One Christmas present I can write about, because it was already gifted and completely unique. No one at our later celebrations is getting a gift anything like this.
Silas played Disney Infinity while he was visiting his cousin Olivia (and his reaction to it 100% confirmed my feeling that he’s definitely not old enough for video games yet). When I asked him what he wanted to get her for Christmas, he listed off about 10 Disney Infinity figures she doesn’t have yet, but told him she desperately needs. We looked up the price of even one of them…and, well, he could maybe afford one.
Around the same time, we had checked out Press Here from the library. Silas didn’t want to read it with me, and then I told him it was a “bookeo game”–like a video game, but it’s a book. He and Petra both ended up loving it.
So, when he hit the wall involving his wallet and his adoration of cousin Olivia, he said, “Could I make her a bookeo game?” As he began to describe his vision, I realized that what he really meant was a choose your own adventure book. We got one of those out from the library to read as research. Then we sat down and mapped out all the different possibilities of the story. He illustrated each piece and dictated the text. I helped out with execution, but the ideas and the product were all his. He was so very proud, especially when I had it spiral bound at Kinko’s. It looks like a real book!
And now here is an HTML version for you. Don’t scroll down, that’s cheating (unless it says “turn the page,” then you can scroll down one). The “turn to page x” links are at the bottom of each image.
If you just want to enjoy the art, there’s a high-res version of the images in a gallery at the bottom of the post (or just click here).
You arrive in Avengers Land, where all the superheroes fight villains!
You dodge Thor’s hammer, shooting lightning, and dash toward Captain America’s shield.
Captain America says, “Hi. It’s nice to meet you. Come with me. I am trying to decide whether to go to Incredibles Land or Star Wars Land to get help fighting Venom, or stay here and fight him with you by my side.”
You arrive in Star Wars Land.
You see Luke shooting plungers and arrows out of his spaceship at the Death Star.
Han Solo and Princess Leia are trying to defeat the big snake monster.
The evil planet is trying to attack the Star Wars guys.
Before the Rebels will trust you to join them, you have to beat this game.
Try to match the heads on the left with the ones on the right.
Can you figure out which character is which?
When you win the game, Luke awards you the Golden Life Saver, and invites you into his spaceship to land on the moon.
You land on the moon, but the Death Star is coming toward you, shooting destroy exploders.
Luke turns to you. “You’ll be in danger if you remain with us. I’d like to send you to Yoda for your safety. If you insist on staying here, you’ll have to fight.”
You arrive in Incredibles Land.
You see beautiful trees and clouds and dirt and houses and castles in Incredibles Land, and incredible robots, and suns with smiley faces, and goo.
Everyone has super long arms, and can go really fast. And everyone can turn invisible except Syndrome.
One of Syndrome’s battlebots approaches you. “If you want to go to the Incredibles’ house, you have to follow me, but if you want to go on adventures with the Incredibles, put on this Incredible Suit.”
Mr. Incredible says, “I’m glad to have you along for our adventure. We have to go to a secret island. Are you in?”
You arrive at Frozen Land.
You see trees, and trolls living in rocks, and big castles, and Snowgies, and talking snowmen, and mountains in the distance.
To the south, you can just make out the shores of the Southern Isles.
A talking snowman approaches you.
“Hi,” he says. “I’m Olaf, and I like warm hugs! I’m happy to meet a new friend! Would you like to come build an ice castle, or would you maybe prefer to go on an adventure with Anna and Kristoff and Sven?”
You join Elsa to build an ice castle.
First you need to put some dirt.
Then you need to put spider and worms in, and then a dungeon and stairs.
You need to put four fire escapes, and you also need very, very strong bricks to hold the ice castle together, and you also need ice, definitely, and sunshine to warm the castle up.
You helpfully offer to get ice from Kristoff.
To thank you, when the castle is completed, Elsa says that you may stay in the new ice castle overnight.
The next morning, Olaf appears at the door and says, “Let’s go meet these Snowgies. If you want, I’ll buy you lots of cookies from the store.”
Olaf takes you all over Frozen Land. He takes you to meet the trolls.
Grand Pabbie says, “If you need healing, I will invite Grandma Troll to help you.”
Olaf also takes you to Arendelle so you can see the sights in Arendelle.
Olaf says, “This is the best summer day ever!”
He buys you cookies in Arendelle, and they are delicious.
Then he takes you to the castle where the Snowgies live, and then the Snowgies offer to go along with you, but as they are walking, one of the Snowgies falls down and breaks.
You and Olaf look sadly at the dead Snowgie as water pools around him.
A giant Snowgie appears. He says, “Good bye. I’m leaving. This story will end.”
