I have always been incredibly impressed by the opportunities the iPad provides for children’s books. They take the traditional look and feel of children’s picture books and offer a whole new level of interactivity, and some of the best interactive books I have found come from See Here Studios.
Unlike some of their other books, The Three Pandas is not an entirely original story. In fact, most of you are likely familiar with this story, which is based essentially on the Three Bears. In a nutshell, this is the story of three pandas. While they are out in the bamboo forest, a girl (Mei Mei) comes into their house, eats their porridge, sits on their chairs, and sleeps in their beds. Like I said, you know where this one is going.
Nonetheless, the story is quite well told, and exceptionally well illustrated. Although this eBook is not three dimensional like some See Here books, the images really pop of the page, almost like a digital pop-up book. Really impressively well done. In addition to being so well drawn, we also have that interactivity which I mentioned earlier. On many pages, tapping various elements will bring extra surprises, drawing you deeper into the story, For example, tap Mei Mei while she examines the bowls of porridge and she will test the largest bowl with her finger, finding it to be too hot. Virtually every page has a hidden interactive element, so this is one time when you can let your kids just tap tap tap away all over your screen (and maybe have a wipe ready when you are done).
In addition to simply viewing the book, you can also have it read out loud to you. You have two options here. You can have it read by author Valerie Min, or record your own voice and then replay it as many frequently as you wish.
As if all of that is not enough, the best part of the book is that a portion of all proceeds goes toward Panda conservation efforts. Don’t take my word for it, though. Check out the exceptional Three Pandas eBook in the iTunes App Store for only $2.99 on iPad. Not only do you get a fantastic story, but helping pandas in the process…who could ask for anything more…