iPad Interactive Book Review: There's No Place Like Space!
Reviewed by ColeDaddy
Oceanhouse Media is the digital publisher of The Cat in the Hat's Learning Library. "There's No Place Like Space!" is a book different most of the Suessian masterpieces many of us read as children and it serves as a unique, instructional tool targeted for middle school and young teen-aged children.
The book weighs in at a little under 24MB. It is an exact digital port of the hard copy versions many of us grew up reading. One of the first things one notices upon reading the first few pages is that it is a fairly straight read through. Intentionally absent are the cleverly-curated words that spring forth from Dr. Seuss' imagination. Gone are the imaginary creatures and exotic lands. In its place are factual, scientific facts that are composed into bite-sized nuggets of wisdom, easily digested and understood.
Oceanhouse Media makes expert use of the touch medium by allowing readers to touch anything on the screen page prompting a video or audible response. For example, if a reader touches a word, the word will enlarge and it will be read by the in-app reader. If a reader touches an object on the screen, its name will be displayed and audibly read.
The 2.5D graphics come alive with stilted animation reminiscent of the minimal movements found in some hard cover pop-ups. But, given its format, it does the job really well. This is reader-book interactivity at its best.
The book strives to accentuate the sounds by keeping them to a minimum. Sometimes, the publisher cleverly introduces these sounds as they are carefully nestled in the background, rising forward to heighten the overall reading experience.
Oceanhouse Media has created another winner, this time for an older audience that will marvel at it digitally-modern trappings and its faithfully-rendered new skin, presenting knowledge useful for budding astronomy aficionados or the curious reader, both young and old.
Ratings (scale of 1 to 5):
Graphics: - 5 - A skillful yet faithful reproduction for modern audience. Sound: - 5 - Evenly paced and well-placed sound bites enrich the overall reading experience. Controls: - 5 - Practical and exact. Usefulness: - 5 - Every kiddo should be reading this and other Seussian tomes.