Recently I was leaving my local Starbucks when something caught my eye. I happen to look over at the Starbucks iTunes Pick of the Week cards and noticed that they were giving away Sesame Street’s Monster at the End of this Book. As a child, The Monster at the End of this Book was one of my favorite picture books. I had my parents read it to me countless times. So when I noticed that they had made the book into an app for the App Store I got curious and decided to check it out.
This week iTuesday will be taking a break from our usual game reviews to look at The Monster at the End of this Book app. I realize for some of our usual iTuesday readers this may not be appealing – but I promise next week we will be back to game reviews. If, however, you have children/younger sibling/watch kids often then this review should be of interest to you.
The Pick of the Week download card describes The Monster at the End of this Book as an interactive page-turner and it is indeed that. It’s not just an EBook (which explains why it’s an app, and not a download in the iBookstore). For those unfamiliar with the story here’s how it goes; Grover does not want you to keep turning the pages of the book because, as the title indicates, there is a monster at the end of the book. At the end (spoiler alert – if anyone cares) you discover that the monster is Grover himself. On each page Grover pleads with you not to turn the page and tries to prevent you from doing so (for example, with a brick wall).
The app is different than its paper counterpart because you are actually able to interact with the obstacles Grover sets up. For example, when I was a kid you would reach the page with the brick wall, and then on the next page the wall would be in pieces from turning the page. In the app, children will actually be able to dismember the wall by tapping on bricks. It’s the same great story – but with an added element.
I’m no parent, but I feel like one of my concerns if I were one would be that having an app read a book to your children takes you out of the picture. Part of reading a story to children is about the bonding. The fond memories I have of my parents reading this book to me are a testament to that. The app does give suggestions on how parents can get involved. Each page has a button you can tap to give the adults ideas on how to engage the children with the story more. The settings also contain helpful information about what to do if a child’s scared – I guess just an added bonus.
The Monster at the End of this Book for iPhone/iPad is available for $3.99 via the App Store. If you have/watch small children it’s definitely worth checking out. If you’re like me and just want it for the nostalgia involved $3.99 is a little steep. I would also recommend that anyone interested check his or her local Starbucks. I believe the Pick of the Week usually starts on Tuesday, but I know often times the cards stay out longer than a week so you may be able to score one.
Final Rating: 8/10 (if you have children to enjoy it with)
CBR Break Down:
Format: iOS app
Page Count: 12
Price Bought at: Free via Starbucks promotion