'How the Grinch Stole Christmas' dazzles on iPhone

The first official Dr. Seuss e-book for the iPhone has arrived, and it's perfection. Let's see the Kindle do that! Oh, right, "Grinch" isn't available for Kindle.

Somewhere, Theodor Geisel (aka Dr. Seuss) is smiling. "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" for iPhone turns the classic tale into a superb interactive e-book, one that's as much a learning tool as it is an entertaining diversion.

With all the fuss over Kindles, Nooks, and other e-book readers, I've often wondered why there's been so little focus on children's books--arguably the ideal media for a portable device.

After all, what parent hasn't wished for something wholesome to keep young kids occupied during car rides, long waits in a restaurant, endless hours on a plane, and so on?

Kids can tap a word to hear it pronounced and see it grow big.

"Grinch" offers two modes: "Read to Me" and "Read It Myself." In both cases, readers are treated to the original artwork and text, but with some clever panning and zooming that adds an animated touch.

The reader, professional actor Lee Abbott, lends just the right kind of kid-formal voice to the story. And because each word is highlighted as he reads, kids have the opportunity to learn along the way.

Another perk: each page is interactive. Kids can tap an item on the screen (such as "tree" or "Grinch") to hear it pronounced and see the accompanying word.

In short, this is exactly what you'd hope for from a Dr. Seuss book made electronic. And the $3.99 price tag is more than reasonable, especially considering that the noninteractive hardcover lists for $15.

As the parent of a learning-to-read 7-year-old who loved every bit of "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" on my iPhone, I'm sold. Note to developer Oceanside Media: keep the Seuss books coming. (Can I get my order in now for "Yertle the Turtle"?)

 

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