Friday, July 1, 2011

The Crankamacallit: A Review of Mimi Cross’s New Interactive iPad Story App

The Crankamacallit.  Say that three times fast and let the syllables tickle your tongue.  The title’s probably already got you smiling inside and out.  With such an intriguing name, you know that lots more giggles are sure to follow in this hilarious interactive iPad App. 
Dr. Seuss couldn’t have penned a more aptly fitting title for such a high-tech tale.  The Crankamacallit is the story of a crazy gadget that piques the curiosity of kids of all ages.  The magical twist to this highly amusing tale is that Mimi Cross, the creative author, has chosen the perfect technology medium to showcase her true visual and literary work of art.  
Displayed on the iPad, the story comes to life and becomes a virtual playground for both children and adults.  Mimi Cross’s creation is clearly a beacon for the future of children’s writing.  A story written in beautiful rhyme with  Polymash created images, The Crankamacallit turns your iPad into a field of recreation with flying balloons, turning cranks, pushing levers, and lots of fun swirly-ma-gigs.
The story-teller’s voice matches the excitement of the App perfectly.  When I first experienced the magic of The Crankamacallit I squealed like a child and couldn’t help laughing out loud at the humorous portrayals of this new gadget.  No picture book could ever let a child explore a characters’ workshop at his or her own pace the way The Crankamacallit does.  In something akin to a technology-bound pop-up book, the surprise that each “page” elicits in this story is compounded by the hands-on approach that the iPad allows.
One of my favorite parts of the App comes early on when navigating through The Crankamacallit creator’s workshop.  One click on the radio image and the user can listen to what the character is listening to!  Lo and behold the lively notes that come out of the radio are none other than the author’s recording of “Alligator Waiter.”  An original song written and sung by Mimi Cross that my own children love and have sung incessantly since the first time they’ve heard it.
Sincere congratulations are definitely in order for the author of this creative tale and for the voice behind the story and the image creators as well.  Bringing a story to life for children has never been done more effectively.  The Crankamacallit truly encompasses the childhood spirit of discovery and adventure and immerses the user in the world of the story more completely than any print form ever could.  Now, if only I could build myself a real life Crankamacallit to help get things done, I’d be an even happier reader!  

Don't have an iPad & want a peek at The Crankamacallit?

http://www.polymash.com/2011/06/crankamacallit-demo-reel

OR: Author interview and demo reel halfway down the page at
http://www.polymash.com/crankamacallit
          --Suzy Ismail

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