An app about a child learning to cook has some charming moments, but they’re mixed together to bad effect with unfortunate design and writing choices.
When Lisa is given a set of children’s dishware for her sixth birthday, she begins preparing toy food for her stuffed animals and dolls. Her mother shows Lisa how to make real meals, guiding her in a primer of ingredients, kitchen tools, hygiene and safety. It’s a good, detailed set of lessons. Some pages appear as colorful lists on a background of notebook paper. Other pages show Lisa and her mother interacting in the kitchen with food and appliances while the child’s toys look on. But too many pages are filled with overlong, unbroken blocks of text, and generic, ugly navigation buttons at the bottom of each page work against the entertaining artwork. The juxtaposition of well-designed pages with plenty of animations and wit against more inert pages emphasizes ho-hum writing and derails what could have been a focused, entertaining story. At one point in one of these text-heavy pages, Lisa’s mother says, “Well, I see you are pretty bored with all this talking. Let’s do something more exciting!” Oh, the irony.
Overdone and unevenly baked. (iPad storybook app. 5-9)