The Witch of the East by Mark Boyde
This classic fairytale is perfect reading fodder for kids who want a little bit more from their bedtime stories than 'Happily Ever After'. Goblins, witches, wolves, trolls, ogres and the like leap off the page courtesy of some captivating story telling from Mark Boyde and quite brilliant illustration from Scott McGregor.
However, it is in the iBook version that 'The Witch of the East' really comes to life. Narrated by noted actors Siobhan Redmond from the Royal Shakespeare Company and Braveheart’s Jimmy Chisholm (whose Scottish brogue ideally suits this magical underworld), the personalities of the remarkable characters shine through. And then there are the added bonuses including various ‘back-stories’ for the main characters, explaining secrets and revealing new layers of interest to readers. The App is simply brilliant and well worth the (small) price – a percentage of which goes to a worthy cause for children suffering from burns.
The Witch of the East is just the first part of a saga called 'The Tales of Mordekai Hagg'. If the following offerings maintain this quality, they will doubtless become favourites with families across the world. This world of nasty witches and unpleasant trolls is exactly the sort of thing that kids lap up. And the sensational use of language and illusion makes it all the more appetising. If Roald Dahl wrote a Brothers Grimm influenced by 'Lord of the Rings', he’d probably produce something like 'The Witch of the East'. Michelle Whytcross
Available on iBooks. www.apple.com/my.