As I am focusing on Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll for my story and looking at the difference in the illustrations for each of my chosen mediums, I have downloaded the ebook version which is called Alice for the iPad. This is my first experience of an interactive book, and so the only opinion that I have on them so far is that I personally prefer print books because of the physicality and the feel of the pages in your hands. I am open to the idea of ebooks, but have not yet experienced one.
My first impression of the ebook is that it has the same layout of a print book, with a cover, and contents and numbers on pages. The first thing that I come across is the coverage, of which there are two; one when initially open the app for the first time, which presents me with this:
I then tap the right arrow on this page, and that takes me to the title page.
The first thing that I have noticed with these, is that they have the classic, most famously known illustrations by John Tenniel, and they are coloured with slightly dull colours as to make the book appear old. To navigate to the next page, you simply press the right or left arrows, or the small image of the cheshire cat to go to the contents page.
When looking at the contents page, it has the same layout as a normal book, and is set out in chapters with the numbers in roman numerals. You can press the right arrow from here to read the story from the beginning, or you can tap the cheshire cat to skip pages or chapters, which would be useful tool to carry on from where you stopped reading. These two screens are presented in this way:
When reading the story, the pages are in the same layout as a paperback book, and it is illustrated in the same way that the paperback version is presented, it also has the same use of colour within the illustrations as the book. After turning the page, I start to realise how the book becomes interactive when I notice that the pocket watch is moving across the page as though it is swinging from the type. This is when I notice that the pocket watch can be moved by me touching it and physically moving it around.
After reading through a couple of pages, I start to see that these interactive illustrations are on every few pages. I find myself playing with the illustrations and especially feeling like I am engaged as part of the story. Something that I have noticed is also that the illustrations, even though they are still in the classic style, have converged into the digital worlds, and I can arrange certain images, for example, I have control over whether Alice grows or shrinks by touching the image and moving my finger up and down the screen.
The book has contasting pages, in the way that some of the pages only have text, some have text and illustrations, some have text and interactive illustrations, and others have just interactive pages with no text, and this is something which I think works really well, because you become so engaged in some text pages that you do not need illustrations, and on others the illustrations make up for where they have been missing. For example the page below on the right has only interactive illustration imagery, where you can move both Alice and the rat around the background image.
Some pages move on their own, and use the iPad tilt functionality, and you can use this feature to throw Alices comfit sweets to the prize winners. There are also moving pages, which the user has no control over, and the illustrations move completely on their own in a set way.
These are more images which show how interactivity is used within this book. I am impressed with how much you can range some images on certain pages, but on other pages, the interactivity is very limited, and so can get a little boring in my personal opinion. As the interactivity is used all though the same way and is similar, you cannot have that much of an input with them, so some of the pages seem to become the same, and it becomes like reading just pages.
My experience of Alice for the iPad is that it is fun to read when you first see the interactivity, but after a while, you begin to realise that it is the same ways of interactivity throughout the book and it starts to take away from the enjoyment of reading the book after a while. For example, the tilt functionality on some of the pages got in the way of the text, and so you couldn’t read it properly and I found this quite frustrating after a while.
Overall, I think that the interactivity of this book specifically is something which I probably would not prefer over reading a printed copy, because in a way, I found certain parts more boring than fun because I knew how it worked and what to expect of all of the interactivity functions after reading the first two chapters. A child would probably got more enjoyment from this than myself because they can feel as though they are part of it and this would probably then spark even more of an imagination, but for me, I preferred the print version.