The Snow Queen by Pony Apps is a beautifully illustrated storybook app. Snow Queen is the first story released of a series that is currently in production. These apps are storybook apps designed for parents to read to their kids. They feature interactive visuals, games and puzzles to accompany the story. The app is available in Russian and English and you have the option to turn off or on the narration and sound. The story begins and we see a wicked goblin standing in front of a mirror. But this was not any ordinary mirror – he created a mirror with evil powers. Whatever it touched it minimized the good in it and things that were bad became even worse. When you touch the mirror it turns into several scary faces. I think kids who enjoy scarier stories would enjoy this storybook app. It reminds me of the stories we were told as kids – they tended to be a bit edgier. I mean the forest in Snow White was scary wasn’t it? But we still enjoyed the story. My daughter liked touching the fairies who were holding up the mirror and seeing their wings flap back and forth. One day, the mirror slipped from the fairies arms while they were flying across the sky in their world – the world of the goblin – onto Earth.
The broken mirror had the power to turn a person’s heart into ice – it has great powers! On one of the pages children are able to match up the broken pieces of the mirror. Once all the pieces are put together a pretty little song is played. At the bottom of each page is a book that when touched puts all the pages on a screen so you have a choice to go back to another page or move forward to the next page.
The animations are quite simple and some are quite sweet. When you touch the birds they sing us a song or chirp. Or when you touch the window panes they open and close. We are introduced to the main characters, Kay and Gerda, who loved each other like a brother or sister. They liked to read together in a rose garden while the birds chirped around them. It looked very inviting! When Kay looked out the window while his grandmother told tales about the Snow Queen, he thought he could see a woman’s’ face outside the snow swept windows. And when you touch the window, the room fills up with snow – very dramatic!
A piece of the evil mirror landed in Kay’s eye and another piece fell into his heart. Scary! This transformed him to see only the bad in people and started teasing his grandmother and devoted friend Gerda. I think the lesson the storytellers are making is to show children that being unkind to others is not a good way to be in the world. Again, this story reminds me of the tales we heard as kids. Little Red Riding Hood, Hansel and Gretel come to mind. Stories that stick with you many years later! To continue the story after 10 pages you have the option to upgrade to the full version.
All in all, an interesting tale about how one should be kind to others.
Age: 3+ (I would say this story is best for children six and up).
The app is Free at Itunes and Google Play store & Amazon App store
You can read more about Pony Apps here:
Words from the developer:
Our goal is to create parent-child interaction while providing an alternative way to increase literacy and spatial skills.
We hope to structure the educational aspects of our future apps around the International Baccalaureate- learner profile and curriculum in order to provide a supplemental reading app for children who are enrolled in the IB program. Parents will be able to read to their young kids after school before bedtime, travelling or any story time!