This cleverly designed app about young siblings has a funny, light touch and memorable characters.
Dylan Monkey, his baby brother Squishy Face and their mother Frazzle Dazzle live in Humonkee, a town that combines jungle living with semi-modern home design. The family—all sporting tails but otherwise human in their features—is loving and silly. Dylan comes up with the idea that his chubby, active toddler brother may need a few extra arms to crawl, hold a bottle and walk at the same time. He tries to construct the extra limbs out of household materials (sticky cheese, for instance) with predictably unsuccessful returns. The writing is mostly short, basic sentences that may not be lyrical, but they are solid and descriptive enough to move the story along. Much more fun are the illustrations and interactive animations, which are almost uniformly playful and entertaining. Pages retain a cohesive design while still leaving room for fresh bits, as in one animation in which Squishy Face appears to try to tap through the iPad and then tries to give the readers a kiss against the screen's glass. Ultimately, Dylan learns that the best thing he can give his brother is his own set of helping hands.Simple, direct and playfully told. (iPad storybook app. 2-6)