Product: Fantastic Flying Books of Morris Lessmore
9/27/2011 By: Carol S. Holzberg
http://morrislessmore.com Retail Price: App available in iTunes, $4.99; Movie
available in iTunes, HD version, $2.99, Movie available in iTunes, $1.99
Inspired by the William Joyce and Brandon Oldenburg
animated short film of the same title, Moonbot’s Fantastic
Flying Books of Morris Lessmore is an interactive storybook
that artfully blends 2D and computer animation techniques
with interactive fun for a whimsical look at reading.
Quality and Effectiveness: An interactive audio-rich,
child-appropriate storybook like Fantastic Flying Books can
help build reading and listening skills in engaging, ways
by offering a variety of playful reading and story-related
Ease of Use: Even young readers
won’t need much prompting
to explore storybook pages. The
graphical multimedia-rich interface
makes operation intuitive and
quickly puts readers in control.
Some items on every page respond
to the swipe or tap of a finger, providing
rewards for exploration and
curiosity. If readers do nothing, the
story prompts them by drawing
attention to the active element.
Creative Use of Technology: Each of the book’s interactive
pages is beautifully rendered with meticulously rendered
at the beginning of the
story when Morris is
without his books. On
those pages, he and his
surroundings appear in
drab black and white.
and clever sound effects flavor
each page, bringing storybook
characters to life on screen.
Suitability for Use in a
School Environment: This
interactive tactile reading bonanza
is designed for home use, not the
classroom. It is missing some literacy-
building elements that educators have come to appreciate.
For example, words and phrases do not highlight as
they are read aloud. Readers can’t tap just one word and
hear it read. Tapping anywhere in the text section causes
the narrator to re-read the entire page. Additionally, the
app lacks a dictionary function. Youngsters cannot select a
word and bring up a definition. Finally, unlike books available
from Moving Tales, readers cannot choose a different
language for the text, nor record themselves reading each
page aloud for later playback.
Regardless of the mild literacy-building shortcomings of this interactive book,
Moonbot’s Fantastic Flying Books of Morris Livermore is pure delight. Its compelling
story has a happy ending. It features high-quality graphics, 2D animations, plus
music and sound effects that help tell the story without dominating the page.
Children can navigate the book on their own (during silent reading times if the
iPad is equipped with headphones), in small groups with reading companions, or
with an adult. When they read and explore the pages, they are rewarded with many
surprises and fun activities that will encourage a sustained appreciation for reading
and the written word.
• The book artfully
sounds and music,
• While the book is
aimed at young
children, even teens
and adults will enjoy
exploring its pages.
• The award-winning
movie will provide
for reading the book.