Looking for a nifty-looking protective case for your new iPad Air? Or any other iPad, Nexus, Kindle or iPhone, for that matter? Then you might want to check out a company in San Francisco called Dodocase. According to their web site, the company prides itself on using traditional bookbinding techniques, and on manufacturing their cases locally. They have a nice selection of patterns, colors, and features, some with a distinctly Victorian or vintage feel. If you want something unique, they even offer a Build-A-Dodo feature. Granted, there are lots of less expensive iPad cases out there. But if you’re looking for something handcrafted with a touch of class (and clearly, a Carrollian sensibility–check out the sample monogram!), then it might be worth browsing the Dodocase offerings.
Are tablet computers revolutionizing the picture book? Ask me again in a hundred years. In the meantime, authors continue to explore the question by experimenting with the ever-willing, always-revolutionary Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. First to be mentioned on this site was Atomic Antelope’s ground-breaking “digital pop-up book”, then David Neal’s animation of classic illustrations. Now we have a third: an unabridged Alice illustrated with images from Renaissance art. The result sounds like it will be interesting:
To portray the colorful events and idiosyncratic characters of this book, Paletz gleans bits and pieces from Jan van Eyck, Joachim Patinir, Quentin Matsys, Hans Holbein, Sandro Botticelli, Pieter Brueghel the Elder, Hieronymus Bosch and more, combining them into his signature visual collages which dazzle the eye. Alice is a book filled with riddles, puzzles, illogical delightfulness, and brainteasers.
… Most importantly, Paletz’s layered creation will inspire thought. Readers will fall into musings such as, “What is the historical significance of dressing Fish-Footmen in French Revolution military uniforms and the king as Henry VIII?” The use of Dutch and Flemish Renaissance art extends farther than the eye can see. Paletz pulls from historical events to shape each illustration with significance.
The book is the brainchild of Emmanuel Paletz, a creative consultant for the advertising industry and also the art director for the successful cookbook Art and Cook. Read more about him and about the storybook app on the project’s website. Emmanuel is seeking financial assistance to help bring his ebook project to completion. Donations of any amount can be made on the fundraising site IndieGoGo.
If a ginger cat dressed as an English bobby going by the name of Cheshire, Jr. gave you a mystery to solve, could you say no? If the one thing the white rabbit feared above all was Alice’s embrace, would you help him evade it? If the answer to the first question is no, the answer to the second question is yes, and the answer to the question “do you enjoy playing games on your phone or tablet?” is also yes, please read on.
Mirrors of Albion from Game Insight, LLC
Mirrors of Albion looks pretty intriguing. For starters, it’s free. For the main course, it’s a hidden object quest game inspired by both Through the Looking-Glass and The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. Christine Chan in her review on AppAdvice.com has a lot of praise for the drawings and visuals and she makes the premise sound interesting too:
“Cheshire Jr. will help you in the beginning by showing you the ropes. Basically, you will navigate around the city map, and various buildings will become accessible to you as you level up and make progress through the story. The game will feature various quests and objectives, which you can access by tapping on the Quest button when there’s an exclamation mark on it.”
“Free” always comes with a hitch and it seems that your playing experience can be enhanced–or, at least, accelerated–though in-app purchases. The game can be downloaded for free from the App Store, through iTunes and Google Play, or directly through your iPhone, iPad or Android device.
A Wonderland Story from Alchemy Games
A Wonderland Story, developed by Alchemy Games, is a sliding block platform game in which you help the white rabbit to escape from “Alice’s hugs” (the horror!) to allow him to arrive on time for his date with the Queen. Harry Slater in his review on PocketGamer.co.uk explains:
Rather than controlling the rabbit, you’re in control of the terrain. Each level is made up of a series of columns of blocks and gaps, which you can slide up and down. Your bunny walks to the right automatically, and you need to clear a path for him. Stay trapped for too long and Alice will catch up. And you don’t want that to happen.
