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Hands On: Alice for iPad shakes up storytime

Yesterday, after I posted the Alice for iPad preview video, Ben Roberts, who is one of the app creators, emailed us here at TUAW with promo codes for the application. I downloaded a copy of the app, installed it on my iPad, and spent a lovely half-hour reading out loud to my son.

If you like reading with your kids, the iPad (and especially Alice for iPad) demands accommodations. The app is engaging. Almost too engaging. The urge to shout "Stop doing that with my iPad, it will BREAK!" recurs frequently, especially when the boy realizes you can make Alice's neck grow or send candies flying around the screen.

So sit on the floor, not on the couch, preferably on a carpet rather than on wood. Seriously: a typical boy + a standard iPad + an app that encourages said boy to strongly shake the iPad = a disaster waiting to happen, unless you take precautions.

That having been said, we are loving the book. I do wish there were other books of this style written in a more modern voice, because I did have to do a lot of translations for pastilles, marmalade, and hookahs, which is of course a "learning experience." I just wish it wasn't quite so much or so often of a "learning experience," in that I'd adore seeing this kind of book for, say, E. Nesbit or Edgar Eager or Dianna Wynne Jones.

So, bottom line? Loving it. Just remember to sit on the floor and enjoy your kids while they're still small enough to smell good and cuddle. Reading out loud is one of our favorite things and Alice is just making it better. Alice for iPad costs $8.99.



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