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

Wednesday 18 July 2012

ebook Review: Oliver Twist

The classic tale of Oliver Twist has been brought to life in this quirky ebook version for kids. Featuring  gorgeous, paper doll like characters that leap about the page, text is presented in storybook fashion at the bottom of the page, whilst the action takes place above.

Interactivity is low to medium but enjoyable - people leap about the page, things appear and move and wobble, and a little mouse can be scurried over to Oliver's hat.

There is no narration (which I personally don't mind, and the book is aimed at older readers, after all). The sound effects are well done though some kind of background music would help set a much finer level of ambiance. Things seem awful silent without it. I was also disappointed that none of the characters utter a sound when tapped - I thought maybe I had the sound on mute - but no. Their lack of voice takes away emotional connection for the reader.

Nonetheless, this is a well-produced and very attractive ebook that's a pleasure to scroll through and tap. What I love most about it are the illustrations and the pull down menus featuring excerpts from the original text, and fascinating history snippets, making this an ideal book for older readers who still love a bit of fun interactivity with their classic literature.

The page where the Artful Dodger ends up in Australia with a koala on his leg is brilliant and I was pleased to hear music begin on the final page of the book.

There are options to turn off the page-swipe mode (and use arrows to turn pages instead) and to mute the sound. There are also options to refresh the page and return to the start.

Oliver Twist is published by Secret Attic and is available on iTunes for $4.49