Cars 2 Storybook Deluxe is an iPad eBook app that brings the recently released movie to the iPad in storybook form. The publishers describe it as a
supercharged children’s book app filled with vibrant art, professional narration, exciting music and sound effects, plus A-list celebrity voices from the film.
My daughter (Zoe) and I are big fans of iPad eBooks and she also loved the first Cars movie – so this one had instant appeal for us and I felt sure it would be a hit with Zoe. Sadly, that has not ended up being true. It’s been a very disappointing app for both of us. Hit the break for reasons why …
Here’s the plot summary from the App Store page for Cars 2 Storybook Deluxe:
In this high-octane installment of the Cars’ saga, international superstar Lightning McQueen zooms back into action with his best friend Mater by his side. As the fastest race cars from around the globe rev up for three thrilling races in the World Grand Prix, Mater and Lightning quickly find themselves caught up in a world of intrigue, secret agents and fast-paced escapades.
The app offers a pretty standard set of features for an iPad eBook title, including:
— The ability to listen to the story read to you or to browse through it and read it your child or have them read it to you.
— Record your own voice reading the story.
— A couple of games – the Tokyo Lights memory game and Mater’s Tire Toss.
— A few coloring and puzzle pages that are accessible via icons on some of the pages that they relate to or via a popover nav and contents bar.
— The voices used in the narration are very good, and fun to hear if you’re a fan of the movie series.
— The illustrations are impressive and realistic too, very much as you’d expect if you’ve watched the movies.
— There are very few interactive elements on the pages. There are a small number scattered throughout the pages, but the majority of pages have none at all. Even where there is an area that can be tapped on to generate an effect, the results are not impressive. All in all, there are far fewer interactive elements than in many other iPad eBook titles aimed at kids, and those that are present are nowhere near as compelling or fun as in other apps of this type.
— There’s not even much animation in the pages – it’s mostly just static images and some unexciting little bits of animation on a few pages.
— You can’t swipe between pages; you have to tap on left and right arrows to move through the story. For readers like Zoe and I , who have enjoyed a number of eBook apps, this means a lot of wasted effort trying to swipe to turn pages, as we’re used to it being a near-standard in these sort of apps.
Cars 2 Storybook Deluxe is a disappointing and poor effort. It’s quite surprising to see the Disney Publishing name on such a lackluster title. It really has no magic or charm to it.
My experience is that – much like with pop-up printed books – interactive bits on pages are always among the favorite parts of these apps for kids. The dearth of them in this app makes it a nearly instant disappointment. And it doesn’t get any better as you get all the way through it.
Here’s an App Store link for Cars 2 Storybook Deluxe; it is steeply priced at $5.99.
Disclosure: This app was independently purchased by the post author in the iPad App Store. For further information regarding our site’s review policies, please see the "About" page.