Winner: Parents’ Choice Silver Award, 2017
The Horn Book
“The sophisticated mixed-media illustrations are vibrant, and the sounds are relevant to the story, from the snipping scissors to the music of highly verbal flutes (you’ll see). Actor Terry Jones narrates with the expression of a seasoned storyteller, and jaunty, celebratory music accompanies the buoyant ending. All in all, it’s worth spending time with The King’s Ears…”
CTREX, Children’s Technology Review database
Rating: 85% or 4.25 stars
Reviewer: Claudia Haines, Children’s Librarian
…the illustrations are brilliant and the retelling of the old story is interesting and quirky. The characters are likable and the message is positive. In terms of functionality, the navigation is easy to follow and the ability to turn the narration on/off at each page, instead of for the whole book or not at all, is a nice touch. . . . I enjoyed many of the interactive elements and thought they fit the context of the story nicely including when Igor shouts his secret into the hole dug with the help of the reader and a mishmash of letters pours from his mouth. The reader can the move the letters around to create new words in the white space conveniently incorporated into the page. . . . All in all, this story is high quality and would be a nice addition to a library collection.
School Library Journal
Vivid mixed-media illustrations, cheerful background music, and sound effects all add to the richness of the user experience. . . .children will want to revisit this book app over and over to discover more features and expand their enjoyment. Unobtrusive animated interactions include a parakeet that flaps and hops around the pages, and opportunities for viewers to take part in the story. . . . VERDICT With great appeal for the early elementary school audience, this app is a solid choice for digital storytime or reading one-on-one.
Enter Here Canada Interview
“The King’s Ears offers children both an enjoyable experience and a narrative challenge that will stretch their thinking. This app takes exciting risks with new forms of storytelling and invites re-reading, which is certainly an important testimonial to its effectiveness. I’m blown away by the production values.”
Professor Margaret Mackey, Author of Playing the Text: Literacies Across Media
“An exciting story app with strong narrative verve, and subtle and humorous interactions of art, text, and technology.”
Professor Judith Saltman, Co-author of Picturing Canada: A History of Canadian Children’s Illustrated Books and Publishing
“I am so in love with this gorgeous app!” Dr. Aline Frederico, specialist in picturebook apps, Pontifícia Universidade Católica, São Paulo
“This innovative and insightful retelling of an ancient tale invites children to playfully experience complex reading processes, including imaging, questioning, inferencing, predicting and confirming. Thank goodness for people like Rascal Media who are taking an ethical lead on the integrity of children’s literature in digital forms.”
Dr Marlene Asselin, Associate Professor of Language and Literacy Education, UBC
“Rascal Media has created an interesting, entertaining and well-designed story app. In my opinion the interactive elements are well integrated in the narrative, they expand and sometimes explain the story. Likewise, the various sound elements give excellent support the visual modes.”
Professor Ture Schwebs, Faculty of Education, Western Norway University of Applied Sciences
“The flying was dead accurate … and I loved the parrot kissing the mirror. I kissed right along with it!
Two wings WAY up!”
Legolas Greenfeathers, parakeet, 2 years old
“The King’s Ears is a celebration of the potential of the digital in children’s literature.” Dr. Ernesto Peña, adjunct professor, faculty of Education, UBC