Every element of this app shines in a story about circus performers who learn to appreciate the talents of others.
This winning interactive tale is a highly successful marriage between tradition and technology. The pleasantly simple illustrations function much like a flannel board, though characters often stay anchored while doing things like swaying, jumping or balancing. When the ringmaster, Mr. Piccadilly, falls ill (and sneezes everyone off screen), the other animals and performers realize that the show must go on. Readers can dress various characters in the ringmaster's clothes as they all contemplate who will be the group’s temporary leader. Each argues that his or her job is the most difficult in the circus, which obviously qualifies them to be ringmaster. After the bear wins the coveted position, everyone else swaps tasks for the night to prove that others’ jobs are easy. Of course they aren’t, and valuable lessons are learned. There’s plenty of interactive and literary creativity infused throughout the story. Chirping crickets accompany a spotlight that reveals the bear’s stage fright; a little dog is shot out of a cannon, sails through the top of the circus tent and then parachutes to safety. And the app’s narrator tells the well-crafted story with an exceptional dramatic flair.
Step right up to this truly spectacular offering; it will undoubtedly delight ladies, gentlemen and children of all ages. (iPad storybook app. 2-8)