Very simple graphics on two sliding layers give precocious toddlers a chance to assemble a huge menagerie of animal variants and even to create new species.
Presented without instructions, the app offers a horizontal slide show of 18 pear-shaped silhouettes (one per screen) sporting a range of single colors and suggestive antlers, wings or other features. Readers can overlay a further 19 transparent line drawings of faces and other details, with identifying captions like “my monkey” or “my butterfly.” Side-to-side and up-and-down finger swipes create hundreds of interchangeable combinations, most of them fanciful but more or less recognizable. A gray pear with feet becomes “my reindeer” with the addition of antlers, ears and hooves; a sideways swipe inserts a purple pear with eight spidery legs into the reindeer accouterments. Much silliness can ensue. Tapped at any time, a draw-your-own menu icon brings up a simple pear with a choice of colors, if only one line style, for personalized scribbling. Other options include captions in any of four European languages and the ability to save any image to an in-app gallery (for better or worse, there is no “share” option).
A playful game of matching and silly mismatching. Children will probably figure out how to use this faster than their parents. (iPad bestiary app. 1-3)