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JibJab Jr. Books Let Your Kid Star in Their Own iPad Adventure (And You Can, Too!)

One of the staples of mall kiosks has always been the book dealer who–for the nominal sum of $20–will place your child’s name in a storybook.  From Christmas tales to birthday celebrations to fairytale reimaginings, the kindly salesteen would give your child the gift of a customize narrative.

It seems the mall kiosk has given way to the wonders of tablet computing–namely the iPad–thanks to the folks at JibJab.  From political elections to “Elfing-Yourself,” JibJab has has found a way to blend flash animation with the hilarity of putting yourself in the story.  With JibJab Jr. Books, you can get a monthly dose of entertainment for your child.  Here’s the PR:

With JibJab Jr. Books, you can make your child the STAR of the show. In just a few simple swipes, you can create personalized storybooks that feature your child’s face and name. Your child will be enthralled by the great stories, colorful art, and awesome animations in every JibJab Jr. book. So download the app, turn out the lights and take your child on a personalized journey!

Having bought several apps with Elliott in mind, there’s a difference in JibJab’s approach that I admire most.  Rather than “easter egg” items on the screen that wobble or beep when you touch them, the focus is actually on the narrative at play.  Sure, there’s the fun element of your child’s name and face, but the iPad doesn’t read the book to you or do things to distract you from the experience of reading with your child.  The animations are great and the stories are quirky–exactly what you’d want in a kiddie book.

Slate also offers a useful overview of the product:

Because that’s your child there, under the chef’s hat! Your child’s name right there in the text, in the right font and everything! And that child is going to be thrilled. Thrilled, I tell you. So thrilled that he or she will want The Biggest Pizza Ever over and over again. But will you be thrilled, when you reach the end and it’s very clear to your child that there is another story—in fact two more stories—that do the same thing? And they are available for $7.99 or, if you join JibJab’s monthly e-book club, $3.99, with another $3.99 charged to your iTunes account if you choose to buy each month’s offering.

$3.99 is a fairly comfortable price-point for an iPad app, particularly one that should get a tremendous amount of use in a family setting and can be updated even as your child grows.  Honestly, with children’s books at Barnes and Noble and even Amazon clocking in at $10 or higher, $4 seems all-the-more attractive.

Oh, look.  Here’s Otter surrounded by meat to help you get a sense of what a “page” of the book is like.