Charlie Brown’s All Stars
Loud Crow Interactive
iPhone (3GS, 4, 4S, 5), iPod touch (3rd, 4th, 5th generation) and iPad. Requires iOS 4.3 or later. This app is optimised for iPhone 5.
Age Rating: 4+
Charlie Brown’s All-Stars is a likable book app for iOS and Android, primarily because it’s hard to totally undo a great story about wonderful, familiar characters, with classic images and words from Peanuts creator Charles A Schultz. It also benefits from the charm of hearing some dialogue lifted from the original 1966 TV special, and the narration by Stephen Shea, who, as a youngster, was the voice of Linus. (You can turn the narration off if you want to read it aloud or your child wants to read the book on their own; one nice feature is that when you tap on a word, it’s spoken aloud by Shea).
The book is divided into chapters, and pages are turned by swiping the bottom portion of the screen. Interactive elements include activities like swiping to help Charlie Brown throw a pitch, positioning him to catch the inevitable blast from the opposing batter (he doesn’t catch the ball, no matter what) and other simple activities like helping Snoopy fill an inflatable pool. However, they are only ‘interactive’ in the sense that you perform an action, and something happens. Unfortunately, the same thing happens every time – the pool gets filled, Charlie Brown drops the ball and so on.
Charlie Brown’s All Stars would benefit from either being more interactive (with multiple possible outcomes from the interactive elements) or much less so. While young readers may want to reread this ebook, the interactive elements may not be interesting enough for more than a couple of go-rounds. The original video may be a better choice
The verdict: watch the original TV special.