This is a beautiful adaptation of the John Lewis advert we have all become familiar with over Christmas. It is also a shining example of how digital books should look. This has set the benchmark for publishers to learn, accomplish and then improve further.
The opening menu features Lily Allen’s haunting vocals in Somewhere Only We Know that instantly comforts your ears, making you jump straight into the story’s atmosphere. You are further immersed with the woodland background noise where birds are chirping and the whistling wind. The simple, yet beautiful, animation brings a joyous feel to the story as you collect various fruits for the Christmas tree and every animal is interactive on the page.
It is a story to explore as art techniques such as the page slowly splitting into three segments to reduce constant swiping of the page. The story is enhanced through little games such as touching snowflakes in sequence to reveal Hare wrapping Bear’s present and leaving it at his house, something that could be tedious for the story. It’s simplicity is it’s unique selling point as Nosy Crow is well aware of.
The words are read aloud so that the story still remains centre stage amongst all the beauty of this digital world. Accompanied with games at the end to keep the story in mind once you’ve finished alongside a simple menu, which is dropped down from the Christmas tree in the corner. Everything that could distract you from the story is countered so that it does not.
The small flaw, and it is small, is that the swiping of the page like a book is not always smooth. However, this is the only thing I can criticise.
The Bear Who Had Never Seen Christmas is a beautiful story that has been carefully managed into creating magical digital book – one that adults and children alike will be eclipsed by – it has even led onto further merchandise. It may be a little while before we see an interactive e-book as charming, sincere and beautiful. So enjoy it while the publishing business catches up.