A finely honed, graphically transporting story about a slice of Aboriginal life in the Outback of Australia.
This effort from Aboriginal developer BighART encourages quiet reading and prompts a question or two. There is gentle movement on the screen but little interaction other than to move the story forward. This is accomplished with the usual finger flick to the left, but rather than clear panes of distinct action, the story scrolls along like a banner, stopping like a train at the station and giving a feeling of openness at the sides. To avoid strict linearity, sometimes the characters float in from the top of the screen or move from back to front; voiced dialogue supplements text that appears on the screen. The story pivots around the appearance of an echidna in the young narrator’s nanna’s house. An echidna is a spiny little anteater and an omen of momentous news, for better or worse. Here, the creature portends both a birth and a death. The cartoon artwork conveys a strong taste of the Outback (the lay of the land, insects whirring, birds cheeping), and the story speaks of a difficult existence—but not a life without pleasure in the day to day.
This lovely app speaks of family, the things that make memories, and how folkways color our lives and testify to the world’s wonder. (Requires iOS 6 and above.) (iPad storybook app. 4-8)