This poorly written tale about rodent vigilantes has very little to offer in terms of literary, technological or creative value.
Sinjin and Piper—hamsters from outer space—arrive in their spaceship to help Nikki find his pet, a French bulldog (aka "Frenchie") named Sesame Dumpling. Guinea pigs are apparently kidnapping animals and taking their places in an effort to become “the new favorite pet.” A cat named Nietzsche points Sinjin and Piper to a guinea pig yacht in La Jolla, where they negotiate Sesame Dumpling’s release with the ship’s leader, Matisse, who sounds like a cross between Perez Hilton and Boy George. The narrative is accompanied by Star Wars–type sound effects and peppy electronica, which can be silenced via a menu called up when tapping the large hamster-head icon. It’s annoying, yes, but overall, it’s also inconsequential, because the narrative itself is riddled with more holes than a piece of Swiss cheese. Readers are left to piece the story together themselves, as there’s absolutely no character development, no cohesion and a plot that’s about as deep as a paper plate. There's a planet-identifying bonus game called "Solar System Safari," and the app offers a host of bland interactive elements, including toys and animals that yield predictably weak audio/visual elements. All fail, however, to add any considerable dimension to the story.
Here’s hoping these hamsters get lost in space. (iPad storybook app. 2-5)