IMAG-N-O-TRON: “The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore” Edition — iPad App Review

When I had the pleasure of speaking with Moonbot Studios creative team last April, art lead Joe Bluhm alluded to plans for a new iOS app that would work in conjunction with the print version of The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore. Bluhm explained, “you’ll have this new, three-dimensional experience that you can’t get with just the book or just the app.”

Well, that new app is here. The app, lavishly titled IMAG-N-O-TRON: “The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore” Edition has arrived and it creates an experience unlike any other available in the app store, combining augmented reality with timeless storytelling.

To start, the app only works in conjunction with the print copy of Morris Lessmore, which was published in June 2012 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers.

  

To get started make sure you’re standing in a well-lit area. Open the app to its splash screen, and tap the iPad-shaped icon marked “play.”

Turning to the first page begins Morris Lessmore’s story. The iPad narrates the words on the printed pages, which is cool, sure. But the app also generates on-screen animation for each page. It’s as if the book is jumping out of the story!

The IMAG-N-O-TRON excites not just because of what it is but also for the promise that it represents. The app’s novel attempt to unite the printed book with the iPad (or iPhone) deserves admiration.

Download IMAG-N-O-TRON: “The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore” Edition from the App Store for $0.99.

What I liked: I was delighted when I realized I could use the iPad camera to take a picture while using the app, making it look as if Morris Lessmore was diving headfirst into my son’s mouth.

What I didn’t like: The app was a bit glitchy, particularly at the beginning of the story. There was a lag while I waited for the iPad to respond at certain page turns, and it wasn’t always clear if I was supposed to place the iPad over the text or the picture.

To buy or not to buy: If you own an iDevice and a print copy of Morris Lessmore, or you want to support developer creativity and innovation, then IMAG-N-O-TRON is a must. It’s the best 99 cents I’ve spent all year.

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About Emily: Emily is a freelance writer who loves discovering new apps whenever she can pry the iPad away from her children or husband. You can contact her via Twitter: @whatwentwrite