Weirdwood Manor: Exciting Stories for Kids

October 26, 2015
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Weirdwood Manor Review

Bottom line: Exciting kids book this good is a rare treat!

A cross between Harry Potter and The Hobbit Weirdwood Manor has unique creatures and mysteries to excite the reader/player. With 5 books available you will find even as an adult you are intrigued by the stories and unable to put it down.

The main character, Oliver, is a lonely boy who has been bounced around from foster home to foster home and finds himself using his journal to write and draw as an outlet. His journal provides insight into Oliver’s life in foster care and his desire to be “normal.” It also reveals Oliver has a vivid imagination which may be more based in reality than he ever expected.

Oliver enters a contest and wins a chance to visit the famed inventor Mr. Arthur Weirdwood’s manor. When he arrives he meets two other contest winners, a metal robotic butler and an eccentric caretaker of sorts. He also immediately starts to discover some of his journal drawings coming to life along with some mysterious ghosts haunting the manor.

For the younger readers each page is narrated by a charming deep male voice with the words on the screen highlighting as it is read. As the reader navigates each page of the book a blue “Findling” (fairy like creature) in the top left corner will fluter excitedly enticing you to look for hidden puzzles or creatures to discover. By tapping on the screen in the exact right place a pop up will appear with new information about a new creature leading the reader to Oliver’s journal. This part of the app, the journal, has no narration so parental help may be necessary for beginning readers. Parents may find they are also interested in the mysterious tales of Weirdwood Manor and enjoy discovering it with their young readers.

All Play, No Work has developed the ebook app into nice size chapters and books. Each chapter and book displays the number of hidden puzzles and creatures at the top and keeps a tally of all the ones unlocked. During testing it took most readers more than one go through of a chapter or book to find all the hidden activities and complete all the puzzles.

The age range suggested for the ebook app is 8-12 years. The dark, mysterious nature of the book along with the detailed animation of the characters, including a dragon, could certainly be scary to a younger audience and the app is easier to navigate for a child with good reading skills, but consider your child’s interest in reading, fantasy creatures and maturity; maybe it is something you can enjoy together.

Overall this app is a great way to get kids interesting in reading at a young age.

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