lovely. I appreciate how upset the animals and others become after hurting themselves on the clear roses and turn into an angry mob, something one does not see often in storybooks, an interesting choice that I enjoy.
The illustrations are beautiful and rival those found in the most wonderfully drawn traditional story books. My son enjoyed tapping the clear roses as well as painting them in with many different colors. This book has a nice 3D effect that works well here, giving this app depth. Moving the device will also change the perspective and the vantage point for what one sees in the app, a nice effect.
I do, however, hope that the page-turning can be smoothed out in a future update. My son and I do notice that it takes a few seconds for each page to load. Although this is not a very long time, we don’t notice this while turning the pages of other story book apps, and my son looked a bit confused as we waited for the pages to turn, taking him momentarily out of the story. When you turn each page, the different layers that make up 3D illustrations pull themselves down to the bottom of the screen at different times as the page turns black, and when the page loads again, these elements also pop up from the bottom of the screen as different layers again. The text box center screen is also a little bouncy until the page fully loads. I feel that seeing the different layers that make up this very successful 3D effect diminishes it slightly as one does not always want to know how magic is made.
I give this interactive app credit for offering hints on what interactions there are to explore and like that these notes are added into the table of contents with a list of what to look for, but I wish there was a key to this list, as I can only assume what some of the icons are telling me to look out for. Hints can also be viewed between the pages of the app itself, a nice idea, but I found this slightly distracting. This is easily turned off, but I wish this valuable information was added as text to the guide itself, making it accessible but not necessarily between the pages of this story.
Aside from the issues I have had, we have enjoyed this storybook app. The story and illustrations are simply wonderful, and there are some nice interactions as well. The notes I have made are not major flaws to this delightful tale, and this app is definitely worth checking out.
The Penelope Rose HD
Developer: Mobad Games
Released: 2011-02-24 00:00:00
Description from the DeveloperSale on all Peek 'n Play Apps until March 6th!!!
Welcome to Monster Island, Year of the Dragon, Rosita y Conchita, Billy the Unicorn, The Furniture is Alive, Chug the Bug, The Gwaii
"Every click within this colorful tale unlocks magic and wonders, as its pop-out three-dimensional visuals will mesmerize kids and parents alike." - Apple
The premiere Peek 'n Play book from Mobad Games is a stunning 3D experience that will encourage reading and entertain you with animations and interactivity on every exquisitely crafted page. The Penelope Rose is a magical fairytale of how roses were saved and fairies became the artists of the winged world.
What critics are saying:
★ The Babble 50 - Best Apps for Kids - 2011
★ Gold Medal - Mom's Choice Awards
★ "I think The Penelope Rose is a must have children’s book, especially for kids that love fairytale style stories with fun creatures and lots of interaction. I’ve seen a lot of children’s books, but none with graphics quite this impressive." - PadGadget
★ "Mobad Games really thought of everything and implemented it brilliantly. Every one of the pages in this book is full of wonder, enchantment and breathtaking special effects. This book makes me want to have a scale that goes above 5-Stars. I give it my highest recommendation!" - Digital Storytime
★ "We have a lot of apps on our iPad, and this is BY FAR the best storybook app we have seen. Both of my children enjoyed it very much!" - Homegrown Learners
★ "If you are looking for something fresh to engage young children with digital reading, The Penelope Rose is an ideal choice. Every detail is tailored to create an immersive, delightful experience your child will want to relive over and over." - AppAdvice
★ "We had so much fun exploring the book together. Hunter was excited to show the book to Daddy when he got home, and Cory was duly impressed as well with the quality." - Being Alison
★ "This is a stunning app. There are just so many things to touch, move, animate and interact with, that it’s hard to believe they somehow crammed them all in! It’s actually pretty amazing and my kids were wowed by it." - The iPad Fan
★ "Penelope Rose is certainly a wonder to behold. The breathtaking imagery is what truly makes the story stand out. All of the interactive features are simply icing on the cake." - Toronto Teacher Mom
★ "My son and I really enjoy this story; it is creative and lovely. The illustrations are beautiful and rival those found in the most wonderfully drawn traditional story books." - GiggleApps
★ "Latest and greatest e-books for kids - This decidedly girl-centric title has a gimmick of its own: 3D artwork that doesn't require special glasses. Instead, you just tilt the iPad back and forth, which creates a very cool illusion of 3D." - CNET's Rick Broida
★ "It’s something you have to see for yourself… the scenery has such depth, it looks like you could reach your hand into your iPad. As much as I enjoyed looking at The Penelope Rose, I liked the story itself even more." - The Greasy Screen
★ "Lush, fairy-filled tale with lots of interactive spots. 4 out of 5 stars." - Common Sense Media
★ "This beautifully illustrated and lovingly crafted adventure will likely keep younger children enthralled for quite some time. Every one of the eye-popping pages is a sight to behold." - iPad Creative
★ "The 3D feature really works and screenshots don’t come close to capturing the sharpness of the images." - The iPhone Mom
♥ "Read To Me" highlights the words to improve reading skills
♥ "I Can Read" allows reading at your own pace
♥ Individual words can be tapped and multiple words selected to hear that section of the story played back
Mobad Games is a member of Moms with Apps, a collaborative group of family-friendly developers seeking to promote quality apps for kids and families.
Recommended Ages: 1-3, 4-7, 8-10, all
Categories: Book, Reading, Sight Words