Appolicious powers Verizon Educational Tools

A Charlie Brown Christmas evokes nostalgia with a digital twist

by Kathryn Swartz

I haven’t seen “A Charlie Brown Christmas” in several years, but I remember watching the beloved tale every holiday season while growing up. When I saw A Charlie Brown Christmas become app of the week, I knew I needed to give the digital book a look.

A Charlie Brown Christmas is universal for iDevice, but if you have iPad access, this app is ideal for the large screen. Narrated by Peter Robbins, the original voice of Charlie Brown, readers will hear Charles M. Schulz’s original story of how Charlie and the gang discover the true meaning of Christmas in this downright charming app. Although users are getting a book version of the 1965 animated television show, there’s nothing static about Loud Crow Interactive’s version.

As Robbins narrates — and the characters speak in the original audio — users can tap items on the pages to immerse themselves in the environment, by making the carolers carol and the skaters skate. The text is highlighted on screen as it’s said, which can help little ones work on their reading skills. You can opt to turn the audio off, but I don’t know why you’d want to. After each card is finished, users will swipe to bring up the next dialogue pane. Be sure to tap on everything and everyone on screen before flipping to the next page — there’s additional dialogue hidden in some interactions, and catching snowflakes is mindless fun.

Although much of the app doesn’t require interaction beyond turning the page, my favorite section asks users to play Schroeder’s piano — and a familiar tune — to progress the story. Once you’ve finished the story, the app invites you to explore Charlie Brown’s world further, with hidden Easter eggs that unlock special Christmas tree content.

The app is on sale for $2.99 for a limited time, but even at full price, A Charlie Brown Christmas is delightful and worth the buy.