Slapdash, inconsistently styled and needlessly grim, this off-putting take on the traditional tale is an unwelcome slog through cold mud.
Because it's in the public domain, many app developers have gone hog-wild with "The Three Little Pigs." While the ADS Interactive version may not be the worst of a large lot, it's one of the most puzzling. Strange design choices include making the storybook display in portrait mode instead of landscape, with no option to change the orientation, the inclusion of lengthy text passages in a gigantic font on most pages, and instances where objects like hammers or pieces of wood can be flung around the screen to no effect. The artwork has a split personality, with illustrations of the main characters taken from the L. Leslie Brooke 1904 edition and placed against crudely rendered backgrounds. The text is a lightly revised rendition of the same book; the pigs who build their homes of straw and wood are gobbled up by the wolf, and the brick-building pig eventually boils and eats the wolf for dinner after a series of interminable-feeling mind games. The image of that pig chowing down at the dinner table, head bobbing, will be more than most parents will want to share with young readers.
With so many superior versions of the same story available for the iPad, it's difficult to recommend such an unpleasant, halfhearted effort. (iPad storybook app. 4-7)