Hands On: Green Riding Hood 1.0 (iOS)

An interactive book with a somewhat more modern take on a classic fairy tale

Green Riding Hood by Bobaka is an interactive story book that takes inspiration from the classic fairy tale Little Red Riding Hood, and gives is a more modern sensibility. The Wolf is still pretty horrible, and would very much like to eat the other characters, but (spoiler) nobody gets eaten, or has their belly filled with hot rocks. Plus, there are delicious recipes.

The art in Green Riding Hood is pretty adorable, and the animation is great. We particularly like the sound design; the narration is charmingly told in both English and Russian, and the background noise (for each section that has it) sounds great -- but what we really love is all the music.

If there was a soundtrack available for the music from this app, we'd probably buy it. Each section is preceded by a loading screen. It doesn't generally take too long for the next section to load, but it's a little jarring as a transition. The loading animation is of an adorable snail wearing Green's hat over its shell; so we forgive it.

Each "page" in the story has little surprises for the reader, or the child being read to, to tap and discover a funny animation. There aren't always a lot of places to tap on a page, but many of them do more than one animation, so it's best to take time with each page to discover everything.

There's one page that's a bit like a game, where Green is trying to make a smoothie for Grandma, and the user has to match the fruits and veggies prompted in the blender. In the lower left is an icon to tap to bring up a menu of all the different pages in the story. If the user wants to jump forward or go back, they can do so at any time. So if somebody is particularly fond of, say, the dance party scene, they can just jump to it and rock out.

Also included in the app is a cookbook. The story is about the Wolf, and how hungry he is. Green offers the Wolf her Granny's lunch, and eventually he eats it. The page where he does so shows his reaction to each dish, and then gives the option to see the recipe for how it's made -- there's also an option to go directly to the cookbook in the title page. We're particularly fond of the pear sandwich, but we can't wait to try out the halava.

Green Riding Hood is available on iTunes for $3.

Who Green Riding Hood is for:
Anyone who wants an interactive storybook for a young child, particularly one who likes yoga.

Who Green Riding Hood might not be for:
Older children, who expect apps to be games that give them more control over what happens rather than being able to just enjoy a book with interactive illustrations.

PS: There's a Scooby Doo-esque chase scene that reminds us strongly of a bit in an episode of The Prisoner ... and we particularly enjoyed it because of that. We don't know if this was intentional, but double points and a cookie if it is.

-- Michelle Elbert (@mcelbert)

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