Treasure Island - A Space Dog BookSpring 2012 Mobile Apps
Treasure Island - A Space Dog Book is an abridged telling of the original Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson, enhanced for the iPad with visually appealing, interactive illustrations, music, and sound effects. The abridgement is not a simplification. Rather, the vocabulary is every bit as challenging as it is in the full version, so the writing maintains the same feel as the complete edition. Most readers younger than twelve would find the book out of reach. It takes a competent reader to make progress even in this edition.
The e-book feels very much like Apple's native iBooks in its page handling and bookmarking functionality. Full-color, semi-animated illustrations, are available on about every third page. At times, these engaging illustrations served as much as a distraction as an enhancement. My 10-year-old son, in fact, skipped over the text entirely in the interest of finding and playing with the next illustration, and when he ran out of illustrations, he abandoned the book entirely. Again, even though the book is abridged, it iss still a challenging read.
The Space Dog approach to this book is going to work for a specific range of readers: those of the right age, reading level, and reading interest who find a talking illustration a welcome pause rather than an intrusion. The skill and style used to create this app are commendable, and it might be just the thing to hook a reluctant reader.