Being a British team, the Literary Platform can be a rather cynical bunch. But on 29th April, when Kate Middleton (aka the Duchess of Cambridge) stepped out in her wedding finery, there were audible gasps and cries of ‘Oooo it’s lacey!!’ and ‘she looks looovely!’
The hardened critics were reduced to a bunch of weeping infants. But that’s weddings for you. So what better time for Toronto-based fledgling company Ink Robin to slip a small, unassuming book app called Will & Kate: A Love Story through our letter box.
Normally, of course, we wouldn’t go in for related merchandise. No sir. But on this occasion we felt it our duty to give this fledgling app a voice. So still wearing our rose-tinted wedding spectacles, with half-drunk glasses of Pimms liberally strewn around the room, we decided to take a look.
Beautiful chamber music floats out of the book app from the first page and sets the tone for an elegant, humorous, at times irreverent rendition of the Royal love affair. The simple retelling of William and Kate’s story, from their respective childhoods to ‘happy ever after’, covers the main bases in a light-hearted, imaginative way that will engage younger readers.
The visual style is a blend of photography and contemporary illustrations, reminiscent of Lauren Child. The interactive features are original and fun: help the bride chose her wedding dress; make the couple’s hot-air balloon soar upwards; explode celebratory fireworks over the London skyline; part the crowd to catch a glimpse of the Royal procession; and twirl dancers across the floor.
Ink Robin have cleverly (or rather, creatively) solved the issue of not knowing what the dress would look like or the honeymoon destination until after the app’s release. That said it would be great to see a version of the actual dress included in an update.
So will the app have a life beyond Hello magazine’s official photographs? Probably yes, because almost every little girl dreams of marrying a Prince and as far as real-life fairy tales go, this one will take some beating…
Set up earlier this year, Ink Robin is ‘a storybook company run by four friends’. This is their second book app to date with plans for more later this summer. See www.inkrobin.com for more info or to download the app.