by Staff Writer
August 25, 2010
OverviewHave you ever read a book that seems to leap off the pages because of the author’s style? Well The Pedlar Lady of Gushing Cross quite literally leaps off the page with the 3D animated scenes on every page. The words fly in on the page, and then the Pedlar Lady is out and about, moving around as you read.
FeaturesYou can choose to read through the entire tale yourself or have it read to you by the voice over. The story is just over 20 pages with each page introducing a new animation to go with the content on that particular page. There is a soundtrack to go with the entire story, and there is even an option to turn on the automatic page flip so you can just sit back, relax and watch the whole thing.
The GoodThis may be the neatest app I’ve come across on the iPad that will make anyone say “WOW” on first launching it. Just on the title screen the camera zooms in on the pedlar’s house, and right then you know you’re in for something special. This is an experience only possible on the iPad currently, and it really does reinvent story telling. When you flip the first page to start the story the letters all fly in to place above a seemingly 3D world. The world seems to be alive, and then the pedlar lady walks up to her porch with a sack of bottles like nothing you’ve ever seen in a “book.” iBooks is great in its own right, but it’s nothing like a living breathing story. The app is just so well designed in every regard with so much detail packed into the environments that perfectly turn the words on the page into the animated scene. It’s great seeing the characters walk around and cast shadows on to the words, and there is so much variation from scene to scene. If having animated visuals wasn’t enough, there is also a smooth soundtrack that has plenty of variability as it plays throughout the story. The story itself is a simple classic that is an engaging read from start to finish. Whether you read it to yourself, out loud to others, or listen to the narrator it will be an experience like none other.
The BadThe only real problem is that it comes to an end far too quickly. With only 22 pages the story comes to a close so fast leaving you wanting more. Once you have read the story once there isn’t much incentive to read it again, although it is great to read it again with other people. There are a few alternate animations, but most are the same. This leaves you with a $4.99 app that you’ll use once, and though it’s amazing that one time through you just wish there was more. One minor thing is that when you read a story your imagination can run wild to create the entire scene, and that’s taken away, and someone else’s imagination is given to you.
The VerdictPedlar Lady is one of the best iPad apps out there that truly makes the iPad shine. It changes what story telling is and can be, as well as how you think of iPad apps. It’s amazingly well designed in every regard, with the only problem is that it ends too soon. Pedlar Lady is a should buy for $4.99 that has the initial wow factor, but doesn’t have staying power. One read through though is an amazing experience for any iPad user.
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