The Artifacts http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/the-artifacts/id467935343?mt=8
The Artifacts is a lovely story about a boy and his passion for collecting things. When it is time to move to a new home, Asaf must face that his many possessions cannot be brought along. The discussions provoked and sophisticated vocabulary are appropriate for upper elementary and up-although a younger child with a fascination of collecting should certainly enjoy this book as well- my eight-year-old son and mini collector adored it. While the language itself is sophisticated, the writing style is to the point- there are no more than a few sentences on each page. There are also plenty of hidden surprises on each page to keep even my 4 1/2 year old interested- caterpillars munching on leaves, the sound of wind chimes, dogs jumping up and down in a back yard, a hidden room revealed with a swipe.
The rich vocabulary and imagery sparked conversations with my 8 year old about the main character, Asaf and his feelings- especially in a scene where young Asaf is questioned by his father for capturing a caterpillar and sequestering it in a jar. "How would you like to be locked inside a jar?" questions Asaf's father, as they peer at the jar. Asaf replies "But Dad, I gave him a leaf." When the jar is touched, the images are juxtaposed, and Asaf sits inside the jar in place of the caterpillar, staring forlornly at what he must envision is the "people" equivalent of a leaf- a piece of cake. Caterpillar versions of Asaf and his father peer in at the imprisoned Asaf, and the dialogue matches the new scene: "How would you like to be locked inside a jar?". "But Dad, I gave him a cake."
With beautiful graphics, magical sound effects and expressive narration, I almost felt I as if I were in the story. From the use of lighting to portray the mood, to the dripping of water in the "castle basement, the story came alive. The Artifacts is a story not to be missed- it will remain on my iPad for a long time to come.