A small but growing set of Aesop's fables are collected in this app and given a too-literal, but serviceable reworking.
There's a glut of what might be called Aesop's apps for the iPad; developer Razeware LLC's take is that it'll provide a story or two for free and allow readers to pay for more tales within the app. Currently there are four tales; "The Crow and the Pitcher" and "The Tortoise and the Hare" are the freebies. "The Lion and the Mouse" and "The Fox and the Grapes" are not. The adaptations are spare and short, with morals clearly spelled out on the last page ("It's easy to scorn what we cannot have," reads the one for "Grapes"). The app's mix of sprightly woodwinds and New Age–y orchestral synth, a lack of spoken narration and minimal sound effects gives it a more austere feel than is perhaps necessary. The illustrated objects—mostly animals—are large, clearly defined and lovely, but as in too many iPad story apps, most of the interaction consists of tossing animated objects (grapes, pebbles, woodland creatures) across the screen as they float about in zero-gravity–like conditions. For "The Crow and the Pitcher," readers can fill the pitcher up with these drifty pebbles; in "Tortoise," the Hare zips across the screen in a puff of smoke when touched, but other animals move like they're swimming in an aquarium filled with gravy.
It's an admirable effort with more tales promised for future release; the whole thing could stand to be a little wilder, though. (iPad storybook app. 2-7)