Kirkus Reviews QR Code


by Amy Leask & illustrated by Mark Hughes & developed by Enable Training and Consulting

Pub Date: Dec. 9th, 2011
Publisher: Enable Training and Consulting, Inc.

A slightly buggy but enticing introduction to philosophy, based on the first of a print series published in Canada (2011).

Squired by Sophia, an extroverted child resembling Dora the Explorer, young enquirers not only get exposure to broad definitions and basic ground rules for “Doing Philosophy”—meaning thinking about or discussing important ideas in systematic, civilized ways—but considerable drilling down into the topic, too. She lays out the purviews of metaphysics, epistemology, ethics and other branches of the discipline in simple but specific language. This is followed by introductions to five prominent practitioners (“Hannah Arendt here, and boy, oh boy, did I learn a lot of important things from philosophy!”) with overviews of their distinctive “fave subjects." The app closes with a list of 13 brain benders like “What does it mean for something to be ‘normal’?” Aside from two screens of appended historical and geographical sliders with pop-up texts that are only fitfully functional, this quick but informative tour scores high for its overall design, easy navigation, optional audio and cartoon illustrations highlighted by caricatures livened up with small animations. And where else will readers learn that “Jean-Paul Sartre was afraid of being chased by lobsters”? 

An airy but far-from-superficial spin past Big Questions and some of the thinkers who have tackled them. (coloring page) (iPad informational app. 10 & up)