Bartleby’s Book of Buttons pops out pleasure and puzzles

Spoiler alert! Bartleby’s Book of Buttons should keep your kids reading for hours, even if they can read for themselves. The puzzles challenge even the brightest minds and should take several reads to find every reward. Best Buy.


After your children have trashed every present, wrecked the living room by crashing their flying toys into the trees and every loose object, not to mention fighting over who broke whose present that they weren’t supposed to play with, after all of the stress of dealing with your parents and relatives, you finally have time to decompress.That’s when your youngest comes into the room and asks you to read to her. Bartleby’s Book of Buttons may well be one of the most delightful interactive books series available. The price is certainly right. The first book is only a dollar, and the following book is four dollars. A third was supposed to be released at the end of November, but by the time I wrote this review it hadn’t appeared. (I write reviews ahead for Christmas.) It may well be out by the time you read this.Many interactive books cost five dollars or more and have half the fun. The initial Bartleby’s Book of Buttons is inexpensive enough that you can make sure your child (or you) actually like the series before investing in more. The first volume is shorter, only nine pages, but even those nine pages are plenty of fun. The second volume offers 24 pages of fun.What sets Bartleby’s apart from other interactive books is the game challenge element. Each page presents a puzzle that readers must solve before they can read the next page. Some of the puzzles are simple, some fiendishly clever. In many ways the books provide an introduction to the many puzzle games that adults love to play on the iPad.In the adventures Bartleby joins his friends Captain Kinkaid and Sally in a search round the world for exotic buttons. The buttons can do any number of wonderful things, from changing clothes to changing clothes colors and patterns to launching rocket ships and even controlling trains. You soon discover that Bartleby will be challenged by a mysterious nemesis who wants the buttons all to himself.

In this adventure your child has to navigate Bartleby through the twisting and turning maze. The story twists and turns with you.

Bartleby goes nowhere without his fabulous book of buttons. His adventures take him into space and under the ocean. The challenge is to solve the puzzle and get to the next stage in his adventure. Even after the puzzles are solved you will discover plenty of exploring remains. Your child can collect stamps for every discovery on a separate passport page.The puzzles aren’t always easy and even challenged me, a seasoned puzzle lover. You have to follow clues in the text and even twist and turn your iPad to find your solution. Don’t be surprised if your child needs your help and you get sucked into the adventure.

Even after you stop the volcanoes and put out the fires, you still have to figure out how to get off the island.

You can also play the books using AirPlay if you have an iPad 2. This could end up driving you crazy as your child plays button games over and over, but no where near as crazy as listening to Sponge Bob Square Pants episodes for the thirteenth time. I liked Sponge Bob the first time around, but he gets annoying in repeat episodes.

The passport page keeps a record of all your achievements, although you can track them in Game Center as well.

The storyline won’t excite adults. It drives the puzzles more than it provides a great read. But kids aren’t literary critics and the prose, while it doesn’t sing, doesn’t flop either. To call it pedestrian would be unfair, and probably not inaccurate, but neither would anyone call it inspired. Still, it’s as good as most children’s books and far better than many.Readers may already know I find interactive books to be a gamble. Some, such as Food Fight and Charlie Brown’s Christmas are delightful. Others barely qualify as interactive. Bartleby’s Book of Buttons is no gamble, but if you’re not sure the inexpensive first volume will allow you to find out with little financial risk.

Jenny Manytoes rates Bartleby’s Book of Buttons

Jenny Manytoes would make biscuits all over both volumes of Bartleby’s Book of Buttons. It brings out the kitten in her and she loves to explore for hidden treasures. Definitely a best buy.

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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