Harry concludes that, though the games suffers a little from a surfeit of good ideas, the end result is still enjoyable. A Wonderland Story can be downloaded from the Apple Store for $0.99 and is available for the iPhone or iPod, or in HD for the iPad. There’s no mention of versions for Android phones.
The British Library has a new project: high-definition images of their most precious manuscripts available for download by one and all. These eBook Treasures are viewed in a virtual “3D” environment where you can zoom in, turn pages, search content and generally do everything but smell the paper or spill your coffee on it.
This month, the featured eBook is the original handwritten manuscript of Alice’s Adventures Under Ground. Using the application you can see each page in full-screen high-definition, read a transcription or listen to a narration by Miriam Margolyes (Professor Sprout, O.B.E.). The download is free but only for the next two weeks. Go to eBook Treasures to get it for yourself.
eBook Treasure: Alice's Adventures Under Ground
The application has been developed with Armadillo Systems (not to be confused with Atomic Antelope, the developers of the revolutionary digital pop-up book of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland for the iPad). Over the next two years, 75 of the library’s most interesting or important manuscripts will be made available for download. Other titles available now include Leonardo Da Vinci’s Codex Arundel, William Blake’s Notebooks, and Geradus Mercator’s Atlas of Europe. Coming soon, the Tyndale Bible. This is the digital bibliophile’s promised land.
What’s the catch? It’s a big one. At the moment the whole kaboodle is only available for Apple devices, the iPad and iPod Touch. It’s a remarkably undemocratic move for a project designed to increase access to the treasures of a national institution, but hopefully they will find a way to expand this to the majority world of non-Mac users some day soon.
Here’s a promotional video showing the capabilities of the software. For some reason the sound isn’t working. I guess technology isn’t perfect yet.
Atomic Antelope‘s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland digital pop-up book for the iPad was not just a best selling app for the new tablet device, it was also one of the most innovative eBooks on the market. The New York Times ran an article last November complaining that, with the possibilities in the touch-screen age for cool interactive books, most of the releases were “boring.” The Alice pop-up was one of their “honorable exceptions.” It wasn’t just games or angry birds, it was actually the full Carroll text with the Tenniel illustrations that moved and danced as you played with them.
Guess what!? Atomic Antelope is back with more Alice, released this week. This time, her adventures are in the Big Apple. Judging from the illustrations, it’s their variation on Through the Looking-Glass. Alice in New York appears to also have something to do with physics. It’s available for $8.99 in the iTunes store. I’ll let the specs and screenshots speak for themselves:
You loved Alice in Wonderland. Now join her in New York! Touch, tilt and shake your iPad to bring this amazing book to life. Meet Tweedledum and Tweedledee, Humpty Dumpty, the Walrus and the Carpenter, the Lion and the Unicorn and dozens of other classic Lewis Carroll characters. This book is from the same publisher that created the blockbuster “Alice for the iPad”. as seen on the Oprah Winfrey show.
Take a tour of Manhattan with the Red Queen as your guide. Ride with Tweedledum and Tweedledee in their taxi. Meet the Frog and the Fawn. Ride an elevator through the Empire State building. Attend a fireworks party and eat oysters with the Walrus and the Carpenter. Plus lots, lots more.
Alice in New York is a groundbreaking adaptation. A special celebration of the 140th anniversary of Through the Looking Glass, first published in 1871. This incredible iPad book includes a new story and never-before-seen color illustrations that transport Alice from Sir John Tenniel’s original drawings and into modern New York.
Just a few highlights of this magical book:
• 140 years in the making!
• Explore New York for the first time with Alice
• Enjoy 136 beautiful digitally-remastered pages
• Feast on 27 fully interactive illustrations
• Be stunned by pictures that come to life as you tilt your iPad
• Based on a Lewis Carroll classic, with illustrations adapted from Sir John Tenniel
• Delight in the physics engine that responds to your touch
Leave us a comment if you have any opinions about the new app; we poor far-flung bloggers have no iPad.
