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by Beatrix Potter & illustrated by Beatrix Potter & developed by Squeaky Oak

Age Range: 3 - 8

Pub Date: Oct. 28th, 2011
Publisher: Squeaky Oak

There's homage and then there's pure imitation, and in this adaptation of Beatrix Potter's cat-and-mouse tale, the developer has clearly studied the template created by Loud Crow Interactive and created a cheap, off-putting knockoff.

Loud Crow developed superb apps out of The Tale of Peter Rabbit and The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin. In this app, everything, from the title screen to its drop-down-bookmark menu to the way Potter's illustrations wiggle and squeak when touched, is similar, but the execution falls short. With generic music, annoying sound effects ("Boing!" goes one, making it sound like it was recycled from a Saturday-morning TV show) and narration that feels out of rhythm, the original text and pictures survive intact, but just barely. The title screen, showing a copy of the original book, a fountain pen, ink and what appears to be a blank yellow Post-It Note (seriously!?) tells you all you need to know. Worst, the narration must be activated by touching the first letter of the first word of each page, but there's no hint or instruction that this is the case. 

Potter's story of an abusive relationship between Miss Moppet the cat and Mouse is given short shrift in this shoddy, derivative app. Readers will be left feeling teased and unsatisfied, even if they're unaware far better Potter apps exist. (iPad storybook app. 3-8)