Grendel’s Great Escape
Review & Appy Chat
Developer: Blues Sandpiper Imprints
iPad 2 or Higher – It’s Show and Tell day, but Martin can’t find his pet ferret, Grendel, anywhere! Help Martin as he races to get dressed and get to school on time. Discover hidden sounds and actions while Martin and his friends explore the school in search of Grendel. But watch out for Mr. B, the grizzly principal who stalks the halls!
This interactive book app includes:
-An engaging and relatable story
-Fun and interactive animation and sound
-Read to Me or Read by Myself settings, perfect for a range of young readers
-Beautiful illustrations by a professional children’s book illustrator
-Original music score and sound effects by an award-winning composer
Visit Martin and Grendel at our website to watch trailers for the app and more! http://www.bluesandpiper.com
Grendel’s Great Escape is a cute interactive storybook app telling the story of a kid named Martin trying to find his escaped ferret Grendel in school. Martin brings Grendel to school to share with his class during Show and Tell. Grendel escapes from Martin’s leash and bag. So the story is mainly the adventure that Martin and his friends go on throughout the entire school in order to find Grendel before the principal Mr. B finds it.
Grendel’s Great Escape has nice illustrations, cute sound effects, and plenty of interactive elements to check out. The interactive elements reveal hidden animations and sound effects for the reader to discover as they follow along. Also, this app contains a table of contents to be able to go to wherever they left off or back to their favorite page(s.)To help children follow along with this funny adventure story, the sentences are highlighted. As the narrator reads the story, the sentences are individually highlighted to help children follow along with the story. And you have a choice of “Read to Me” or “Read by Myself.” (Reviewed by Christie Dwyer)
When did you decide to develop this app?
I had my manuscript ready for self publishing and played around with the idea of an e-book but realized it wouldn’t have enough interaction, I realized that Apps were the way to go but the problem was that I had no idea where to start. I decided to develop this App in January ’12 after seeing a Skype interview of Karen Robertson on Children’s book Insider describing the process of making her book into an App.
When did you first release this app?
Grendel’s Great Escape was released on December 13th 2012
How long did it take you to develop this app?
This app has been eight to nine months in the making.
A large portion of the time has taken up creating the illustrations and animation, the reason being that I had to switch illustrators mid way & start over from scratch. The music composition, downloading sound effects & finding the perfect voice artist for narration took a month. The App development portion took two months. There are always un-foreseen time delays & hiccups so being flexible and having patience is key to get everything done correctly.
What was your inspiration for this App?
It was inspired by one of the misadventures of my oldest son who lives with ADHD, his creativity, imagination & energy makes everyday an adventure. Much like the main character, he was always putting things off for later such as cleaning his room, tackling the laundry monster and leashing his pet. It’s funny take on dealing with the ramifications of procrastination but with a few surprises. In this app, kids will join Martin in his race against time to find his pet Ferret Grendel while avoiding the grizzly School Principal.
What is your favourite feature?
My favorite feature is the Read to me/ Read by myself option, this allows a child to go at their own pace. The Narrator does a wonderful job in a clear voice which will help the user to follow along to the highlighted words.
What is your favourite page in the app?
My favorite page is the Cafeteria scene, Grendel runs by with the lunch lady & her broom in tow.
I never get tired of hearing kids laugh as they touch the mustard & ketchup bottle and seeing the contents splash across the page.
What skills were you hoping to help the end user to develop?
My main goal is to encourage children to be interested in reading voluntarily. The animation and touch interactions and sound sprites keeps them engaged while they read.
What age range would this app most suit?
This App is best suited for elementary school children that are four to eight years of age.
What sort of feedback has your app been receiving so far?
Grendel’s Great Escape has been receiving favorable reviews so far both by App review sites and users. One suggestion to enhance it would be to include a game. Due to the current size of the App I wouldn’t be able to add one in at this stage. I’ve also had requests for other formats besides iPad, It will be available later this month on Nook, Kindle Fire & Android tablets
What advice would you give to anyone considering creating their own app?
Overall It’s been a great experience for me, even with the setbacks. I recommend doing all your research upfront and plan out all aspects of the development before tackling this project. If in doubt about any aspect of the process, consult an expert. There are many groups on Linkedin and Facebook with developers that are happy to give advise.
Updated: 8 January, 2013
Requirements: Compatible with iPad. Requires iOS 4.0 or later.