Dear Book Lovers, Welcome! I am delighted that you have found The Through the Looking Glass blog. For over twenty years I have reviewed children's literature titles for my online journal, which came out six times a year. Every book I reviewed for that publication can be found on the Through the Looking Glass website (the link is below). I am now focusing on writing reviews and articles, and finding interesting book related news, for this blog. Many of the titles that I will be sharing with you will appeal to adults as well as children. I firmly believe that some of the best writing in the world can be found on the pages of books that were written for young people. I invite you adults to explore these books for yourselves; they will, I am sure, delight and surprise you. I hope what you will find here will make your journey into the world of children's literature more enjoyable. Please visit the Through the Looking Glass Facebook page as well for even more bookish posts

Monday, April 11, 2011

Blog Event: Day one - A review of Roxie's A-maze-ing Vacation Adventure, an iPad app

Every so often a friend of mine who works in the children's book industry tells me about something interesting he or she is doing, and I get to write about it. For the next three days I am going host a blog event that is about an iPad app that my friend Roxie Munro helped to create. Roxie is well know for her deliciously detailed picture books, several of which have mazes and seek-and find elements in them. On April 1st, an iPad app called Roxie's a-maze-ing vacation adventure was launched. It brings some of Roxie's illustrations to life, and it provides people of all ages with a very intriguing interactive experience.

I am going to begin this three day event by giving you a review of the app, which both my daughter and I had a blast playing with. When you open up the app, the first thing you need to do is to choose a little car, which is what you will use most of the time to get around the interconnected scenes (there are many of these) in the app. Then you are presented with the first scene, which is a gorgeous layout showing a town from above. There is a zoo, houses, a river, streets and so much more. In this scene you have to collect parts of a star, and you also have to find a bunch of balloons, an ice cream truck, the number one, and a penguin. You collect the parts of the star by driving to them, or walking to them (you have to park your car first).The rest of the things you have to search for in the artwork. Once you find them, you tap them with your finger and the app registers that you have complete the task.  You need to collect star pieces and find items in each of the scenes that you encounter in the adventure. In later screens you will collect star pieces by, among other things, flying a plane, rafting on a river, skiing, and flying in a hot air balloon.

The pieces of the star are pretty easy to find, but they are not always easy to get to. There are one way roads and roundabouts to negotiate, and it is not always easy to find parking places, just like in real life.Sometimes you have drive into the screen above, below, to the left or to the right to find the right road that will allow you to come back and get the piece of the star.

Once you have completed all the tasks for one screen, you simply drive into another. The next one I went to had a residential area and a sports stadium. Above the sports stadium was a blimp that had my name written on it. When I tapped the stadium, a soccer ball came flying up towards me. I soon found that you could make all kinds of things happen by tapping on them. In a rural scene that I discovered, flowers bloom when you tap the fields.

Each scene is very different, and players will enjoy exploring the coast scene, the amusement park, the city, the wild river, the snowy ski mountain, and more. You can purchase the app through iTunes, and I guarantee that you will enjoy it.

Tomorrow Omar Curiere who works at OCG Studios - the company the created the app - will be telling me a little about what it was like to create this app, and on Wednesday I will have something for you from Roxie Munro.

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