iPoe - The Interactive and Illustrated Edgar Allen Poe Collection

App review by
Stacy Zeiger, Common Sense Media
iPoe - The Interactive and Illustrated Edgar Allen Poe Collection App Poster Image
Eerie, amusing app captures Poe's spirit but lacks depth.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

Kids can learn about the mysterious, eerie, and slightly odd world that makes up the stories of Edgar Allen Poe as they explore this interactive and illustrat collection of some of his most well-known texts. With the app's spooky background music, stained pages, and creepy animations, kids will begin to appreciate Poe's masterful writing, although, as the app warns kids at the beginning, walking through the dark path of Poe's stories "may produce undesirable effects on (their) mental health or mood." This illustrated app is a fun way to introduce kids to Poe, but it lacks reading supports or opportunities for critical thinking.

Ease of Play

Well-organized design helps kids quickly find the story they want to read and get started reading.

Violence

Many stories incorporate violence or violent thoughts, as well as horrific scenes.

Sex

A few stories may incorporate romantic elements or themes.

Language

Stories incorporate language with questionable connotations and those designed to scare readers or promote horror.

Consumerism

The app provides links to additional apps from the developer and to the Poe shop.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that iPoe, a spooky app showcasing master of macabre Edgar Allan Poe's short stories, does not make good bedtime reading. Although it accurately captures the mystery and horror of Poe's tales, such as "The Tell-Tale Heart," the background music alone could cause nightmares and other unpleasant thoughts in younger kids. During the day, however, it provides the perfect opportunity to help get kids interested in Poe's stories, taking texts that in their traditional format may seem archaic and overwhelming and making them more accessible to kids -- without changing a single word.

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What's it about?

IPOE - THE INTERACTIVE AND ILLUSTRATED EDGAR ALLEN POE COLLECTION introduces kids to four of Edgar Allen Poe's infamous short stories: "The Oval Portrait," "The Tell-Take Heart," "Annabel Lee," and "The Masque of the Red Death." They also have access to a biography of Edgar Allen Poe and a sketchbook of images from the stories. As kids read the four stories, they see the sketches come to life through interactive animations and illustrations. Typically kids can interact with these elements by tapping on them to reveal new pictures or moving them around the page. Eerie background music (which can be turned off) also plays throughout, helping kids get into the proper mood for truly appreciating Poe's work. Kids who find themselves enjoying Poe's work can access additional volumes of short stories through the app or purchase Poe-related items through the accompanying Poe store. They also have the option to share the app with friends through social media to get them interested in reading Poe.

Is it any good?

This collection of Poe's short stories accurately captures the general feel of most of Poe's work. When reading these stories in a more traditional format, kids may miss some of their eeriness and violence. However, they won't miss it when they read the stories within the app. The aged feel of the pages, the eerie background music, the creepy animations, and the warning at the beginning of the book all help kids become thoroughly engrossed in the tales. The animated skeletons, dead bodies, and other shady animations may not appeal to all kids, but those who like a little mystery and horror will appreciate them and hopefully begin to appreciate Poe. However, the lack of narration and other aids to help lower-level readers limits the app's accessibility and may still cause some kids to miss the themes within Poe's work.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how the music, illustrations, and animations add to or take away from the stories. Ask your kids how the stories look in their imaginations. 

  • Read some of Poe's other classic texts, such as "The Black Cat" or "The Raven."

  • Throw a Poe-themed Halloween party, using the stories as inspiration for costumes, food, and decorations.

App details

Themes & Topics

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For kids who love scary stories

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