It’s been a while since Nosy Crow’s last fairytale book-app Cinderella, although the publisher has kept itself busy making excellent apps like Rounds: Parker Penguin, Animal SnApp: Farm and Pip and Posy: Fun and Games (among others).
Little Red Riding Hood by Nosy Crow is here, though, and it bears all the company’s hallmarks: beautiful production values; canny use of your iPhone or iPad’s hardware; and voice narration from children rather than adults.
You know the tale: Little Red Riding Hood wandering through the woods to her Grandma’s house, only to find a wolf in granny’s bed with a set of big teeth just right for eating her.
The twist in this case is that your children get to influence how Little Red Riding Hood defeats the wolf by choosing forks in her path through the woods. Each choice serves up an item: dandelions, a spider, water in a jar, feathers etc, often with a simple mini-game to match.
Kids can thus pick a path through the story, ending up with a different collection of items each time when they reach Grandma’s house. Those items are then used to beat the wolf: tickling him with the feathers, splashing him with the water or scaring him with the big hairy spider, for example.
It’s clever, because it encourages children to keep re-reading the story through to the end, rather than getting distracted by a particularly whizzy bit of interactivity.
Reading is important in Little Red Riding Hood, too. Words are highlighted in red as they’re read out loud, with the young voice actors doing a good job of holding kids’ attention (in our experience with two fidgety sons, at least).
We love the music, we love the technical flourishes – like when your child sees their own face in a pond through nifty use of the device’s front camera, a trick Nosy Crow also used in Cinderella – and we love the sheer craft that’s clearly gone into the app.
(We’re also tickled by the bit where the fleeing wolf channels every Scooby Doo villain ever with his “I would have gotten away with it if it hadn’t been for that pesky spider!” complaint.)
Little Red Riding Hood by Nosy Crow is one of the apps that shows why parents and teachers are excited about the potential of book-apps for kids. We think you (and your kids, obviously) will love it.
iPhone and iPad (£2.99)