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POP OUT! THE TALE OF SQUIRREL NUTKIN by Beatrix Potter Kirkus Star


by Beatrix Potter & developed by Loud Crow Interactive & illustrated by Beatrix Potter

Age Range: 2 - 10

Pub Date: May 12th, 2011
Publisher: Loud Crow Interactive

Not as stunning or surprising as Loud Crow Interactive's previous Potter adaptation, The Tale of Peter Rabbit, its take on her subsequent, squirrel tale is nevertheless a clever, faithful retelling.

The app, about a rogue red squirrel who pushes an owl too far with his persistent pestering and riddles, is nearly identical in its design to its Pop Out! predecessor. It features spring-loaded takes on the original illustrations that can be wiggled, prodded and, in some cases, moved by paper-like tabs. Fastidious narration and an effort to make the pages resemble as closely as possible a beloved old book (there's even a grain to the off-white pages and an ever-present small bookmark) work nicely. At just over 50 pages, plus animated endpapers, it feels substantial without overstaying its welcome. The chittering squirrels and the harumphing owl, Old Brown, are enlivened by well-crafted audio cues. Objects like falling leaves or eggs can be touched, making them pop out of the page's scene. While the story of Nutkin, a troublemaker who loses a chunk of his tail due to his mischief, is fresh as ever, the multiple riddles may be tricky to solve for younger readers. Luckily, Potter helpfully hid the solution for each riddle as a word on the same page as each puzzle. 

While Peter Rabbit was a groundbreaking app, this one suffers not at all from building over the same template: It is elegance defined. (iPad storybook app. 2-10)