Books by Ruckus Mobile Media

Released: Sept. 22, 2011

"A profoundly homogenous and vacuous effort covered in faux glitter and sparkle. (iPad storybook app. 3-6)"
This particular adventure is about generation four of the glimmering equines, but fans of any phase of the franchise will likely enjoy the trip to nostalgia-ville. It is unlikely to convert any new ones, though. Read full book review >
SPOT THE DOT by David A. Carter
Released: May 25, 2011

"Clean of look, seamless in design: a delight even for the diapered crowd. (iPad game app. 1-6)"
The Picasso of paper engineers (One Red Dot, 2005, etc.) displays a dab hand at concocting even more thoroughly interactive explorations of shape and color for touchscreens. Read full book review >
Released: Dec. 8, 2010

Like a Next Gen version of a lift-the-flap Spot story, this digital cat-and-mouse chase features very simple art, familiar settings and hidden surprises in every scene. Milo, a blue cat, chases a giggling mouse through a living room, across a piano, up and down stairs, through the kitchen and a playroom tunnel to a waiting surprise. As he chases, viewers can touch furniture, knickknacks and other parts of the backgrounds to activate a variety of sound effects and small movements. In many cases, different effects are activated with successive touches to the same area. The full-screen scenes are animated at a deliberate pace just right for very young viewers. Each swipe moves the setting to new, empty room through which the characters bound energetically after a moment, then freeze into tableaus as a line or phrase of text appears word by word and a male narrator provides a lively reading. Because the smaller special effects on each page can only be activated one at a time and tend to stop the plot in its tracks, they are best reserved for successive readings…of which there will be plenty, thanks to the unusual range of interactive features and child-friendly art and design. In a likely portent of things to come, the app actually precedes a print edition, due out later this year. Here's hoping the paper romp is as engaging as the digital one. (iPad storybook app. 3-6)Read full book review >
THE VELVETEEN RABBIT by Margery Williams

It would be almost impossible to ruin Margery Williams' heartbreaking story of a toy rabbit who wants to be "Real" and is loved so much by a little boy that "all the pink rubbed off his nose where the Boy had kissed him." But app developer Ruckus Media Group comes close with a lazy adaptation that includes a 24-minute video version narrated by Meryl Streep. The video was released in 1985, back when some might have thought the British accent Streep employs might be real. Despite its star power, the video looks dated and jagged on the iPad screen. Readers have a choice of watching the video, with pans and zooms across still images accompanied by a lovely piano soundtrack, or reading the text version, which lacks narration by Streep or anyone else and whose illustrations are lifted from the video (which was based on the book illustrated by David Jorgensen in 1985). The drawings are soft and dreamy. Text floats into the frame, often on its own page, as if the app's designers couldn't reconcile the story and imagery in a more efficient manner. At 112 pages, it's a lot of swiping; it's hard to imagine a parent will be able to keep a young listener enthralled for that long without Streep's help. At least there's a way to practice: Readers can record their own narration with the app. One last insult: A button to "Buy the Book" leads to a web page filled with children's books, none of which is a print version of The Velveteen Rabbit. This app isn't reimagined or restored, it's simply recycled. (iPad storybook app. 3-10)Read full book review >