Charlie Brown Christmas delightful on iPad

Spoiler alert! It takes a lot to improve on a classic, but the Charlie Brown Christmas Interactive Book for iPad does a great job. If the book isn’t an improvement, it certainly enhances the experience of this long loved modern broadcast.


Let’s be honest. A lot of so-called Christmas Classics are crap.No, I’m not being Scrooge. I love the original Christmas Carol, whether in book or in gorgeous black and white. 1 I still love Miracle on 34th Street, Christmas Story complete with the Red Rider BB gun my mother never let my dad give me, every Doctor Who Christmas special (except, maybe for the Titanic Christmas), even Christmas in Connecticut and The Shop Around the Corner. Not to mention the real classics, Die Hard and Lethal Weapon.No, the crap classics I refer to are all those commercial Christmas classics with cheesy animation on network TV, and other send ups to toys and greed such as The Polar Express. The claymation almost always sucks, and even the 3D CGI can be cold and heartless. Surprisingly, one of those TV specials actually continues to appeal.Every time I think Peanuts is just a strip I liked as a kid (mainly because the “classic Peanuts” syndicated episodes remind me more of the strip’s “New Coke” years when Schultz was looking forward to retirement), I stumble across some of the truly remarkable work from Schultz’ repertoire. A Charlie Brown Christmas is one of those.I wasn’t surprised when I found the interactive iPad version featured in the App Store, nor was I surprised at the $6.99 price. Licensing fees always drive up app costs. I was surprised at how well Loudcrow Interactive translated the show into an iPad app.

You can follow the story line at the bottom or toggle cartoon balloons. Each page toggles a new activity.

I originally planned to post this next week to launch the Christmas reviews, but publishers Loudcrow released an upgrade that includes a special twelve days of Christmas decorations giveaway starting next week (Dec. 13). This may or may not have been Ellen inspired. I wanted to give readers and early thumbs up so they wouldn’t miss a few days of the additional fun because my schedule had this slated for later in the month.Too many interactive interpretations of classics have been fairly tiresome. I never found the Doctor Seuss iPad books to merit review, even though I love everything he’s written. Loudcrow did a very good job of making the book fun for children and even for less jaded adults (even the ones, like me, who do our best to be jaded).Charlie Brown Christmas delivers a delightful interactive experience without going over the top. Every page delivers a new experience, although this wasn’t as difficult as other books since it’s only 17 pages. Still, 17 pages is actually a good length for an interactive project. Longer books can get wearying quickly.Most readers know the story by now. Charlie Brown picks out the scrawniest tree in the lot for the Christmas pageant. As usual, Lucy and the gang make fun of him for his less than spectacular choice because they don’t understand the meaning of Christmas themselves.

One of the activities allows readers to play the Linus and Lucy theme on a piano. They can follow the dots on the scoreboard.

Readers can catch snowflakes and turn stars into shooting stars. They can help Snoopy decorate his doghouse for the neighborhood Christmas lights and display contest. Skaters skate across the ice at the reader’s direction and can even play the Linus and Lucy theme on the piano while the characters dance.Even after readers finish the book the fun continues. They can decorate their own Christmas tree by unlocking clues to find ornaments. Kids too young to read can have the story read to them, and kids learning to read can touch words in the text to hear it repeated. Or you can read to your kids as they play, which is way cooler.Kids can also purchase additional decoration packs for $1 (or the entire four-pack set for $2), provided they have your permission, of course. Loudcrow also included a free director’s cut upgrade in the book’s store. The upgrade includes four additional scenes, including a snow ball can toss.

Readers can earn decorations for the neighborhood decorating contest by completing different activities on each page. They can find hints to unlock activities at the back of the book. During the twelve days before Christmas, they will also give away additional decorations.

Charlie Brown Christmas may be pricey, but it’s one of the better interactive books out there and it’s perfect for Christmas.

Jenny Manytoes rates Charlie Brown Christmas

Jenny Manytoes would make biscuits all over Charlie Brown Christmas. The developers clearly designed it for kids, but when they go to bed, you’ll probably enjoy it too.


1Although not necessarily the gradrillions of remakes, including Jim Carey Scrooge in 3D. The same goes for It’s a Wonderful Life. By the time it made it’s way through at least a dozen TV knockoffs and episodes of shows such as Supernatural and into the seventh season of Smallville with Lex Luthor standing in for Mr. Potter, the message had been watered down to: recycle old plots when the network wants to cut the writing budget or inspiration fails. back

The Jenny Manytoes Rating System

Jenny Manytoes, our polydactyl cat
  • When Jenny makes biscuits on a product she thinks she’s in heaven.
  • When Jenny purrs over a product she’s very happy.
  • When Jenny naps next to a product it’s okay with her.
  • When Jenny bunches her tail she can live with a product, but she has higher expectations.
  • When Jenny leaves it in the litter box….I don’t think I need to explain this one.
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About Phillip T Stephens

Phillip T. Stephens disappeared into the Bermuda Triangle twenty years before he was born, creating a time travel paradox so confusing it remains unspoken between physicists and sci-fi writers to this day. Follow @stephens_pt
This entry was posted in 5 Stars + Best Buy, Entertainment, Interactive, Reading and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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