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Alice in New York: The Big Apple Through The Looking Glass

  • By: Atomic Antelop
  • Version: 1.0.
  • Genre: Interactive book, children’s fiction
  • Platforms: iPad Only
  • Price: 8.99
  • SAHGeekMom Rating: 4.25 Stars
  • Recommended Age:  10+

Alice in New York is the clever follow-up to App Store classic by the same company, Alice for iPad (and iPhone.)

This title is obviously not a Lewis Carroll tale, but it is an ambitious reinvention set in quasi-modern times.

This story, while clearly inspired by Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There is not so much a sequel to Wonderland as it is a mash-up.

The beloved Carroll cast of misanthropes are set in the hustle and bustle of The Big City.

While the price tag is on the high side, at $8.99, Atomic Antelope (I STILL love that name) once again delivers an e-book that is just plain fun.  And don’t get me going on the relative cost compared to book stores.

They use the iPad’s capabilities to their full advantage to bring John Tenniel’s iconic illustrations to life again (see my best books for young readers here) but this time in whole new context.

Manhattan’s grid-like layout is the this story’s contemporary equivalent of the “Looking Glass’” chessboard. And as in the classic, Alice finds herself transported into a inverted fantasy world.

Most of Carroll’s characters and even some of his text are present in this offbeat contemporary restaging.

The Tweedles, Dum and Dee, for example, drive cabs, confusingly even by New York standards. Yet they recite The Walrus and the Carpenter poem unaltered.

I had to chuckle to find [The Mad] Hatta behind bars in advance of his trial, which is, of course, in advance of his crime; and Humpty Dumpty teetering up on a crowded construction girder made me lol for real.

What sets this book apart from the crowd are the ingenious ways Atomic Antelope finds to use animations to enhance the reading experience.

27 pages are dedicated to illustrations and interactive features, and additional animations are spread liberally through the text. Here take a look:

I enjoyed the 130-some-odd pages of fiction, and think you will too, but be warned some of the writing, particularly early on is stilted.

There are moments when you can feel the author straining to recapture the dulcet Victorian cadences that lend Carroll’s work a timeless quality, but those instances seem forced.

But stick with it. Otherwise the prose is amusing and dialogue convincing enough to allow even dedicated Dodson fans immerse themselves  comfortably.

If you read the story  as an ironic modern recasting of Alice, rather than a sequel, you will be well pleased. There is a lot of humour here for readers of any age.

There is no read-aloud feature and the text is not simple, I don’t recommend this for the preschool crowd. But if you have a reader between the ages of 10 and 110 this book is a great choice on your new iPad2 or your classic iPad.

Nothing can replace Lewis Carroll’s masterworks; Alice in New York doesn’t try to.

Instead it pays a silly yet reverent tribute and brings readers on a journey that Carroll and his “nieces” would have thoroughly enjoyed

I’ll be back soon with more reviews for you, including some great educational apps so subscribe to the  blog or the RSS so you don’t miss a thing!

Here are other Stay at Home GeekMom reviews from my blog or appadvice.com to check out for more great apps for your iDevice:

Happy App Hunting

The 

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