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OUR BIG CITY by Ali Mitgutsch


From the Look and Find Books series

by Ali Mitgutsch & illustrated by Ali Mitgutsch & developed by Ravensburger Digital

Age Range: 3 - 5

Pub Date: Oct. 11th, 2012
Publisher: Ravensburger Digital

A pioneer of the “busy, busy crowd scene” style of illustration slips into the digital domain with tablet versions of several classic titles—including this low-key but involving example.

Viewers can zoom in and pan around seven screens, each an angled aerial view of several dozen active people in an airport, zoo, swimming pool, city intersection or other town setting. There is no animation, but along with quiet crowd and traffic background noises, many figures will respond to taps with exclamations, giggles or other sounds. These are signaled, strangely, by a flurry of visible musical notes, though except for a busker in one scene, there is no music. As an ongoing test of visual memory, children can collect stars by using a feature that opens a set of albums on each screen with “snapshots” of fine details in the larger scenes to spot and capture with a roving “camera.” Signs on shops and elsewhere change according to which of the five European languages is selected at the beginning, but in a translator’s bobble, one scene is titled “On the Market” in English. Less fixable are the antique cassette-tape players, on-shoulder video cameras and other period details in the art. Still, Mitgutsch’s cartoon figures are clear and sharply focused at any magnification and their jobs or activities easy to follow.

A short set of visual puzzles, closer in overall complexity to Richard Scarry than Where’s Waldo. (iPad seek-and-find app. 3-5)