Kirkus Reviews QR Code


by Ben Hecht & illustrated by Nelson Wells & developed by VivaBook

Age Range: 2 - 5

Pub Date: Feb. 16th, 2011
Publisher: VivaBook

Soothing music accompanies Lilup, the friendly, white Great Pyrenees dog as he effortlessly floats above the Earth and under the sea, stopping on several continents to befriend local animals.

Lilup plays with a variety of critters, including penguins, lions, polar bears and even a butterfly before his shaggy paws lead him back home. Realistic illustrations fill the entire screen, providing a variety of angles, including several birds-eye views that add a pleasing sense of motion to Lilup’s adventure. At first this appears to be a simple, minimally interactive text, but selecting “I” in the upper-left screen (after choosing the "menu" at the top) reveals a link to a “hints” section. For readers unused to consulting directions to inform their reading, this section can be easily overlooked. Reviewing hints, which requires access to the Internet, reveals the text’s interactivity, which is not intuitive. For example, the hints demonstrate that by tilting the iPad readers can speed up Lilup’s pace or view more of the sky. The "My Library" feature enables users to record themselves reading the story. Users may save several versions of their recordings, allowing for personalization and to accommodate varied reading speed and special messages. There is a straight-up narrated option, which is well paced and synchronizes with red highlighting of the words.

A good-humored if bland adventure made slightly spicy through interactive add-ons—if readers can find them. (iPad storybook app. 2-5)