You arrive at the Incredibles’ house and they welcome you in.
You see all their super buttons that make them strong and make them have super powers.
You give Mrs. Incredible a house plant and a doll.
You give Mr. Incredible a few more power buttons to share with his family.
Mr. Incredible says, “Thank you for these gifts! We were just about to go on an adventure, but we can’t agree on where. Vi and Dash want to go to Neverland, but Mrs. Incredible and I want to go to Frozen Land to help out Anna. Jack Jack can’t tell us what he wants. What do you think?”
You are on a pirate ship.
You meet Captain Jack Sparrow. He is smiley and tall, and he wears a Charlie Brown shirt.
“Avast there, land lubber. Ye be aboard the Black Pearl. Be ye friend or be ye foe?”
Jack Sparrow gives you a new shield because your old shield broke in half.
You thank him for the pirate shield and you hang up your old one.
The boat sails to an island with a funny cabin on it.
During your adventures, Jack offers to let you join his pirate crew.
You politely decline, and he returns you to Avengers Land.
You fight Captain Hook, the Pirate Fairy, and the Pirate with two blades and also a Pirate Monster.
The Pirate Sun shines down.
The Pirate Fairy hooks to a tree as Captain Hook tries to dodge flames, but the monster one is cutting down a tree with his huge claw.
Although you fight valiantly, you lose and are captured by Captain Hook.
Captain Hook makes you walk the plank.
The water is filled with Crocodiles.
You fall down toward the Crocodile’s open mouth.
You jump over the water, higher than a crocodile can jump.
The Crocodile bites a big hole in your shield, so you will have to find a new one.
You have a waterproof shield and floaties, so you can float to a nearby island, where you live out your days, building a treehouse and taming an elephant and an ostrich.
You arrive in Neverland.
There is Jake and Cubby and Wendy, hiding inside of their secret mountain home so that Captian Hook won’t know where they are, but there are windows that have a heart, a sword, and a wing on them.
Jake’s sword is on a stand on the mountain.
Captain Hook is using his plunger to try to get them out.
At the mermaid lagoon, the Mermaid says, “You get to pick what kind of feelings you have while you are in Neverland. Do you want to be sad and angry, or happy?”
You fight Jack Sparrow.
The Death Star comes in to help you, shooting explode guns into the water, but it misses and hits an underwater tree instead, and the boat that Captain Hook is on tips over and another big bad death star comes near and starts using site zappers to zap all the sites.
Captain Jack falls in the water.
You meet an alien.
He is green and is wearing a gray robe.
“Hello,” he says. “To the swamp, welcome are you. Yoda I am.”
He invites you to go on a tour of Star Wars Land.
You have to run to keep up with Yoda.
He moves very quickly.
You run through the swamp to a deep, dark, cave where you will meet Luke.
It’s Yoda’s house and Yoda told Luke to meet us there.
On the way, you smell stinky smells and you see lots of water all over the place and popping bubbles and trees with slimey stuff and holes in their leaves.
Yoda invites you to stay and learn to be a Jedi. You agree.
You meet the lost boys.
They have a robot that picks up everything.
One of the boys smells like an electric skunk.
Their secret underground house has a mushroom chimney.
Peter Pan invites you to go to meet his friend the Crocodile.
Kristoff shrinks himself because he likes to be tiny.
Olaf walks across some ice.
You run into Thor and a Crocodile.
The Crocodile is hanging up on a wall.
Anna shows you her crystal ball that has turned into a compass.
It will lead you on your adventure.
You walk out of your rental house and you are surprised to find yourself in Star Wars Land.
Luke tells you to get into an African Fighter spaceship.
You strap in and take off.
A bunch of Tie Fighters come toward you and you’re not sure what to do.
You shoot at them with arrows and all the spaceships go dodging the arrows.
You fly to Darth Vader.
You shoot him with an arrow and then he dies and all the characters from Disney Infinity have a big party and there’s a giant Minnie Mouse with a bow and a balloon near her and the snake monster and all the tie fighters are singing, “La la the witch is dead! Bing bong, the Darth Vader is dead!”
The people on the tie fighters put it on the radio. You are hailed as a hero.
You arrive at Pirate Island.
There’s lots of stuff.
You see Cubby using the spy glass to spy on the sun.
There’s fire in the cannon.
There’s Captain Hook falling down.
Jake is in his pirate ship.
The Neverbird is holding a scary monster head.
Issy is driving away on a boat.
Jack Sparrow disappears into the briny deep.
Only his hat remains.
The Incredible Hulk tries to smash down Venom’s webs with his incredible strongness.
There’s Captain America near the clouds and he is really scared.