A fluffy and inconsistent story about a little mermaid diva.
This app looks really good on paper (in terms of the developer’s description), but in reality, it may confuse kids more than help them. Elfishki are “magical little people” that live on Rainbow Island in the Sparkling Sea. This story revolves around Rinka, who dreams of being a circus performer. During the school break, her mother (a buxom, ditzy mermaid) drops Rinka off at a cat’s house, where the junior mermaid swims around in a tiny fountain and runs roughshod over her feline baby sitter. Eventually, Rinka is discovered by people stuck in traffic, and the cat deems her a “real circus performer,” though the story provides absolutely no context and no evidence that she’s anything of the sort. A confusing text-to-illustration mismatch places text on one page and the corresponding illustration on the following throughout, and six of the 13 screens are hollow, text-free attempts at “interaction.” Readers can summon discussion questions on most pages, but many are frivolous. The illustrations are vibrantly colored and gush with flowery scenery and syrupy characters (all white). The bonus seek-and-find game consists of locating sea creatures hidden in an ocean landscape, all of which exclaim variations of “wah-hoo!” when revealed.
A profoundly disappointing tale. (iPad storybook app. 4-8)