Nosy Crow has been entertaining kids with their playful digital updates of classic fairy tales— and have consistently made our Top 10 Apps of the Year lists—for a while. Recently the developer released The Complete Fairytale Theater. For more on this app, read Cathy Potter’s review below and take a peek at the trailer. Did we mention there is a free “lite” version?
Fans of Nosy Crow can now create stories featuring the developer’s characters with The Complete Fairytale Play Theater (iOS, $4.99; Free, PreS-Gr 4). After selecting one of the six stories from the list of tales the company has produced (Goldilocks and Little Bear, Snow White, Jack and the Beanstalk, Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, or The Three Little Pigs), children choose a setting from a menu bar.
The 10 settings include a castle, cottages, a beanstalk, and a forest, among others; all are illustrated in vibrant colors. To add figures, viewers tap and drag from the developer’s cast of cartoon characters. Mixing and matching figures and creatures from different stories is possible, allowing kids to create fractured fairytales. An array of props provide story accessories, and 11 options for background music set the mood. The app is easy to navigate (preschoolers shouldn’t have a problem), but short tutorials on setting the stage, moving the camera, recording and playing, etc., are available.
Once the scene, characters, and music have been selected, children may choose to narrate and record the story, moving the characters about as they do so. In the finished product, the characters’ mouths move to the recorded words, providing a cinematic feel to the tale. Older children may want to add multiple scenes to create more complex stories. Completed tales are saved within the app, but currently there is no way to share the stories outside the environment.
The Complete Fairytale Play Theater is a superb storytelling tool that encourages children to express themselves, and it’s likely to draw repeat visits from children who love to create, imagine, and perform.–Cathy Potter, Falmouth Elementary School, Falmouth, ME