Old story in new format

Photo: Forlaget Propell “The Ashlad and the Hungry Troll” is available through Apple’s iTunes.

Photo: Forlaget Propell “The Ashlad and the Hungry Troll” is available through Apple’s iTunes.

Norwegian fairytales come to Apple’s iPad and iPhone for kids of all ages

By Christy Olsen Field
Norwegian American Weekly

A few publishing houses are trying a new form of the electronic book these days: the app book. The app book is an application on smart phones and devices, such as Apple’s iPad and the Google Android phone.

The epublishing company Forlaget Propell Now, the fledgling imprint Propeller come with a new release that they call a “milestone for Norwegian appbøker.”

The app is called “The Ashlad and the Hungry Troll” in English, and “Askeladden som kappåt med trollet” in Norwegian.

“It was my idea to start spreading Norwegian folk culture around the globe using the app markets. Forlaget Propell believes that there are a lot of parents around the world who would like to show their children these stories. Both because there are a lot of Norwegians abroad, and because the fairytales are exciting stories, with trolls, nature and historic elements,” said Per Harald Borgen, owner and director of Forlaget Propell.

The book was first launched on the App Store, and has already managed to climb to the top of the list of the most popular applications for iPad in Norway, with almost 1,200 downloads in the first month. Bok&samfunn considers a “normal” picture book that sells between 600 and 1,000 books in Norway as a success.

“The Ashlad and the Hungry Troll” is adapted from the original fairytale by Asbjørnsen and Moe, but the language has been modernized.

Forlaget Propell took a risk by putting the application on Google’s Android app store. Many publishers have chosen to only use the Apple iTunes store solution to sell their appbøker, partly because they believe that the market for Android is not mature enough.

“It was important for us to make the book available in the Android Market too. It is very stupid if all appbøker for children should only be for Apple users,” said Borgen in an interview with NRK.

The Norwegian version of “The Ashlad and the Hungry Troll” has been a huge success in Norway, topping the iPad App Store just three days after its release.

With the app now available in North America, it’s a great way to introduce Norwegian culture in a fun and innovative way.

“I really hope Norwegian-Americans will enjoy this app, and I think it will be a great way to show their children some traditional Norwegian culture,” said Borgen.

To download the app, visit http://goo.gl/kOTuL (Apple App Store) and http://goo.gl/KEDRy (Android Market). For more information about Forlaget Propell, visit www.forlagetpropell.no.

This article was originally published in the June 10, 2011 issue of the Norwegian American Weekly. For more information about the Norwegian American Weekly or to subscribe, call us toll free (800) 305-0217 or email subscribe@norway.com.

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