The Magnificent TravelingPalace is an iPad only app from Plane Tree Family Productions. It is an interactive book set in Udiapur, India and is about nine year old Rajeev, his eleven year old sister Lalita and their friends Tushar and Deepika. The story transports you to India and immerses you in its culture.
Lalita and Rajeev live in Udaipur, The City of Lakes. Their home is a small house that looks out over a lake and a Palace sits on an island in the lake. The children love to daydream about what it would be like to live in the palace. Their father makes and sells pottery, and every day after school Lalita, Rajeev, Tushar and Deepika sell his pottery on street corners. He gives them a little money for helping, and their favorite way to spend it is buying sugar cane juice from Raju’s stall in the market. One day Raju tells them about a wonderful train that is coming to visit Udiapur the next day – The Magnificent Traveling Palace. The children are so excited at the thought of seeing it that they can hardly sleep. After school the next day they rush to the train station only to find it has gone! They find out it is in Dungarpur, only an hour away, so they set off on an adventure to try to find it. They take a local train to Dungarpur where they finally find it and get to see The Magnificent Traveling Palace for themselves.
This is really a gorgeous story; both my kids and myself fell in love with it the first time we read it. The sitar music playing in the background, the sound effects and the bright colorful 3-d graphics transport you to a different world. The story is professionally narrated with a choice of either a British or American storyteller. It also has a read by myself option, with text boxes that appear on the screen, the text can be enlarged by touching, or it can be hidden. There is no word highlighting as it is read. There are some fun interactive elements such as opening doors for puppets to pop up, painting and knocking things off the market stalls. The interactive elements have hints, and are not too many, so they don’t detract from the story. There are also question marks that appear on the screen and touching these gives more information about Indian food that appears in the story (and there is even a recipe for a traditional Indian dessert.) It also has a “meet the cast” section where you can find out more about the four children and Raju. It doesn’t contain any ads, social media links or in-app purchases. The recommended age for this app is 5+, which I think is about right, my five-year-olds, eight-year-old and I all enjoyed it.
Overall, I really enjoyed this interactive book. It is a lovely story about four children and their quest to see a magnificent train, and I think children will love the story just like that. However, it is also a great way for children to learn about different places and cultures and brings up many opportunities to discuss how life is different for children in India compared to their own lives. In this story they also get to see two different sides to India – the magnificence of the splendid train and the beautiful palace of the lake, in contrast to the local train, the market and the children selling pottery on street corners after school. I highly recommend it both as an entertaining story for children, and as a way to learn about other countries and cultures. The only addition I would like to see is an option for word highlighting as it is read. Hop on board the Magnificent Traveling Palace and allow yourself to be whisked off to India – I’m sure you’ll enjoy the ride.
The Amazing Train- Where the adventure comes to life-Full story book 3Dby PlaneTree Family Productions
Category: Games, Books, Educational, Family
Requirements: Compatible with iPadFourthGen4G, iPad WiFi, iPadMini4G, iPadMini, iPadThirdGen4G, iPad 2 3G, iPad 3G, iPadFourthGen, iPad 2 WiFI, iPadThirdGen
Size: 238.7 MB
Screenshots for iPad(Click to enlarge)
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NOTE: A fee was received to expedite this review to the top of our waiting list but this payment has not influenced the objectivity of the review and all opinions have been offered honestly.
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