There are some clever visuals and interesting ideas in this sea-based app, but at least in its current form, it'll be too buggy for many iPad users to enjoy.
In a hazy, friendly-looking world below the sea, a small fish named Plip wants to go on an adventure exploring on a sunny day. Rounding up his pals, a jellyfish named Jelly and a hermit crab named Shella, Plip discovers a hole in the sea floor that leads to a darker, wilder area. While each page turn involves swiping from right to left, the section with the ocean hole begins to move up and down, giving the app a diverting sense of direction. Plip finds he can light up by sneezing and leads his friend back up to safety. The app is nicely illustrated, with lovely transparency effects and a cool color palette. But it's unclear what an option at the beginning to add a reader's name and phone has to do with the story: In the end, that photo appears in a window of a big submarine that shows up as if out of obligation to that feature. But it's likely readers may not get that far. On a first-generation iPad, the app crashed constantly in multiple places, making it difficult to get through the story even once without starting over. At least a useful "App Map" allows readers to pick up where they left off.
The story has enough going for it, from its cartoony art to its solid narration, but the show-stopping crashes make for a frustrating time. (iPad storybook app. 3-6)