A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this app.
Ease of Play
Turning pages is as easy as tapping a "Next" arrow. And while the interactive elements on each page are hidden (to inspire exploration), kids need only to tap a question mark icon to be shown exactly what they should do on any given page. There's also a very clear tutorial kids can watch to learn how they should explore the app.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Harold and the Purple Crayon is an interactive version of the original classic storybook by Crockett Johnson, in which a young boy goes on an imaginative journey, creating everything he encounters with his own little crayon. Kids can simply read the story, have it read to them, or choose to interact with it. In the interactive "Touch Tale" mode, kids are asked to "be" Harold's crayon, using their fingers to color in the lines that Harold has drawn. There are many additional hidden animations to trigger, and a clearly explained tutorial shows kids just how to find them.
Is It Any Good?
With the finger-drawing abilities offered by the iPad, HAROLD AND THE PURPLE CRAYON seems like the perfect storybook to translate into app-hood. And Trilogy Studios has done a remarkably fantastic job of doing so. The original illustrations are adorably animated, the narration is superbly performed, and the interactive elements are seamlessly integrated into the storytelling experience. Every time Harold draws a new element into his environment, readers follow those crayon lines with their fingers, literally helping Harold create his world. The help button, which maps out the interactive spots on each page, is also a wonderful feature. Some book apps highlight the hotspots so kids can see them easily, but the help button offers a great way for kids to make sure they haven't missed anything, without taking away their chance to first explore and find the hidden spots themselves. Excellent.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.