Do you like the world of Cars? Do you like videogames? Do you have an iPod touch, iPhone, or iPad? Well then these new apps are for you! Disney has introduced the Cars 2 Storybook Deluxe and Cars 2 World Grand Prix Read and Race apps! Users experience the adventures of Cars 2 as they read their way through these apps, which retell the story of the movie. Both also feature exciting games and activities, as well as other surprises.
In the Storybook Deluxe app, users read through a detailed retelling of the story of Cars 2, with vivid images and animations throughout. (Be sure to tap any white flashes!) Various pages, upon tapping an icon, can be transformed into coloring pages or puzzles. There are also two games to be played at various places in the book that are highly engaging to young and old alike: “Tokyo Lights” and “Mater’s Tire Toss.”
Overall, I would give this app a 5 out of 5. It was truly enjoyable, and the story was well written and effectively captured the plot of such a great movie.
In the Read and Race app, readers explore a less detailed, though still enjoyable retelling of the story, that consists of simpler sentences that will be easier to read for newer readers. The story is also told from the perspective of a sports announcer, and images on the pages are presented with panning techniques as if they were part of a television broadcast which gives the book an interesting twist. This story is accompanied by images from the Cars 2 movie that are so realistic, it is hard to remember that they aren’t photographs of real objects, as well as a few animations. (Be sure to tap any glowing white circles!) Readers design several custom racecars as they progress through the book, which they are able to choose from and race after the story. Overall, I would give this app a 4 out of 5, only because the plot was so simplified that if the user has not yet seen the movie, they might find it a bit difficult to follow, and the pages could be somewhat difficult to turn.
These apps are both great ways to engage children in reading, or get them excited to read if they aren’t quite there yet. There are games or activities after every few pages to prevent them from getting bored quickly, and some sort of animation readers can generate or watch on almost every page. And who wouldn’t love a book about their favorite Cars 2 characters? Both apps also give the reader the choice of reading it themselves/ having someone with them read it to them, or having a narrator read to them while they follow along. Readers or their parents can even record their own voice to narrate the story. Overall, I found both apps engaging, and the games exciting even at an older age. I would highly recommend these apps.
by Erin Ryan
Cars 2 Storybook Deluxe and Cars 2 World Grand Prix Read and Race
Storybook Deluxe: iPad only
Read and Race: Compatible with iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPod touch (3rd and 4th generations), and iPad. Requires iOS 4.0 or later.
Rated E for everyone
Storybook Deluxe: 5.99 (for a limited time; originally 8.99)
Read and Race: 6.99