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'Weird Al' Yankovic releases iOS children's e-book

updated 07:00 pm EDT, Fri June 17, 2011

New album 'Alpocalypse' expected next week

Musical comedian "Weird Al" Yankovic has adapted his best-selling children's book When I Grow Up into an iOS e-book app for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. The digital version features the full text and artwork of the original book, along with Yankovic's own narration, games, special "Easter Eggs" and other interactive features. Featuring original illustrations by Wes Hargis, the book features Yankovic's brand of imaginative humor.

The story features an eight-year-old boy named Billy who, when asked what he'd like to be when he grows up, responds with all kinds of unconventional jobs such as milking giraffes or sumo wrestling, bewildering his classmates. The idea behind the tale is to encourage children to imagine for themselves the limitless possibilities of future endeavors, whether they be hobbies or vocations.

The app can be read as a standard e-book, or can optionally be set to have Yankovic read the book to the user, highlighting each word as he says it. At the end of the story, games based on various jobs Billy considers are featured, including the reader trying their hand at shaving a tarantula or racing snails. Additional games will appear in a future app update.

The story features hidden animations that react to tilting, swiping or tapping; one example is swiping across a table to make Billy's homework scatter. All the bonus content adds up to make for a large e-book app -- 257MB -- but expands upon the original book in a manner that should please both children and adult fans of the author, who has made a career out of novelty songs and clever musical parodies. His latest album, Alpocalyse, is due to be released on June 21st and leads off with a single parodying the entire career so far of Lada Gaga, titled "Perform This Way."

The app requires iOS 3.2 or later and costs $3. It is available now from the iTunes App Store.

by MacNN Staff



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