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COZMO'S DAY OFF by Ayars Animation Kirkus Star

COZMO'S DAY OFF

By Ayars Animation

Age Range: 4 - 12


Clearly produced and filled with Hollywood-quality animation, voice talent and multimedia features, this retro-futurist app is out of this world in many ways. Like Jack and the Beanstalk, another winner from Ayars Animation, the story of little green space creature Cozmo's trip to his office is packed with fun. While it doesn't have a rich traditional story to lean on, as Jack did, this app goes wild with such inventions as an adorable robot chef (who doubles as a popcorn machine), zooming personal spaceships and bulbous cityscapes. The art style is reminiscent of 1950s imaginings of the space-bound future; metal antennae and gas pumps exist alongside space travelers and aliens. The story, told in (pedestrian) rhyme, is narrated by an ecstatic-sounding announcer. In an inspired bit of programming, that narration, or reader narration recorded by the app, can be pitch-adjusted with a simple slider. It's an unnecessary but very fun feature older parents who may once have played their LPs at 45 RPM will appreciate. As hard as the text tries ("Now Cozmo hopped in his swift little ship / 'Buckle your seatbelt,' the rocket would quip' "), it can't compare to the lush visuals or the plethora of elements on screen that fly, explode or, in one memorable instance, fill the screen with fire-extinguisher foam. The app’s comprehensive list of options may be daunting, but the developer has thought of everything: It includes a help document for parents that reveals every hidden nugget in the app's 10 pages. It turns out there are more than 100. Few story apps are as ambitious, as eye-catching or as playful as Cozmo's. (iPad storybook app. 4-12)