Illustrations have a warm, cozy, old-fashioned feel, carols set the mood, interactive elements are fun and in keeping with the story, word highlighting, ability to customize and record your own narration.
What we’d love to see…
Ability to switch back and forth between different narrations easily.
Overall, if you are looking for a nice traditional version of ’Twas The Night Before Christmas , with fun interactive elements, seasonal music and sound effects this is well worth downloading. I like the ability to customize the book and to record your own narration and that you get it both as a stand alone book and in the bookshelf app.
‘Twas The Night Before Christmas – A Blackfish Children’s Bedtime Story is a Universal app from Customizabooks LLC. Customizabooks just released Blackfish Children’s books, which is the only bookstore that connects with both standalone apps and internally downloaded apps. This means you can buy this once and enjoy it both as a standalone book app and in the Blackfish Bookstore app. All of the Blackfish Children’s books are designed to be very customizable so you can change them to suit your child. In read to me mode the story is narrated by a professional narrator, with word highlighting as it is read, you can also record your own narration (no word highlighting).
This is the classic Clement Moore poem about Santa’s Christmas visit. It is told over 12 pages, with bright cheerful illustrations and Christmas carols playing in the background. The illustrations have a warm, cozy, old-fashioned feel about them that fits nicely with the story. On each page there is one hidden item which moves when you touch it. The interactive elements are in keeping with the story e.g. curtains that open, santa’s sleigh flying across the sky, and stockings swinging by the fire. The Christmas carols playing in the background and the sound effects set the mood nicely.
On the final page of the story the reader can touch a button to find out how many of the 14 interactive elements they have found, and get hints on where to find them. There is also a “more books” button which leads to your library in the Blackfish Bookstore, another section of the bookstore does have more books to purchase when eventually leads to iTunes, this does take several steps to get to but it would be nice to have it childproofed. The Blackfish Children’s bookstore app is also well worth exploring and currently does have some free books you can download too.
You can customize this book app by switching the music off/on and adjusting its volume, turning sound effects off/on and adjusting their volume, and switching narration off/on and adjusting its volume. You can also record your own narration. Once you have recorded your narration it becomes the default narration for the story, but you have the option of deleting it and going back to the original narration. I liked the customization features, when I recorded my own narration I was more softly spoken than the original narrator, and I was able to compensate for this by turning up the narration volume and down the music and sound effects, to create a good balance. One thing I would like to see in a future update is the ability to store both your own and the original narration so you can switch back and forth quickly (instead of having to erase and re-record)
Overall, if you are looking for a nice traditional version of ’Twas The Night Before Christmas, illustrations with a warm, cozy feel, fun interactive elements, seasonal music and sound effects this is well worth downloading. I like the ability to customize the book and to record your own narration. I also like that you can choose to have it as either a stand alone book or in the bookshelf app (without having to buy it twice) and that the two link up seamlessly. I would also recommend checking out the Blackfish children’s Bookstore app and downloading the free books to check them out.
Twas The Night Before Christmas - A Blackfish (Bedtime Lite Apps Customizable Kids Free Interactive Stories HD) Children's Book
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.
Blackfish Apps is giving away 2 prize packs to fans of The iMums – each contains all 6 of their paid book apps – including Sunbelievable, Ruby Lee, Yesterday We Had a Hurricane, Twas The Night Before Christmas, Oh! Christmas Tree, and Santa’s Toy Bag. This giveaway is open to everyone, worldwide, and an iTunes account is required to claim the prize. Good luck! Giveaway runs 12/15- 12/21. You can find more information here
Mary is originally from England but now lives in California with her husband, dog, cat and three children. Mary and her family love Apple products and own an iPad2, iPad3, iPad Mini, iTouch, iPhone5 and several MacBook Pros. They also love cub scouts, skiing, camping and hiking. The family iPads are also used for therapy for their daughters Apraxia (speech disorder).