Bottom Line: Kids can have their own face in the story with three different expressions. Well-done, fun and full of energy but there are some issues, including a way to get to Facebook on every page.
it's me, Peter Pan (non-capitalization intentional) is an iPad incarnation of the classic J.M. Barrie character who first appeared in the 1902 novel The Little White Bird. Did you know that the character of Peter Pan was at least partially based on Barrie's older brother, who died in an ice-skating accident when he was 13? Thus, Peter Pan is the boy who never grew old.
Wonderful thing, the internet.
* The key feature of it's me, Peter Pan is that three pictures can be taken of a child (or an adult the child would like to star in the story, which is a lot of fun): happy, surprised and angry. Those images are then used as Peter Pan's face in the traditional story.
There are several apps that use photos as the face for characters, but I haven't seen one that captures different expressions like this app, and it works really well. Peter Pan's expression even changes on individual pages as things happen in the story. I did my three expressions, horn-rimmed glasses and all, and my kids had a ball watching me as the main character.
(My son Ethan stars in the pictures and videos presented here.)
* The app is FULL of energy. It has a great soundtrack; the narration is good and it's funny.
* Many of the interactions are excellent. There is one where Tinker Bell sprinkles pixie dust on Wendy, John and Michael so they can fly and then all the characters bounce around the screen. What's here is well beyond touch-to-make-this-move animations.
* There is a record option for parents/kids to record their own voices. I appreciate the inclusion of that feature as a potential teacher/parent/grandparent customization or for kids to record their own voices. It reminds me of when my grandmother made cassette tapes for me to listen to when my family was driving home from her house (so I wouldn't cry.)
* Some of the pages include a question mark button that displays where the animations are. I like having this option in an app for younger kids or kids that may need help knowing where or what to press. I'm not sure why it's not on all the pages.
* The app is free but requires a $3.99 in-app purchase to finish the story. I'd rather have it cost $3.99 than have kids get half-way through the story and have to bug their parents to finish it.
* The words are not highlighted when read or read when touched.
* There are a few improper capitalizations, such as "Teddy" and "Crocodile."
* The word "hate" is used a lot in the story, as in "I hate you Captain Hook!" I'm just not a fan of that word in kids' apps.
* Lily is still referred to as an Indian. It's been more than 500 years since Columbus made that geographical error so I think we've had enough time to work that out. Native American, American Indian or no designation of her heritage whatsoever would be fine. She could just be "Lily."
* There is a camera button on each screen that can be pressed to take a snapshot and then a popup window is displayed that allows the photo to be shared via email or on Facebook. There are also Facebook buttons on the title and info pages. Developers HAVE GOT to get over this Facebook obsession. Facebook is for 13 years and up so the only appropriate possibility here is an adult sharing the image to their FB page which, quite frankly, isn't going to happen. And, if they do want to do that, they can save it to the device and share it from there.
Despite those issues, this is a good, fun app. I'm going with three-and-a-half stars for now, but with a few things cleaned up, it could be a Top Pick.
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This review was written by Ron Engel, who once had a teacher who referred to him as Peter Pan because of the fierce attachment he had to his childhood. smartappsforkids.com was paid a priority-review fee to complete this review in an expedited manner.