PopOut! The Tale of Peter Rabbit (US$4.99) is the first of what will be a series of PopOut! books published by Loud Crow Interactive Inc. It tells the well-loved tale of naughty Peter Rabbit getting into Mr. McGregor's garden, eating his fill of all the yummy vegetables, and when he's discovered, escaping back to his family. Many of us have a warm place in our hearts for this story, having enjoyed it as children. It's an old story, dating back to 1902. The app is similar to the wonderful Alice for the iPad in both the old world look and feel and in the sheer elegance of execution.
The pages look like they were printed on old parchment, and the Beatrix Potter watercolor illustrations are both intact and improved. On most of the pages, the backgrounds, when tilting your iOS device, come alive and move. Most of them were created on two or three planes that move at different times, creating a multi-plane illusion of depth that is both gentle and effective. Most everything you touch moves, revealing hidden objects while appropriate sound effects play. A lovely touch is that the interaction often varies. For example, tapping on a bush drops a large blackberry but subsequent taps only produce berries intermittently. Tilting the device allows the berries to "roll" onto the next page, and tapping a berry itself squashes it.
Similarly, on a page with leaves, every few taps brings up a different leaf that moves. This is all done to the perfectly chosen strains of Claire de Lune by Debussy. Options are given to have the book read by a wonderfully expressive and appropriately British female voice, or you can read it yourself, keeping the music and sound effects intact. When having it read, each spoken word is highlighted for young readers. Either way, tapping on a word speaks the word; that's a nice feature that more and more interactive books have adopted.