App Name: PadWorx Books
What does it promise? PadWorx produces a line of fully interactive books. They feature full soundtracks, animated sections and manipulable items, all seamlessly integrated within the complete text of a book.
Does it deliver? Yes and no. The features are truly amazing. Hearing the wind howl and trees creak as you read a page from Bram Stoker’s Dracula provides an added dimension to the experience of reading a story. Physically opening a letter from the count to Mr. Harker and reading it in his own handwriting makes you feel as though you are a part of the narrative.
The apps fall short in that some of titles only provide a “dumbed-down” version of the original work. Where Dracula is a faithful rendering, titles like A Christmas Carol seem completely rewritten. This could be advantageous for younger readers, although by the same token, they may also be too young to take full advantage of the interactivity. This, however, is only a minor complaint about what are truly unique books that could exist only on an iPad.
Can I use it in my classroom? Certainly. Currently there are only a handful of titles, but they run the gamut of age-appropriateness. There are plans to expand the line, so it is worth keeping an eye on the App Store. These books, like nothing else, really grab readers and get them involved in the story. This may represent the future of getting kids to love reading.
All apps can be found in the iPad apps store under education.