This little boy’s not afraid of the monster under his bed. In fact, everything about Gabe is perfect...until he takes the week off, leaving substitutes to fill in.
Every now and then a “things that go bump in the night” book emerges that tilts the subgenre on its pointy little head. Noll and McWilliam’s traditional book did just that; their app expands on the book, oozing creativity and fun. One by one, the substitute monsters appear under the bed, but none of them are quite menacing enough. Herbert’s claws are woefully inadequate. Ralph’s claws, while superlong, are inappropriately shiny. Cynthia is a girl monster with lipstick and a bow on her slimy tail, which doesn’t suit the little boy at all. And Mack’s excessively long tongue is more laughable than scary. When Gabe finally returns, his boy snuggles down in his bed for a good night’s sleep. The app leaves no stone unturned, delivering a vividly illustrated story well-supported by engaging narration, imaginative sound effects and an original score. The interactive features and character animation consistently surprise and delight. Best of all, creators give the app a full page of navigational help, text highlighting for beginning readers, easy access to page selection and a memory-challenge matching game at the end.
Whether your young ones have bedtime angst or not, this monster is worth keeping around. (iPad storybook app. 5-8)