'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Saturday 24 March 2012

ebook Review: Leonard

I first went bananas over Ink Robin's first e-book back in April 2011. Will & Kate: A Love Story was released just in time for the spectacular nuptials between Prince William and Kate Middleton - and lo, it was also spectacular.

This brand new release - the second ebook for the talented team at Ink Robin, may be quite different to the team's first book, but it's just as much fun.

Little Leonard has an excellent imagination. Along with his persnickety blue cat, Leonard can take something as simple as a paper hat and a wooden spoon . . . and become a pirate, rollicking the rolling seas.

One day, Leonard's parents announce they are moving. To the country. At first Leonard is excited. He imagines his new house, his new town, and all his new friends. Alas, when he arrives in the country, there are no new friends to be seen. In fact, there seem to be no kids. Anywhere.

The city was full of people. The country, on the other hand, seemed to contain nothing more than an indignant goat (a pink and yellow one, at that).

But, Leonard is an optimist and if anyone can find a batch of kids, he can. Donning his best imaginative super hero cape, he sets off on an explorative journey - into the woods, under the sea, even into outer space.

As he ventures to each place, a slide bar at the bottom of the page allows kids to enter Leonard's very own highly-imaginative brain. An empty street scene can be covered with popping children. An underwater scene of fish will trail after little swirling fingers (until a big surprise comes along and they scatter away) and a teeth-grinding tea party with Leonard's little sister and a doll and teddy bear, is transformed into a Parisian café scene that will make you smile.

There are options to read it alone or have it read to you. The narrator's voice has an American accent, which I was a tad disappointed by - I must admit, I was looking forward to that gloriously crisp British accent that works so well with storybooks. An easy-to-access page-finder runs across the top of the screen but there are no other options.

Be sure to revisit page two repeatedly, as the scene actually changes, and has a few different incarnations.

The stunning imagery and imaginative storyline in Leonard are not the only joys of this ebook. What sets it apart from most is the quality production - most particularly the humourous interactivity and the truly spot-on and guffaw-worthy sound effects that take this great, interactive ebook and lob it high over the pack.

Ink Robin have produced another high-quality, gasp-out-loud production in Leonard that had me smiling and swiping and laughing out loud with delight. Just imagine, then, how other kids would react! I'm waiting with baited breath for this team's next production - Picadilly's Circus.

Leonard is published by Ink Robin and is available on iTunes for US$3.99.