Children will enjoy becoming the stars of this customizable story, creating different versions for repeated readings.
The story presents a familiar scenario, as a parent juggles “a mountain of work” while a child asks for some playtime, but the highlight is how readers create their own characters. “We’re going to put you, a grown-up who looks after you, and a toy into the words and pictures of this story,” the female British narrator prompts. The app instructions direct children to record their characters’ names and choose gender, skin tone, hair color and outfit. They also give their characters faces by using a supplied cartoon illustration, taking selfies with the iPad camera or accessing saved photos. These design features make this a very inclusive story, allowing for combinations that reflect readers’ lives and imaginations. It should be noted that the characters’ middle-class domicile is not customizable. The rhyming dialogue does not quite flow smoothly with the recorded names, but children will enjoy seeing their hand-built characters in the story. In the end, the protagonist gives up on the parent, creating instead an imaginary game with the doll, realizing, “I’m good at finding games to play for two instead of one. / With my imaginary friend I have a lot more fun.”
Thoughtful design features make this an inclusive story that will resonate with many young children. (Requires iOS 6 and above.) (iPad storybook app. 3-6)