This day in the life of a dog is sunk by substandard writing.
Sly is a cute, Chihuahua-like dog with a small body, large, perky ears, and hugely oversized, round, blinking eyes. Each screen depicts him in action, performing such normal daily activities as running, getting muddy and lifting his leg on a tree, as well as some unusual ones, such as skateboarding and sleeping in a bed with a pillow and teddy bear. The pleasant cartoon illustrations, unfortunately, are the only bright spot in this inferior effort. The text features stilted rhymes and near-rhymes and clunky cadence: “He sleeps and sleeps and always dreams, / with fatty, white and softy sheep.” The singsong-y narration only exacerbates the problems in the poorly written text. There is one basic tap-activated interaction per page, and navigation is simply page-forward and -back. The ending is a laudable message about self-esteem—“Sly has some flaws, as we all have. / But he is beautiful, inside and out”—but nothing in the text that leads to this will prepare readers for it, making it feel arbitrary.
Sly might be considered beautiful, but this app is anything but. (iPad storybook app. 2-4)