A lunar lesson about global community.
Everyone on the planet sees the same moon. So, in theory, the moon is a cosmic intermediary that can help readers feel connected to others—whether it’s a parent we’re missing, or a kid we’ve never even met. The app's illustrations appear to be photographs that have been enhanced by digital software. Each page contains one tap-activated “animation”—photographs that appear or rudimentary graphics that haltingly come and go (though none can be triggered until the narration is complete). The story itself is told in rhyme, and as is the case with many rhyming storybook apps, the verse is often tedious and uninspiring. The idea that the author is apparently trying to convey is creative and communicates a message that could be helpful to some. But the content shifts focus enough that it weakens the thesis. For example, after a quick side note about how grandmas don’t like to be called old, the text reads, “Back to the moon and it’s amazing effects…” After one observation about kids in Pakistan seeing the same moon Americans do, attention turns to stars, the sun and the ocean. Advancing pages sometimes takes multiple taps, as does prompting other features.
The global-village theme has a lot of potential, but this rendering doesn’t do it justice. A little more effort would go a long way. (iPad storybook app. 4-7)