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developed by AppyZoo

Age Range: 4 - 8

Pub Date: Sept. 24th, 2010

The unlikely offspring of Wheel of Fortune and ancient Greece, this app collects 20 of Aesop's fables as wedges on a large spinner. The app instructs readers to "Spin Your Fables," and when readers align a story with a pointer, a two- to four-page story with illustrations opens, complete with such morals as, "Expect no reward for serving the wicked" ("Wolf and the Crane"), and, "The race is not always to the swift" ("The Hare and the Tortoise"). The wheel is meant to be the app's killer feature, but it often works choppily, making one wish for a simple index instead. The stories themselves are elegantly illustrated with the appropriate level of seriousness for the weighty tales; wolves look menacing and sinister, while the shelled racer in "The Hare and the Tortoise" appears determined and ancient. English narration is offered (Chinese, Japanese and German are also available), as is the option to record your own reading. As a bonus, the more stories that are read, the more "Spot the Difference" puzzles are unlocked. The fables, timeless as they may be, don't skimp on animal violence ("The Goose and the Golden Egg") or carnal romance ("The Rose and the Butterfly") to make their point. Definitely unusual, but not as revolutionary as it appears. (iPad storybook app. 4-8)