'Alice' app for iPad points the way toward a new generation of pop-up books

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The Independent Culture

Released on April 12, the Alice for the iPad application by Atomic Antelope is generating enthusiasm for its highly dynamic content that reviewers say sets the bar for interactive e-books on the tablet computer.

Alice for the iPad includes 52 pages and 20 animated scenes using illustrations from Lewis Carroll's original Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. The app makes extensive use of the iPad tilt controls to allow users to physically engage in the story: throw tarts at the Queen of Hearts, help the caterpillar smoke his pipe, make Alice grow and shrink. In other scenes, users can shake the device and watch as "the Mad Hatter gets even madder," throw pepper at the Duchess, swing the White Rabbit's pocket watch, and make the Pool of Tears slosh back and forth.

As a public domain title with vivid original illustrations, Alice in Wonderland has spurred a number of apps for the iPhone and iPad, including a mixed-media offering from Vook. The Atomic Antelope app, however, is being singled out among e-book apps - Alice or otherwise - for its unique approach to interactivity.

A video clip depicting some of app's features, posted April 12, has garnered more than 22,000 views on YouTube. Among reviews of the app, Ipadmodo calls it "clearly one of the must buy apps for the iPad platform," while Mashable says it "Shows Why E-Books Are Cool," and Gizmodo calls it "The Cleverest iPad Book Yet.... For the first time in my life, I'm blown away by an interactive book design."

Alice for the iPad is available in a free "lite" version or in a full version for $8.99.