aliceWhat’s a “Vook?” It’s a book combined with videos. ” You can get “Vooks” from Vook.com, and you can watch them on a computer or download them to an iPhone or iPad Touch. Each one combines video, text and illustrations.

Right now they have six children’s stories at $3 each: Jack and the Beanstalk, the Brothers Grimm, The Frog Prince, The Velveteen Rabbit, etc. They have 13 books for adults.  A vampire novella by Anne Rice is 99 cents.  They also have cookbooks that have video demonstrations. The “Woman’s Day Cookbook, Healthy Food for Everyday Living” has 45 recipes and 45 videos.

We tried out “Alice in Wonderland” and were disappointed. The original illustrations are great, but the ten videos that come with the book are aimed at adults, not children. The first one is a view of Oxford University to see where Lewis Carroll, J.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, and others wrote. Bob was shocked and dismayed to hear the narrator make a grammatical error early in her talk. At Oxford? What are things coming to? And we didn’t think a child wanting to read Alice in Wonderland would really care about Oxford and the life of Lewis Carroll, the pen name for Charles Dodgson.

In general these are early days for the Vook concept and we find little to recommend so far. Instead of paying for a vook, you could read “Alice” for free at books.google.com and find companion videos on YouTube.  On the other hand, $3 isn’t much, and you don’t have to download anything.   You can watch these on other computers or share your log-in info with a friend.

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