Quirky. Colorful. Delightful. A retelling of a classic that, to put it mildly, has been told a time or two.
What is it?
Oz for iPad utilizes Podotree’s innovative Decanter platform to bring animated whimsy, full motion graphics, sound effects, and some hidden extras to this classic tale, and it is impossible not to lose yourself in the world of Oz.
How does it work?
Unlike other ebooks, Podotree implements directional arrows to let you navigate pages since the entire page is dedicated to text and graphics that can be tapped, tilted, and flicked. Librarians may yell at you not to play with books, but Oz for iPad was made for interaction.
Animations like Toto and Glinda the good witch react when you tap them, and objects in the story such as pots and pans are freely animated, so they can be flung about. Some scenes even feature 3D rotation, allowing you to turn the iPad to get a better view of the scene.
When it comes to story, Oz for iPad doesn’t disappoint. Though abridged, the basic gist of the L. Frank Baum’s original plot is preserved, and the animations are used judiciously to replace lengthy descriptive passages. There are some awkward sentences here and there, likely a result of the app’s Korean origins, but no show-stoppingly bad grammar. Parents looking to raise the next F. Scott Fitzgerald might want to consider a copy of The Elements of Style, but they are hardly Oz’s target market.
Is it contagious?
As a simple title for young readers or a fun play along story, the Oz for iPad makes L. Frank Baum’s “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” entertaining and accessible to a new generation. Whether you get this to keep your children entertained, to expose them to the magic of reading, or just give your own inner child some playtime, Oz for iPad is an excellent way to spend two dollars (and part of an afternoon). As an example of what is possible using Podotree’s Decanter platform, it is exciting to think what may be coming once other classics get the Decanter treatment.