Every year thousands of kids, parents and grandparents watch the animated TV movie version of Charles M. Schultz’s most popular Peanuts’ story, A Charlie Brown Christmas. This year, add to the magic of the Peanuts gang by reading along with the interactive book, narrated by none other than the original voice of Charlie Brown, Peter Robbins.
Digital books continue to break molds when it comes to what can be done to interact with the reader. A Charlie Brown Christmas takes technology one step further by offering interactive graphics, narration, voices right out of the 1965 cartoon, a hidden object game and much more.
The art style is that of a cut-out pop-up book. Characters are two-dimensional and have a noticeable paper texture. The Peanuts themselves look like they could have been cut out of stills from the cartoon. Each page offers some type of interactive exploration. From tapping kids so they will ice-skate to turning on and off the lights on Snoopy’s decorated doghouse, there is more to explore than one can get through in a single sitting.
The story is narrated by an adult Peter Robbin, who sets up the scene of each page. Dialog is straight out of the animated movie, including Snoopy’s imitation of a sheep and a cow. This adds to the charm and innocence of the classic tale.
When it comes time for the play actors to dance to the jazzy melody of Linus and Lucy by Vince Guaraldi, you can play along on Schroder’s piano. When Charlie Brow throws his megaphone you can pick it up and toss it around.
After you have made it through the entire book the first time, you can begin collecting rewards that are used to unlock special decorations for your very own Charlie Brown tree. Back on the very first page of the book, there is a small icon and the word, “decorate.” By tapping this, a window pops up with a variety of Christmas trees, decorations and tree stands. Pick and choose which tree, lights, ornaments and tree-topper you want, and that tree will appear later in the book. Remember when the gang decides to help Charlie Brown decorate his pathetic little sprig and it comes to life as a beautiful, full Christmas tree? This is where your custom decorated tree will show up.
This interactive children’s book oozes with the delightful charm and magic that has captivated generations of fans. This book is a wonderful addition to anyone’s iPad, no matter what the age group. It would certainly make an excellent gift this holiday season.
What I liked: I loved hearing actual lines from the original animated series. Additional Peanuts-related movies have been made within the past decade or two, but none of them compare to the charm of the original, non-professional voice actors of the mid-sixties movies.
What I didn’t like: If I had to have a complaint, and I don’t, it would be the price. In my opinion, the $6.99 price tag is well-worth the cost of this amazing, feature-rich book, but it may cause some to pass it up.
To buy or not to buy: Don’t be a Charlie Brown, pick this classic book up in the App Store today.
- App Name: A Charlie Brown Christmas
- Version Reviewed: 1.0
- Category: Books
- Developer: Loud Crow Interactive
- Price: $6.99