24 July 2011

alice isn't in disneyworld anymore!

dear readers, (plural, as optimism reigns)

it occurred to me today as i was weighing the options between cleaning off my dining room table (it's used more for mail and stuff than dining) and cleaning my kitchen (don't ask) that i don't think i ever talked about the alternatives to print books. this is a blog about a naked library, life without books or with less, blah blah blah. but e-books and book apps - haven't actually covered them specifically. and so, in order to avoid one of two unworthy tasks (well, tasks that can surely wait until later...in the week), i give you ... the storybook apps i like.

anyway, i admit it...i am a book junkie. or what i thought was a book junkie. but what i really am is a story junkie. although i have been known to judge a book by its cover(s), it's what's between those covers that intrigues me. isn't the best part of reading the anticipation when you open that cover? that feeling of excitement and expectation? like going on vacation! i don't know what's to come but it could be exciting!!

i own an amazon kindle and an iPod touch. i use an apple iPad through work. so i have 3 of the 4 (if you include the barnes & noble nook) most popular devices capable of reading electronic books at my disposal and i have used them all to read books and magazines. and i still get that same tingle, that same excitement when i get to the first page, even if it's electronic.

storybook apps for the iPad clearly have the upper hand in the development of e-book reading apps and prompted this blog post. specifically, the fantastic flying books of mr. morris lessmore.

you may have heard about e-book apps when apple first introduced the iPad. alice in wonderland for iPad created by atomic antelope, a digital publishing company, takes advantage of the iPad's beautiful color screen. the huffington post claimed it "reinvents reading." it requires interaction with the reader beyond comprehending words. there is touching and shaking and swiping and all things iPad related. revolutionary for a book? i'd say evolutionary, for sure.

having a 4-year old grandson has given me reasons to investigate e-books beyond the text-based versions found on kindles, nooks and kobos. even going beyond the prettier versions found through apple's iBooks app, where books "look like books" and the pages turn "like books." hence what i realize to be a fundamental difference: e-books are usually electronic versions of text-based print books. but children's picture books were a different story(see what i did there? different STORY?) storybook apps are usually color, require some input from the reader, and aimed toward children.

up until now, my favorite storybook apps were the three little pigs created by nosy crow, popout! the tale of peter rabbit and sandra boynton's the going to bed book, both created by loud crow interactive. apparently companies with crow in their names are pretty good at this app stuff. the three little pigs is narrated in a british accent and is fun. peter rabbit is classically illustrated and follows more of a pop-up book format while the going to bed book clearly held on to the color and whimsy that IS sandra boynton.

but the storybook that has captured my imagination and my heart is "the fantastic flying books of mr. morris lessmore." created by moonbot studios, it's based on a short film of the same name. it is visually stunning, the story is enchanting, and it's a testament to the beauty of storytelling and animation.

now some may argue that it's not a book, that it's closer to a movie. or maybe an animated short. but i say...who cares! if you can use a little enchanting, check out the movie or the app!

happy reading...no matter the format.

recommended reading:

thumbs up: the sisters brothers by patrick dewitt
thumbs down: the glass books of the dream eaters by g.w. dahlquist (a friend reminded me how much i did NOT like this one) one of the amazon reviewers exclaimed, "life is too short." indeed!

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