This sweet fantasia on the theme of digital readers was sent to us by Adriana Peliano of the Lewis Carroll Society of Brazil. It was created by Irina Neustroeva. The embedded version below is smaller than the original upload to Vimeo.com.
There’s an article by Alice Rawsthorn in the Nov. 28th New York Times to complain about how “boring” the design for most of the new apps for the iPad have been: “On an Innovative Device, Apps Lacking Imagination.”
However! Atomic Antelope’s beautiful and creative Alice’s Adventure’s in Wonderland popup e-book is singled out as one of her “honorable exceptions,” along with a few magazine apps like The New Yorker and Wired.
As for books, children’s titles are leading the way with apps that include animated illustrations, often activated by the reader. My favorites are the fabulously surreal ones in “Alice for the iPad,” Atomic Antelope’s interactive version of Lewis Carroll’s “Alice in Wonderland,” and Oceanhouse Media’s “Dr. Seuss” apps. Kids can “play” the Dr. Seuss stories like movies — saving you from reading the same one again and again. Each word is highlighted when it is spoken on the soundtrack.
There has been less experimentation for grown-ups. Though the British publishing house Fourth Estate has produced an intriguing app based on the mathematician Marcus du Sautoy’s book “The Num8er My5teries.” Rather than replicate the book, it complements it by enabling the reader to participate in animated mathematical puzzles featuring a cartoon version of Mr. Sautoy.
The new era of online markets and digital media has of course revolutionized the ability for authors outside of the mainstream publishing industry, or new authors wondering how to break in, to put their work directly into the hands of potential audiences. A new generation of e-book readers and tablet computers (some with the android operating system to compete with Apple’s iPad) coming out this year and next will be shaking up the publishing industry. This could be seen as good news for many Lewis Carroll-inspired authors!
Twas brillig, and Albert finds himself dealing with slithy toves, mome raths, borogoves, and a girl named Alice. The only way that Albert can get home is by slaying the jabberwock and getting into the cave of a snark, which is, unfortunately, a boojum. Wonderland was never so much fun or so dangerous.
It looks charming and also has a character named Floyd-Bob. It’s only available right now as an e-book on Amazon Kindle for $3.99.
We also found a new novel on Amazon with the amusing title Straight Out Of Lewis Carroll’s Trash Can: A Jonathan Tollhausler Adventure, probably self-published because “Spielplatz Novelties” doesn’t appear to exist anywhere else. The author, Michael J. Rumpf, is described as “probably a real person who always loved books, and it was after reading some really great writers [...] that he was inspired to write a book as well.”
Miniville, makers of “tiny apps for tiny hands,” have re-released their Alice in Wonderland interactive storybook application for iPhone/iPod/iPad. This completely revamped version features new artwork, new audio, and new ways for children to interact with the abbreviated and adapted story.
You can download a free version that includes some advertising, or an ad-free premium version for $0.99. Even better, John Jumper, the app’s developer, has kindly offered five free copies of the premium edition to Lewis Carroll Society members. We will send the promotional code to the first five people who email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For those of you who are just curious to see another example of this one possible future of children’s books, John Jumper has created a demo video on YouTube.
There’s more discussion on the Alice pop-up book app for the iPad (originally mentioned here in the post Through the LED Screen). The Atomic Antelope app ($9, or a free demo) is the original Carroll text with interactive animated illustrations based on Tenniel. Mathematician Marcus du Sautoy is ruminating on all of this over at the Guardian this week.
…But this is nothing compared to Alice for the iPad. You can throw tarts at the Queen of Hearts, help the Caterpillar smoke his hookah pipe, make Alice grow as big as a house and then shrink again. You can watch as “the Mad Hatter gets even madder”, and throw pepper at the Duchess. Over the 52 pages of the app there are 20 animated scenes. Each illustration has been taken from the original book and has been made gravity-aware, responding to a shake, tilt or the touch of a finger. The story is never the same twice, because users are Alice’s guide through Wonderland. The Caterpillar will smoke his hookah in a new way when you tilt your iPad, or you can throw more pepper the second time around.