iPad Book Review: Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss Reviewed by ColeDaddy
Oceanhouse Media, Inc. is renowned for publishing the Dr. Seuss stable of books by bringing them forward into the current mainstream allowing them to reach a wider audience through the digitized format. While I have read Green Eggs and Ham numerous times as a child and maybe a few more times for my child, I was curious to see how a book originally written for book in a paper-based medium translated into the modern sensibilities of the digital touch screen format.
The application weighs in at almost 13MB which is sizable for full-on text book, but just right for one that includes some animation and sound. The book is as fun as I remember it. Dr. Seuss' artwork and words come alive in brightly lit colors and attractive sounds. Readers have the following options presented on the main menu, "Read to Me", "Read It Myself" or "Autoplay". While I don't have a hard copy version to make a side-by-side comparison, from what I can tell from having read the book a few times (albeit years ago), it is a faithful adaption of the source material.
Swiping the screen turns the pages while touching words causes them to enlarge in a highlighted glow of a different color for easier detection as the word is read aloud to you. Touching anywhere on the screen offers another form of call and response as items or areas are named with the highlighted word flashed on the screen while the word is read to you.
The graphics are Dr. Seuss, true and true. The original artwork and color schemes found in the original book are beautifully rendered in high resolution. The animation is limited to pans and scans which is perfect for this book. The conservative animation allows readers to focus on the words and their meaning rather than stand the risk of being trumped by superfluous animation. This is book, not a cartoon.
The narration is energetic and well-acted, vividly expressed with positive emotions. Additionally, the sounds perfectly complement the illustrations and bring to life the action with great special effects. For example, if the main character is riding on an animal, rather than showing the creature's leg show motion lines along with swift back and forth movements, the sound bite portrays numerous footsteps fading in and out of the scene. One could "read" the book, by merely listening to the accompanying track.
Overall, this is a well-crafted digital book that calls upon several senses working in tandem converging into a singular, rich and immersive reading experience. I look forward to reading more Dr. Seuss books from Oceanhouse Media.
Ratings (scale of 1 to 5):
Graphics: - 5 - Dr. Seuss' is on the loose. The doctor's line-work is wonderfully rendered in high resolution. Sound: - 5 - The animated background music and the rich narrative make for an exciting earful of Seussian goodness. Controls: - 5 - Intuitive and playful. Usefulness: - 5 - An engaging and entertaining reading tool that is sure to pull in the even the most uninterested readers.
Playing Hints and Tips:
Tap the "i" on the main menu and order more great books for you and your family.