I realised a few days ago that there is at least one book in literally every room in my house, and do you know what? I’m pretty happy with that.
I adored reading as a child, and after my cool (uncool) teenage years where books took a bit of a backseat, I embraced books again throughout my twenties, and now in my thirties I could open a small bookshop with the amount I have amassed.
My wife has the same literary collection obsession, and I’m pleased to say that we have passed this onto our kids; so when I had the chance to review a brand new kind of ebook – Galdo’s Gift – on the iPad, I was a little intrigued.
I have read a number of ebooks on Kindle and iBooks previously, but Galdo’s Gift is like nothing I have read before on any of those devices (and certainly not in print). I enlisted my trusty pal – my nine-year-old son – to help with this review.
Firstly let me tell you a little about the ebook, or should I say ‘Boovie’:
- Galdo’s Gift is not your typical ‘text heavy with token illustration thrown in’ kids book. It contains wonderful animations that move and and come to life (by Trevor Young who worked on the Harry Potter series and The Hunger Games, and Eleanor Long MA RCA who has worked in TV and Film, including The Borrowers), an impressive musical score, and narration is brought to life by frog King Galdo – Brian Murphy (Last of the Summer Wine and George & Mildred).
- Each set and character in Galdo’s Gift was drawn on paper by the creators, real paper models are made of the set to figure out the lighting and 3D space, and the puppets are then moved by hand and motion-captured by Trevor. This process gives a ‘hand controlled’ animation feel to the book – it’s really something to behold!
- This feature really impressed me – we all know that kids will come across a tricky word or two when reading, and if your little one doesn’t understand a word in this Boovie, all they have to do is to tap it for an explanation (which then prompts a fun explanation). This is brilliant as my kids have often either muddled through a book without really understanding aspects, or have to rely on my poor explanation skills.
- Because of the nature of the animations that accompany the text, there are some great opportunities for hidden features within the illustrations to help parents get involved too – you can access extra content online, or print off the characters and mimic how the book is produced, a great Sunday afternoon activity with the kids.
Galdo’s Gift brings children’s literature into the 21st Century by using digital features which really enhance the experience for the reader. There is nothing gimmicky about this ebook – it genuinely creates a more engaging and interactive experience, through something a paper book, or even a movie can’t do.
I’m not going to ruin the story for you or provide spoilers of any aspect of Galdo’s Gift. All I will say is that it is one heck of an adventure that really engages any reader, and one that I enjoyed as much as my son!
Enough about my opinions as an old-man who loved the book, what about my nine-year-old? Well here are his thoughts:
“I loved Galdo’s Gift! It was a really cool story, and I really liked how I could see the different things that I read happening, and how I could click on them and even learn new words.
The pictures are so cool and bright, the people that made this must be really clever! I really liked King Galdo, I think he was really nice. I also liked the music too.
I wish all my books were like this!”
For a sneak peek of what impressed my son so much, you can watch the trailer for Galdo’s Gift here:
Galdo’s Gift is available right now for £6.99 through the Apple iBooks store here, the official website is here.
I received a promotional copy of this book but this is a completely independent review, I received no payment for this article.