I can’t believe it – another thumbs up. Well, this certainly is a fun trend… especially after so many initial doozys. It’s another ipadded-rendition of an old classic (it appears that making pop up iPad books out of public domain classics is becoming a trend). There may be a run on public domain illustrated kids books though – b/c the source art for this one isn’t quite as delicious as the previous ones that I’ve reviewed. But, even so, it’s a fantastically executed iPad storybook.
It’s funny – while the artwork is just ok, it’s the *programming* that really shines. There’s a deep beauty in how this popup book works. Each element that’s been popup-ified really works well. For example, pulling and flicking butterflies around on strings is responsive, feels right, and is just fun. And then there’s the gag for which the book is named – click the X-ray glasses and you see a ‘behind the scenes’ look into the “mechanics” of the popup book – you see the gears, springs, and strings that purportedly make it all work. Although it’s something of a joke, it’s anything but trite. The mechanical animations are beautifully assembled – and make you feel as if you are touching a real mechanical object. It’s a real work of art.
In sum, I’m not too keen on the design, layout, music, or artwork in this book – although none of it is bad – but the artist makes up for it with fine fine attention to detail on the functional side – and turns what could be a cheezy gimmick into a clever artistic device that makes each screen something special.
And here’s a great promo vid for the book: