11 October 2017

REVIEW: The Boy with his Head Stuck in a Book

The modern pop-up book.

A while back we reviewed a small board book called The Adventure Suit. This little children's story book was just a few pages in length but could be brought to life by way of the Zappar augmented reality app. Point your phone at each page of the book, and the main character moved, made sounds, and even flew around. We loved it, and so are happy to see that Zappar have brought out another, larger, kids' book, The Boy with his Head Stuck in a Book.

This time the book is larger, both in size and pagination. Unlike The Adventure Suit, The Boy with his Head Stuck in a Book uses paper for each page, not thick card, but the reduction in toughness is reflected in the fact that this is clearly aimed at older kids. It tells the story of a young boy who has become bored with reading, but when he gets his head trapped in a magical book, he is taken on all manner of exciting adventures through other famous literary worlds.

Hold the Zappar app over each of the pages as you turn to them, and the pictures will spring into 3D versions of their flat selves. There is movement, sounds, music, and as you turn and rotate your phone, you see that the graphics are beautifully rendered on all sides.

Delving into the idea behind the book, it seems that younger boys are less inclined to read than girls. Apparently boys have a greater interest in a book if there is some kind of technological element, so The Boy with his Head Stuck in a Book, a book which blends conventional story-telling with digital mixed-media, should do the trick.

Speaking of technological elements, the Zappar app works just as speedily as it did for the previous book. Holding the camera over the page will activate the animation in no more than a second or so. Having it do so means it should be a frustration-free read for kids of all ages. However, it is still very much a poetically-written story book, so if you or your child fancy reading it 'old skool' fashion, you can, app-free.

The Boy with his Head Stuck in a Book is fun, well-written, and seemingly a great way to get kids, be they girls or boys, into reading. We like it a lot.


Available from www.amazon.co.uk

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