Eight Mother Goose rhymes as Hanna-Barbera would have animated them, complete with absurd asides, goofy voices, unsubtle illustrations and silly anachronisms.
For each nursery rhyme (Humpty Dumpty, Little Miss Muffet, Old Mother Hubbard, The Crooked Man, Jack and Jill, Hey Diddle Diddle, Three Blind Mice and Twinkle Twinkle), Mother Goose automatically reads the traditional text (with words highlighted as they’re read) while it is comically visualized and commented upon in the background. For example, after Miss Muffet makes an overly dramatic exit from the scene, the spider looks out at readers and complains, “Well, what was that all about? A spider’s got feelings, ya know. You’d think she’d seen a cockroach.” After the narrated cartoon, readers can replay it, display the text again (touching individual words to hear them) or tap to discover the seven to eight hidden surprises on each page. There are three extra game screens (one is “Wacky Mice,” in which readers have to hammer the farmer’s wife when she pops up) as well as an overall challenge to collect acorns for an Alvin the Chipmunk–type squirrel that keeps appearing. The creators, Brain Freeze Entertainment, acknowledge their debt to the Saturday-morning-cartoon standbys in the credits.
An animated and interactive introduction to Mother Goose that probably won’t impress adults but will keep the preschool set happily engaged. (iPad nursery-rhyme app. 1-4)