Those who remember the viral video of George W. Bush and John Kerry singing “This Land is Your Land” by the animation company Jib Jab, or have experienced their laundry list of personalized videos like “Star Wars by JibJab”, will be excited to know that the company has started a line of children’s books called Jib Jab Jr. Books.
The animation company uses a unique image-editing program to allow you to fine tune the cut-and-pasting of your face so that you can be the star of your own videos. JibJab Jr. uses the same technology to put your little one’s face into a storybook adventure. The first in the series, “The Biggest Pizza Ever” is free and you can buy additional books for $7.99, or you can join the Book of the Month club for only $3.99 per month.
To personalize your book, you can either take a picture of your child (or yourself) with your iPad 2, upload a photo to the app from your iPad’s camera roll, or find an image in your Facebook gallery. I did not have any pictures of my nephew on my iPad, nor was he with me when I first used the app, but I was easily able to access my Facebook library and in a matter of seconds found a workable picture of the little tike.
Once you have your picture, you can zoom and rotate it to fit just the face within the specified area. After lining up the image, you will add a name and choose from three skin colors, light medium or dark, and then the adventure begins.
The artwork is very typical of JibJab’s animation style; funny and quirky and, yes at times, creepy. The character bounces around, bobs his head, and overall fits into the story. There are a few pages that use a specific name so your child can feel like he or she is right inside the adventure.
The free book lacks a lot of features that I’m used to seeing in JibJab’s animations. For example, you can’t adjust the image more than just zooming and rotating. The website offers amazing fine-tuning that really lets you perfect the fit of your head. Also, there is no sound with the free book at all. No funny soundtrack, no read-to-me feature. It is totally silent. I’m not sure if the paid books include any audio, but for $7.99, I would hope so.
What I liked: JibJab makes great animations and has clever stories. I’m sure that every book they release will be fun and engaging for young children. The Book of the Month Club feature is an excellent way to get a great deal on an otherwise expensive book.
What I didn’t like: The lack of audio in the free book was a huge disappointment. Even just some funny sound effects would help bring the book to life a bit more. Hopefully the paid books will include background music or something.
To buy or not to buy: The subscription price of $3.99 is absolutely worth it. Your toddler will love seeing his or her face right on the pages of the book. It is really fun for the whole family. Try the free book to see what you think.
- App Name: JibJab Jr. Books
- Version Reviewed: 1.0
- Category: Books
- Developer: JibJab Media
- Price: Free with in-app purchases