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DINOBOY by Alex Thomas

DINOBOY

By Alex Thomas (Author) , Arnie Jorgensen (Illustrator) , 3037 (Developer)

Age Range: 3 - 8

Pub Date: Aug. 11th, 2011
Publisher: Three Thumbs Up

An artful bundle of cuteness, marred only by some careless errors in the accompanying text.

In this series opener, a cherubic child in a thickly padded dinosaur costume moves to the city with his parents. Once there, he finds a slide that transports him from his hand-drawn, animated home to a photorealistic world of storefronts and street corners. The story's shift from Dino Boy's world to ours is handled nicely; against a photographed backdrop, he appears as an illustrated paper cut-out. Apart from its refreshing art style, it also differs from most storybook apps by allowing the story to branch off in one of three different directions when Dino Boy must choose whether to explore a toy store, a playground or a museum in order to get back home. Gorgeous page-turn transitions offer extra artwork between the story pages. And, in a design choice that makes the app more fun (but could prove frustrating), readers can't advance until they press the right object on screen to unlock a page-turn icon. If the story's text were as sharp and attuned to detail as the rest of the app, it would be nearly perfect. But, unfortunately, it sometimes forgets apostrophes and can't consistently settle on "Dino Boy" or "Dino boy." 

It's hard to quibble with Dino Boy's appeal, his cheerful sense of adventure and the app's beautiful design. The punctuation problems don't ruin an otherwise lovely app experience. (iPad storybook app. 3-8)