The Little Mermaid and Other Stories by H. C. Andersen

App review by
Erin Bell, Common Sense Media
The Little Mermaid and Other Stories by H. C. Andersen App Poster Image
Gorgeous interactive tales are darker than Disney versions.

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A lot or a little?

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

Ease of Play

Turning pages and manipulating the game's interactive elements are done by simple one-finger tapping. But this ebook does not read the words outloud. It does remember where you were in the story and returns you to that spot if you stop in the middle.

Violence

In this version of The Little Mermaid, the sea witch cuts off the mermaid's tongue so she can't speak. The Happy Family is about a family of snails whose relatives are boiled and turned into escargot.

Sex

One of the illustrations in The Little Mermaid depicts bare-breasted women in a similar style to a classic painting.

Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that the Hans Christian Andersen fairytales tend to be darker and more cautionary than the Disney versions kids might be used to. This app contains three tales to read, but they are not read out loud. The Little Mermaid has a completely different and sadder ending than that of the well-known Disney movie. The Happy Family is about a family of snails who talk about their relatives being boiled and turned into escargot. And the Emperor's New Clothes is the version most children know.

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Is it any good?

This collection of interactive fairytales includes The Little Mermaid, The Emperor's New Clothes, and The Happy Family, with more to come in future updates. Kids read the text, and also interact with the pages themselves, which come alive with sounds, animations, and things to touch that relate to the words. The app does not read the words out loud. However, the ability to create a fireworks display by tapping the night sky, or watch rain drip off of words as a snail wiggles its way around a paragraph of text really take the concept of an "electronic book" to the next level.

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