In a sea of interactive homogeny, this is a rare gem.

LIL' RED

A refreshingly distinctive take on the classic European fairy tale.

The plot and substance of this story are nearly identical to what has been told for centuries. In this version, however, developers have assembled a winning trio of music, illustrations and interactions that help breathe new life into the familiar tale. All graphics are grayscale, peppered with various shades of red, providing atypically lovely visual scenery. The wolf is deliciously sinister, lurking around and rubbing his paws as he anticipates eating Lil’ Red, who has anime eyes that occasionally shoot readers a would-you-hurry-up-and-tap-things look when the screen is idle for too long. The story is told with visual speech balloons, meaning there are no words, only simple graphics that ably move the story along (and also remove any potential age or language barriers.) Much as in Peter and the Wolf, various instruments represent each character, including a string bass (wolf), a clarinet (Grandma) and xylophone (Lil’ Red). There are other cool nuances, including a mushroom patch that yields trombone tones, and a host of small interactions involving both creatures and objects. Great attention has been given to detail—a creaking swing or the delicate sound of footsteps, for example—that fortify the overall experience.

In a sea of interactive homogeny, this is a rare gem.   (for iPad 2 and above) (iPad storybook app. 1-5)

Pub Date: Sept. 27, 2012

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Brian Main

Review Posted Online: Nov. 12, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2012

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THE GOING TO BED BOOK

From the Boynton Moo Media series

Preserving the look of the classic board book—even to the trim size and rounded corners—this makeover folds new into old in such inventive ways that it may take more than a few passes to discover all the interactive features. Aboard a ship that rocks in response to a tilt of the tablet a set of animal passengers bounce belowdecks. First they take a bath featuring user-created bubbles, and then they brush their teeth using water so hot that the whole screen hazes up with wipe-able “steam.” Pajama-clad, all then wobble—or, tweaked by a finger, rocket—back outside for a bit of exercise before bed. (Readers control this part by twirling the moon.) In the finest animation of all, every touch of the night sky in the final scene brings a twinkling star into temporary being. Along with making small movements that resemble paper-engineered popup effects, Boynton’s wide eyed passengers also twitch or squeak (or both) when tapped. And though they don’t seem particularly sleepy or conducive to heavy lids, an optional reading by British singer Billy J. Kramer (whose well-traveled voice also pronounces each word individually at a touch), backed by soothing piano music, supplies an effectively soporific audio. “The day is done. / They say good night, / and somebody / turns off the light.” This is as beautiful as the developer’s earlier PopOut! Peter Rabbit while styling itself perfectly to Boynton's whimsy. (Ipad board-book app. 1-3)

Pub Date: March 7, 2011

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Loud Crow Interactive

Review Posted Online: March 13, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2011

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When anyone attempts to enhance and reformat a book that’s already sold more than five million copies, there’s some risk...

MOO, BAA, LA LA LA!

From the Boynton Moo Media series

The iPad adaption of Boynton’s bestselling board book surveys animals and the sounds they make.

When anyone attempts to enhance and reformat a book that’s already sold more than five million copies, there’s some risk involved. What if it doesn’t translate well? Worse yet, what if it flops? Fortunately, Loud Crow Interactive and Boynton don’t have to worry about that. There’s no hint of a sophomore slump in this second installment of the Boynton Moo Media series. Much like its predecessor, The Going to Bed Book (2011), this app adapts the illustrator’s trademark creatures for iPad in a way few other developers can. The animals are fluid and pliable, which is no small feat given that they’re on a flat display. Readers can jiggle them, hurl them off screen, elicit animal sounds and in some cases make them sing (in a perfect inverted triad!). Melodic violin music accompanies the entire story, which is deftly narrated by Boynton’s son, Keith. In addition to the author’s simple yet charming prose there are little surprises sprinkled throughout that extend the wit that’s won countless babies and parents over in paper form.

Pub Date: April 19, 2011

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Loud Crow Interactive

Review Posted Online: May 17, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2011

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