Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

A Charlie Brown Christmas

A Charlie Brown Christmas

Fall 2012 Mobile Apps
Ages: 4 & Up
Contributions From: Jon Spencer
Contributions From: Mike Truong
Developer: Calvin Wang
Director: Sung Hong
Download Price: $6.99
Platform: iPad

This app transforms the Charlie Brown Christmas cartoon into a delightful interactive experience. It is primarily a storybook in which the characters read the text to the audience. There are a few places where the child can touch and interact with the screen, usually to cause a small effect like turning on a light, popping a snowflake, or making the character move slightly. These do not distract from the classic storyline, but instead actively engage children with it. At the middle of the story, for example, children can play Schroeder’s piano. Indicators on the keys prompt children to play along with the song “Linus and Lucy.” After the song is complete, children can “play around” on the piano keys, something that our kid testers really enjoyed. The story is clear and engaging, especially if your children already know and like the Charlie Brown characters, and the Christmas story in particular.

There are great lessons in this app, as there are in the story, about feelings, consumerism, and the real meaning of Christmas. Those lessons will make good conversation starters with parents or older siblings. It is unlikely that young children will fully understand the story without interaction of an adult, but it is an engaging story for both parents and children alike regardless. Our evaluators’ only complaint was that the collectible ornaments scattered throughout the story sometimes fell on top of the words while they were being read. These ornaments were the only element that tended to distract readers from the story.

Alexis Lauricella   ©2012 Parents' Choice

Look for this product at:
Loud Crow Interactive Inc.
Available on iTunes

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