MELVIN SAYS THERE'S MONSTERS by Brendan Gallagher

MELVIN SAYS THERE'S MONSTERS

by , illustrated by , developed by
Age Range: 5 - 8
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Diminutive Melvin, “this weird kid at my school with crooked eyes and bushy hair,” loves to scare his would-be friends out of their candy with tales of the monsters who wait in their closets at night. The kids laugh, but, in bed, those who laughed at Melvin cower; the next day they’re handing over their snacks for monster advice. Snarky and sophisticated, the app features understated yet cinematic animation bringing to life Aly’s lively illustrations. The app is a study in restraint; its menu, ever-present in the top-left corner of a border that surrounds the story, has only three options. The “Read to me” voiceover is well-acted, but could be confusing for beginning readers—in several instances, the narration doesn’t match the accompanying text word-for-word. The app’s biggest problem is the titular character, a creepy, two-faced liar who isn’t redeemed. He’s apparently allowed by the narrator, a schoolmate, to keep on taking advantage of other kids for their treats. At least the app design, unlike Melvin, shows restraint; it’s not overloaded with sugar-high excess. (iPad storybook app. 5-8)

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