Our Overall rating: 3.5
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Lightning Was Here: My Puzzle Book

July 18, 2011

By: Carisa Kluver

The Digital Media Diet

This movie-themed book app is cute & short with a few puzzles among its pages. The story is an abridged version of the movie, Cars, paired with colorful cartoon illustrations. There is some animation, but it is minimalist, not a replication of the computer-rendered film.  

One of the highlights of this app is a challenge to find 'decals' hidden in the pictures. They are easy to spot and end with an activity placing the stickers on Lightning McQueen. If you find them all, every empty spot is covered on the race car. If you do not find them all, the book suggests that there are more decals to find and to read the story again. This feature resets for replay every time the story is read, although the hiding spots are the same.

Animated elements can also be found on several pages, but it is very light animation - things like the eyes of the cars moving back and forth or slight movement of the vehicles. This minimal enhancement makes the storybook a nice treat for bedtime and doesn't detract from the text in any way. This book app is also well-made with ample settings that include the ability to record your own narration. In addition, there is a page guide, the option to join an email list, an ad for the Disney Princess book app, and a way to exit to the appstore to buy more Disney books.

As for the puzzles, there are only three of them, spaced evenly throughout the app. They are very simple (6 pieces each). You also don't have to get very close to the right spot in order for the pieces to snap into place (pieces of the puzzle are shown two at a time). All of these factors make these puzzles a bit less challenging for older readers, but ideal for very young children. As a reward, there are short animated scenes that play upon completion of each puzzle.

Overall this is a cute app. While most kids won't read or play with this title for more than a few minutes, the interactive elements are a nice addition to the short story. Basically, this app provides a nice summary of the film with a bonus of interactive puzzles and decal hunt along the way. For fans of the Cars franchise, in particular, this title is sure to be a treat.

All reviews are of the app, not the platform/device. Based originally on iPad versions. Minor technical details may vary.


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Lightning Was Here: My Puzzle Book

July 18, 2011

By: Carisa Kluver

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Disney Digital Books

Disney Publishing Worldwide Applications

Length (time):
4 - 6 Minutes

Based on non-digital book: No

Allows Own Narration:

Uses Motion: No

Age: 2 - 8

English •

Length (pages):
11 Pages


Story Synopsis - Lightning Was Here: My Puzzle Book

This is a very abbreviated version of the movie plot from Cars. Lightning McQueen only cared about winning races until he arrived in Radiator Springs. The sleepy rural town began to grown on the fast car. He began to make friends with good characters, like Ramone "the go-to guy when your paint job is dull." Small town charm also includes "Flo's", an old-fashioned diner for all the "gas, antifreeze, coolant, and axle grease a car could need."

Lightning also made a 'best friend' with "Tow Mater" who had a heart of gold. And "Luigi" from the tire shop made an impression on the little racer. There was also "Doc", the town judge & doctor, who secretly had a past a race car. He even won 3 'Piston Cups' as the "Hudson Hornet". Overall, the little down became a place the race car could relax & slow down a bit.


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Orientation: Landscape

Format: Universal


Pages, Read & Record, Keep in Touch, Credits, Instructions, Web Links


App Release Date:


Size: 19.2 MB

Version: 1.2

Lite Version Available: No



Lightning Was Here: My Puzzle Book

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